Finding Inspiration: What Inspires Me

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced a new series called Finding Inspiration.  I wanted to explore and hopefully find an answer to the question of “what is inspiration,” and today, I’m finally able to get started with just that.  

Inspiration is a word we all hear regularly, especially in a field as creativity-driven as blogging.  But when asked to define it, we often struggle to pinpoint exactly what inspiration is.  

Almost like “love” or “happiness,” inspiration is a word that is more of a feeling, and less of a tangible something.  It can’t be defined in any one way, because it’s different for everyone who experiences it.  But that doesn’t stop us from wanting to better understand that elusive word; so today, I’m going to kick off this series by talking about what inspires me.  

What Inspires Me


From the time I was young, I can remember loving solitude – whether that meant lying alone in my room reading a good book, playing with my cat, or going on long walks by myself.  

At night, I would lie alone in my bed writing entire novels in my mind, books that never seemed to end but always left me with a hundred new words to write down in the morning.  I would go on long walks by myself, at a trail near my home that only one friend of mine ever knew about.  I’d spend hours sitting on a bridge above the Schuylkill River, dreaming of the one-days and the what-ifs, and somehow, this alone-time always left me feeling more refreshed and ready to create than being around friends and family ever did.  

Spring Rain

I don’t know what it is specifically about the rain, and I suppose I could say that spring in general is an incredibly inspiring time (and so is fall – the leeway between two polarized moments).  

But somehow, it’s the rain that always gets me – that scent of it in the early morning hours on a Saturday in April, when it’s only just started to warm up outside and you can smell the new season coming out of the suddenly green grass.  The smell of life just beginning all around me, as cliche as that sounds, seems to get me every time.

Someone Else’s Writing

Whether it’s a spoken word piece that makes me feel strongly about a topic, or a short-story that leaves me unable to stop thinking, incredible writing makes me want to create something just as powerful.  

A Good Debate or a Strong Opinion

It’s no secret that I love to argue, particularly about controversial news stories, and the ideals I hold close to my heart.  I’ve always loved fighting for my beliefs, no matter what anybody around me seems to think.  Somehow that debate, that fundamental disagreement that leaves me having to pull from my morals, my politics, and my education leaves me wanting more.  More education, more inspiration, more to read and say on the topic I find myself having such a strong opinion on.  

It never fails that after a good debate – whether in person, on paper, or online – I feel riled up.  It wakes me up in a way that only a couple of other things in my life do, and I’m left wanting to contribute more to the conversation.  

So now it’s your turn – what inspires you?  What leaves you feeling “turned on” at the end of the day, and ready to create something more?
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  • Becca Dorr

    I’m usually inspired by a long ranty random conversation with a close friend!

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    Ooooo yes! I think sometimes conversations with friends are the most insightful conversations I’ll ever have….especially late-night, super vulnerable conversations. There are conversations I had with friends my freshman year of college that I still remember, and that inspire me to live the way I do now!

  • Katie @ The Style Dunce

    Yes, I love the last one. I think it can lead me to hate-reading things too often though! There were a number of really conservative blogs I used to read (which are the opposite of how I feel on things), just so I could get riled up. And you’re right, there’s just something about the spring rain..

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s done that. I’ve never gone to a website for it, but I’ll neglect to mute certain people on FB whose statuses I know are gonna make me crazy. Yesterday, I got in this ridiculous argument with someone who is furious that the army is allowing yarmulkes and turbans for soldiers’ uniforms. Like are you kidding me – they’re fighting for YOUR country right now! But debates like that get me inspired; I enjoy it.

  • Zoe Diaz-McLeese

    I can totally relate to needing silence, and being inspired by the silence. Although, sometimes, I find that my thoughts consume said silence so it actually doesn’t work all that well. I definitely also agree with being inspired by others’ writing… I find that when I read others blogs I get inspired to write for my own. Whenever I’m having a hard time with a post, or having a hard time motivating myself to write… I just go to bloglovin’ or go through all of my favorite blogs’ archives to get ideas and it usually works! Thank you for sharing. :)

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    HAH! My thoughts do too, but it’s at least nice to be able to concentrate on my thoughts alone sometimes :)

  • Marielle

    I’ve never thought of it as inspiring, but I also definitely enjoy hate reading when the opportunity arises. I’ve gotten some of my best rants from idiotic comments or articles.

  • Marielle

    I definitely need silence in my life. If I don’t have my alone time, I feel like I can’t sift through my thoughts. I also get inspired by bouncing ideas off other people. And yes to other people’s awesome writing – some passages by Guy Gavriel Kay are just so good they hurt.

  • Kiersten McMonagle

    Exactly – too much social interaction honestly exhausts me. And yes – I definitely get inspired by talking to someone else about my ideas.