Finding Inspiration: A Series

Yesterday, I posed the question on Twitter: “what is inspiration and what inspires you?”  I was confused when I didn’t receive very many responses, because it seemed like a good question to me, and one that a lot of bloggers would want to weigh in on.  But as I laid (yes, I did have to look up the proper form of that word) in bed searching “blog ideas” on Pinterest, I realized that as good as the question may be, the answers probably wouldn’t fit into 140 characters.

Inspiration is a huge, all-encompassing word that doesn’t fit into the four syllables it holds.  It’s an idea, like faith or freedom that keeps the world turning and society growing, but that we can’t quite define because it’s so vast and so completely different for everyone.
It did leave me asking myself though: what is inspiration?  If it is such a huge idea, what does it mean to me, and where do I find it?
What is Inspiration
Inspiration is something I’ve never truly nailed down.  It’s an abstract idea that is tailored to every part of speech: to inspire, to be inspirational, to be inspired, to find inspiration… It’s something I know I find every day, the motivation behind my getting out of bed each morning, behind my writing a new post here every day, behind every picture I take and word I write and interview I go to.  It is my life force, and I believe it is yours too.
Even the dictionary – my source for anything I can’t quite get a grasp on – left me wondering more.  Literally, inspiration is our life force, what keeps us going each day and waking each morning.
inspiration |ˌinspəˈrāSHən|


the drawing in of breath; inhalation.

• an act of breathing in; an inhalation.

So how do you define something like that?  The force that keeps all of us growing and changing; how is that something you nail down in 140 characters or less?
If you could, how would you try to define inspiration?  I’m going to be trying over the next couple of months, by breaking it down into manageable pieces.
  • Kevin Carlin

    I am inspired by people like you who see the beauty in life and communicate their experience through the lens and words. I am inspired by people who see the beauty of life and convey their feelings through music. It is the sharing of our individual experience of what it feels like to be alive that inspires me. Keep on keepin’ on.

  • Camila

    That is so hard to explain what inspires you because I know for me inspiration comes in all different facets – there are academic things and essays that inspire my way to look at life, travelling and discovering new cultures is also a big inspiration, my family and my relationships with people also inspire…I could never pinpoint just one thing or even one definition!

  • Kristyn

    Oh man…this is hard. Inspiration means so many different things to different people. Something that might inspire me, probably won’t inspire you the same way. It could be close, but it probably wouldn’t be the same. It’s so hard to define something so broad, but at the same time, you need to sit down and think about it. I really hadn’t thought about it much until you posted this!

  • Marielle

    Haha, I looked up the dictionary definition too.. .I love when definitions try to get out of it by using other forms of the word. Cheaters. I would define inspiration as similar to “revelation,” or vaguely like “hope.” It’s the feeling you get when you realize there’s another way to approach something, another possibility, something you can appreciate or build on, the mundane made beautiful. I used to love how there were goddesses of inspiration (but confined to the arts) in Greek mythology.

  • Lizzy

    I think inspiration is something that makes you feel some kind of strong emotion. A lot of the time it makes you want to do something. Great idea for a series. It’s really interesting to try and understand what the concept means to other people. I guess our different inspirations make us all completely unique in certain ways.

    Nomad Notebook

  • Janette Garcia

    It’s such a vague question. Like we all know what it means, but when asked to define it, we’re at a loss. I guess I would define it as seeing something as more and seeing potential or hope. Kinda like building on your happiness.

  • Heatherface

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I feel that “inspiration” is just one of those words that’s really difficult to properly define, it’s hard to put it into words.