This month, PHS editor Ali Williams talks about the importance of finding inspiration everywhere.
So after a month weeping and sweating over my PhD proposal (all submitted - thank goodness), I've taken a step back to re-engage with my creative writing. All over social media I see people talk about their inspiration for their writing: the film they saw; the song they heard; the story they read in the paper. The thing is, I don't have time to wait for inspiration to strike.
I don't have the luxury of going on a retreat or heading to some remote cottage on a cliff somewhere to find my inspiration. I work full-time and come October (fingers crossed) I'm going to be studying in every spare moment I've got.
I'm a great believer in finding inspiration in the everyday. Of using the interactions that we have with each other, and the small things that happen in every day life to fuel whatever it is we're doing. And there are three things over the last month which particularly inspired me.
The first in the news that someone I went to school with - Faye Belle - is publishing a book later this summer. She's written the entire thing, done edits and started learning all about the business side of being an author, whilst having a full-time job.
I couldn't be more excited for her, as well as being impressed by her self-determination and self-discipline. Celebrating with people when they reach important milestones can spur you on to try and reach some of your own.
The second was my visit to Cheltenham and to a second school friend - this time from primary school! I spent two days exploring Gloucester Cathedral, relaxing at Jess's incredible business Earl's & Co, and imbibing no less than two bottles of bubbly in an evening whilst reminiscing and talking until the wee, small hours.
It highlighted for me the importance of roots in our lives; of having people that we can relax and unwind with. When we're happy, we allow ourselves to be our most creative. Sometimes it takes having a break to get going again.
And finally, there's the Wildfire Women conference in September, that I'm SO DARN EXCITED ABOUT!!
My talk title has been finalised - By Day and By Night: Finding Space for Creativity Part-Time - and I've been interviewed on their website this week. It's going to be a weekend full of debate and conversation, where writers, actresses, researchers, coaches and businesswomen come together to talk about how to channel creative inspiration into business. Tickets are available now. It's essentially going to be an exploration of how to look at inspiration as something that can and sometimes has to be commodified in order for it to be used as part of our day to day life. I can't wait.
For more information about Ali and her writing project, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Where do you find inspiration? Who and/or what inspires you? Share your advice and tips with Ali in the comments or by using #AtTheCliffFace on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.