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Feb 10 / Josh

Current inspirations

Often, your greatest inspirations come from the most unexpected places. Chance encounters. An overheard word. An article in a magazine in the doctor’s office.

Writers and similar creative folk often sequester ourselves into our own little nooks — only reading writing blogs, only reading writing magazines, etc. But then we miss out on the things that provoke, inspire and push us into new creative directions. Here’s what has been inspiring me in the past month since my last blog post (and thus, the reason for my absence):

1. Mid-century modern (MCM) design. Examples can be found on the Mid-Century Modern Interiors blog and on Modern Findings. In our mass-manufactured, IKEA-ridden world, MCM pieces break me out of the way I traditionally view an otherwise utilitarian piece. It makes me think about the things in my environment that are taken for granted but hold such influence over the way we live and move throughout our day. Who was the designer? What was their intention? How does this fit into the rest of the scheme?

2. This ridiculously pushy — in a good way! — article called “The Lost Art of Becoming Good at Things” over at the [expert enough] blog. The author argues that we no longer want to put the energy and time into learning new things and becoming good at them.

“What do I want to be good at?” I asked myself after reading that article. What passions, topics or ideas have recently enraptured my attention? Out of that single article came so many things. For example, I helped launch a new health magazine (landing some interviews with FOX reality stars and a couple other big-ish names) and enrolled myself to become a certified personal trainer. Crazy? Only a little.

3. O, The Oprah magazine. Hear me out before you start gagging into your pocket squares. I’ve started a personal thing where I’ll buy and read one magazine that I would normally walk right past. This has included a magazine on yoga, a magazine on small farm animals  (!!!!!!) and a women’s bodybuilding magazine (conclusion for the last one: gigantically muscular women terrify me). While none of the magazines I’ve read have been something that I’ll ever subscribe to, each one has contained fragments of valuable ideas.

4. This statement in Mark Remy’s article “A Few Rules to Run By” (Runner’s World, January 2010):

Before you remove your new running shoes from the box, you must smell them. Open the box. Peel back the tissue paper. Behold those pristine shoes. Then lift the box to your face and breathe deeply. Mmmm. Smells like potential. And possibly toxins. But mostly potential.

This article was one factor in my inspiration to pick up running again. I haven’t slipped my feet into a pair of shoes for two or three years. But wow, running is amazing for my levels of inspiration. While running, I find that it clears my brain and that I often run right into a new idea or a new way of viewing a situation/creative problem.

What non-writing things have been inspiring you lately? Tweet me. =)


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