Inspiration?

My students–freshmen and sophomores at an urban community college–routinely tell me they have no inspiration; they have writer’s block. I tell them that there is no such thing as writer’s block–“inspire” means “to inhale” or to breathe. Writing is just work, I say.

But that isn’t completely true. I’m messing with them because the point of the class is “critical thinking” and I want them to apply that concept to the ideas I throw out in class too.

In fact, my copy of The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus (Yes–old school) tells me “inspiration” means “a divine or seemingly divine imparting of knowledge or power.” I would bet a great majority of my students believe in a Higher Power, but, frankly, we just ain’t got time to be infused with the Holy Spirit–the paper is due next week!

So how do we get to work? One way to grease the creative wheel is to open a thesaurus or a dictionary and browse.

Look: Synonyms of of “inspiration” include “afflation, afflatus and inflatus.” Those words sound like “flatulance” which reminds me of an entire comical series of events focused around bathroom humor (or scatology or “obscene humor that is concerned with excrement and excretion) that I need to work on. Voila: Inspiration.

 

Author: Anita Leverich

In real life, I teach English at an urban community college in Kansas City. This semester I am living the Dream--Writing! This is all thanks to that savior of the academic--The Sabbatical. One part of my sabbatical mission is this blog where I intend to share my thoughts on, not only writing, but also the world. This beautiful life has been built on education--a BA in English Literature, an MA in Literature & Creative Writing from Kansas State U. and an MA in Creative Writing from the nationally rated program at The University of Montana. I’ve also earned a Certificate in Creative Nonfiction from the Stanford Online Writer’s Program. Not only have I been privileged to work with generous and thoughtful teachers, but I’ve also worked with Editor Barbara Jones in the One Book program at Queens University. The other part of my time between now and August is dedicated to finishing the manuscript I have been working on all these years (!) called Running After You: An Unrequited Love Story. Thanks for tuning in. Enjoy.

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