Coffee, Books, and Inspiration
Morning routines interrupted by life, are events waiting to be written.
Ever wonder how writer’s find so much to share? They grasp the thoughts, which run their course through their minds from the daily events, both positive ones and the negative ones.
Writers create routines; sometimes solid, never changing routines, which writer’s like myself admire. I look up to the standards and strive to arrive, only to find myself interrupted again.
I love my morning routine. It isn’t something major, nor is it something phenomenal. It is a basic, tried and validated experience.
It starts with coffee. My auto-brew setting lets me prepare at night for a great up of coffee in the morning. Then, I grab a book from the stack near my chair, looking for the spark of inspiration while poised with my handy highlighter.
Usually, I scan the titles, some I have read, some I find reading a chapter again is refreshing. Books like: The Coaching Habit, by Michael Bungay Stanier, who shares the great follow up question: “What was most useful to you?”
Another go to book: The Way of the Seal by Mark Divine. “Ability is what you are capable of, motivation determines what you do, and attitude determines how well you do it” (— Lou Holtz, American Sportswriter 1939-).
I love this book: “It’s the Manager” (I am proactively researching what it takes to be a manager since I am definitely going to manage something). “Creativity in organizations is essential” (Clifton & Harter, 2019).
I am a “random idea junkie,” so I love random sections of books I recently consumed. I open the book to fall where it may. Once I allow the books to open, I scan and read. Usually, a book I have read much, will fall open exactly where I spent the most time. It is my signal to reread the information and assimilate it.
After today’s reading, I realized I have not been asking myself the learning question: What was most useful to me? I need to ask it for myself so I begin to see how the words I read affect my life.
Reading the words of writers on Medium helps to congeal the thoughts of a good writer. For instance, this morning, I read an article by Thomas Plummer who encouraged routine and flexible plans when the blank page grabs you:
Structure Was Blocking My Writing
Staring at Blank Pages and a Deadline… I Had to Escape to Write
What We Do
We can be readers who inhale books, to show off a list of 50 or so books we have read over the past year or two. Kudos in store, right?
However, like Ryan Holiday we can go back to the chapter/book we read and then take notes on index cards, file them, and prepare a memory bank.
I take it a step further and review my index cards.
They are only as good as when they are used, rather than stuffed in a index file and ignored. The idea is to circulate the data in your memory.
Another clue: I read with a highlighter. I have several colors which coordinate with a basic theme: Yellow= highly important, Green=valuable extras, Pink=must read again/relationships, or Blue= I like it.
“Reviewing revives research readiness” ~Pamela
We prepare our writing by reading, reviewing, and registering the information in our long-term memory circuits. If we read then bleed, we forget what we put into our minds as if it was selectively reduced to air molecules exiting our lungs: In and out breathing.
I like to think of inhaling information as input and exhaling unneeded noise as output. Unneeded means it doesn’t fit with ‘what was useful to you’ ideas.
Our brain is amazing in how it catches the spark of knowledge and then runs with it.
If you stop long enough to engage the written word, something of use will arrive. At the ah-ha moment, is where you meet the long-term memory connection and create a deeper meaning. Never let those moments slip away. If you even think, “I’ll write that down later,” you are too late. It disappears as ‘not needed’ data.
Find Your Space and Place to Create
Create a morning routine, allowing flexibility to reduce dogmatic focus. Allow your mind to wander in thought, and write those wanderings down.
Your brain digests information in increments.
Give it time to assimilate what you think, what you read, and what you write. Get out there and find the connections to life. Life, the source of inspiration, gathered by witnessing it first hand, reading it in a book, and writing it for others, is our ticket to motivation.
One last thought: “To read, and not to write, is to fail without question. To absorb, and never express, is to conform to the ideas of others, abandoning the golden treasury of wealth that is your own.” Kevin Horton.
“Writers are created, like the written word, with time and space.” — Pamela
~Just a thought by Pamela