Saturday, October 7, 2017

Inspirational Post 1 :: Write 31 Days

Photo credit: Mike Tinnon @m15ky

I promised myself and you that I would participate in the #write31days challenge. I made the decision to dig deeply into some of the suggested ideas from the many lists on the internet. I hope to give you insight into the meaning of the idea, explain how to go about writing the post, tell you why the idea is popular and, when possible, provide an example of the idea. 

If that seems like a big goal, I'll agree. But the thing is once you outline a plan, writing is simple: go with the plan. Don't veer or get sidetracked. Avoid tangents. With that said, I'd better get on track and introduce today's big idea: inspirational posts.

According to a blurb or two, inspirational posts are easy and popular. Sure, but I'm going to subdivide this idea into two categories: biblical inspiration and human inspiration. The first one is fairly easy to figure out, so let's focus on that one today. It's easy because one need only find a quote from The Bible, throw in a pretty picture, give an example or explain the quote. Boom, you've got a post. It really can be that simple. If you need, check out Pinterest for both the pretty picture and the quote. If you're lucky, they will already be connected on one pin.

However, it's possible to go deeper, provide more information, write more. But let's go back and talk about the meaning of the word inspirational. By most definitions inspirational means an influence of a creative or spiritual kind. I may be inspired to create a new dress pattern. I may also inspire someone else with my words or work. A spiritual inspirational generally means the influence of God or His Word. Now, let's not mince words. I am Catholic so by God, I mean the christian God of The Bible. But if you are of a different belief or religion, use your meaning of God. Inspiration is inspiration regardless from where it comes or where we believe it come.
Photo credit: Kiwihug @kiwihug

How does one go deeper? Well, start with a simple overview. Use that Pinterest picture. Then explain what the quote means. Break it down into little parts if necessary. Define any words that could have two meanings or that are uncommon to your readers. 

Now get more personal. What does this quote mean to you personally? Why do you feel this way? Do you have a story that can help your readers to understand? Why is this story important? Who in the story had special impact in your life? Tell all of your story. If you are afraid of telling it, you may not be ready. Consider your qualms or fears. They can color your view. Look at your story from another angle. Does this angle change any of it? 

Are your story and inspirational quote sad, happy, funny, heartwarming? Any of those are part of what makes them inspirational. Keep in mind that, above all else, you are inspiring the reader. End with this in mind. Connect your story to the quote. Explain how it has made you a better human. Tell readers how often you return to the quote. Do you read it daily? Explain your reasons.

One reason that inspirational posts are popular is that readers have a different view of what helps you to cope. We all struggle to some extent and knowing that others understand our pain makes it easier to remove it from those hidden places and deal with it. Perhaps your point of view is one that a reader has not applied to that particular quote. It's wonderful to suddenly understand words from another point-of-view. 

Maybe a reader will add a comment that will answer another reader's question. You never really know how readers will be affected by your work unless they comment or somehow get in touch with you. To have readers respond to each others' comments adds to the depth of your blog, encouraging yet more readers to join the conversation.

Links to other posts in this series:
Writing about Writing Intro 

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