Gregor Connections LLC

Inspiration Identified

Inspiration Identified—What Speaks to You?

Shanna D. Gregor

Have you ever felt uninspired? I’m an idea person. My wheels are always spinning, and yet, I’ve had those moments when the idea bank felt empty. What was spinning in my head was nowhere close to the destination my client had in mind for my writing assignment. So we’ll start here with the list and future blogs coming up, I’ll cover these topics more in depth. Here’s a list—some ideas to help you stir the pot of creativity and open up new avenues of inspiration.

bench for quote

  1. People Watching
  2. Reading
  3. Tours for Inspiration (art galleries, historical sites, nature)
  4. Music
  5. Break your routine and do something completely different
  6. Explore quotes on a particular topic
  7. Research (ask questions on social media)
  8. Journaling (review old ones)
  9. News (human interest and success stories)
  10. Life from a child’s perspective
  11. Get moving – exercise and fresh air
  12. Travel or vacation (day trips or a week away)

Bonus – Freewriting can also inspire. Click here to read Freewriting – Learing to Fall without Fear

Weeding Out the Good Ideas for Something Great

Shanna D. Gregor

I have “good” ideas all the time. But weeding out the good ideas for something great?  A title for a devotion or blog will pop into my head, and I’ll jot it down. Sometimes I’ll sit down at my computer and just start a new article, story or first chapter of a novel. Maybe you’re like me—one of those people with 10 or 15 just sitting in your idea folder waiting to come to be developed. Maybe you even have entire books near completion but struggle with which one to focus on.

Weeding Out the Good Ideas for Something Great

Here are a few ideas to help you weed out the good ideas and discover the great ones.

  1. Which one of your projects rest move heavily on your mind?
  2. Which of the books you’ve started do you have the most creative passion to finish.
  3. If you can’t decide, talk it through with a friend who stirs your creative soul.
  4. Is there a project that is closer to completion than any of the others? Focus on that one first.
  5. Set a time each day dedicated to the completion to that project and be faithful to put effort and focus into it.
  6. While good ideas are going to continue to come—jot them down, but don’t go beyond that. Put your energy and focus into that project you want to see become something great.

A good idea will only be good in your mind, until you finish it. It can become that great idea when you finish it and are able to share it with others.

Are you looking for help with your next project? Connect with us on the contact page here.

 

Arranging Your Ideas

Shanna D. Gregor

I am one of those few people who absolutely and completely enjoyed that portion of the grammar class. I believe my love for order, for organization and for the process flow are all somehow tied to that. Writing is a progression. It is a sequence a writer must follow in order to produce his or her finished piece of art. (Yes, writing is an art!)

When ywoman with camera - Arranging Your Ideasou’re reading, writing or editing—you are looking for order. You want your art to flow from one component to the next—from one sentence to the next and from one paragraph to the next. The important key is coherence. You want your ideas arranged in a clear and logical order that holds the paragraphs together. Here are three ways to meet those goals and organize your writing:

  1. Order of importance challenges you (the writer) to order your paragraph or chapter from most important to least important, or you can do the reverse by starting with the least important and build toward a climax at the end of the paragraph. You want to choose the formula that gives your writing the most dramatic power as you deliver it.
  2. Space order is all about the big picture. Through space order, you give your reader a panoramic view (like a camera’s eye) of the person, place or thing you are describing. You want to define the scene from left to right, floor to ceiling or from background to foreground. (You can mix these up, but I think you get the picture.)
  3. Time order arranges ideas chronologically. Whatever you are writing can follow the logical order of time. You give your reader an understanding of events from past to present or present to past.

Are you looking for help with your next project? Connect with us on the contact page here.

Your Book—What Sets Your Message Apart?

When marketing your book, it’s vital you differentiate your work from everyone else out there. Once you know your message, your story—what sets your work apart from others? Better yet, what will bring your work to the forefront and cause it to stand taller than all the others?

Research Your Topic and Working Title

What books are out there with similar messages? Amazon.com is an easy place to find research with their advanced book search. You can search your title to see if anyone has used your title before. It can also bring up similar titles and their publication dates. It can prove interesting to look out how well that book performed in sales.  If you open any title, you can scroll down to the “Amazon’s Best Seller’s Rank” under product details and see how well the book preformed on Amazon. The Copyright Office is another great resource.

pexels-photo-library

What Sets Your Message Apart?

What do you have to say that hasn’t been said before? Okay, maybe it’s been said before, but you have a new perspective that can bring a deeper understanding. Maybe it’s story you want to share. Perhaps you have some amazing fictional characters the world has never seen just waiting to demonstrate who they are?

Ask yourself the questions a reader will ask when they pick up your book in a bookstore or come across it online.

  • What’s this book about?
  • Why do I need it?
  • What will I learn?
  • What experience can I expect from it?
  • Why should I read it?

The answers to those questions should compel others to notice your book, be drawn to it, buy it and read it?

Reading for New Inspiration

by Shanna D. Gregor

I think I was born with a love for books. I remember my mom reading The Pokey Little Puppy and The Little Engine That Could until I could read it myself. Reading opens the door to new worlds and stirs the creative hearts of everyone—especially writers.

With the information and technology at our fingertips today, you can open your computer or tablet and read about anything your heart desires. I like to search quotes online about topics I’m interested in writing about. I enjoy reading blogs others post to get a differHouse libraryent perspective for something I’ve been thinking about. Sometimes I just flip through magazines to see what crazy idea pops into my head.

Sometimes social media can be a good source of inspiration. What others are saying and sharing can stir my pot of creativity as well.

As you read to be inspired, make sure you stop and take notes. Don’t let your inspiration fizzle into thin air, but capture your thoughts in your journal or save them in an ideas document for later.

 

Stirring the Pot of Creative Ideas

People Watching—Stirring the Pot of Creative Ideas

Shanna D. Gregor

I don’t travel by plane a lot, but when I do, I take the opportunity to watch people. Unknown to them, people on the way here and there, become a great inspiration for my writing. Their facial expression, actions, conversations and lack of conversations stir my pot of creativity.people in airport

A delayed flight or an exceptionally long layover used to upset me, but now I kick into observation mode and look for a good place to plant myself out of the way with a good view of people coming and going. I imagine what I can do with all the unique and interesting exchanges that go on right before my eyes.

I remember a mom traveling with three little ones. (Parents with little ones are usually quick to catch my attention.) The tiny infant had 99% of mom’s attention as she tried to feed the hungry little one. A dark-headed, dark-eyed little boy, who looked to be about five, followed his excited two- or so-year-old sister with the same dark hair and eyes to the water fountain. My first thought was, Eww! She’s going to drink out of that!

I watched as the sweet big brother struggled to help his little sister reach the fountain. It took a lot of work on his part, and I thought about going over and helping, but I didn’t want to interrupt their exchange. The little boy was so sweet and careful, encouraging her not to get her hair and dress wet. His face was red from all the huffing and puffing.

As they concluded their time at the water fountain and went back to Mom, I put some notes in my phone to remind me of the observation and the many ideas of what had popped into my head. My time watching mom and her three kids gave me lots of ideas for upcoming blogs and devotions for several of my clients.

People watching can inspire you in many directions. Take some time to people watch and see how your quiet time observing inspires you!

 

My Favorite—the Em Dash

Shanna D. Gregor

We all have things that we favor. A few of mine are chocolate gelato over vanilla, a caramel macchiato over the Americano, or the color blue over the color green. So favorites also exist when it comes to how I express myself when I write.

I completely and totally favor the em dash over ellipsis. People use them interchangeably, but they each have specific purpose and shouldn’t be confused. I think my reason for preferring the em dash to ellipsis is because many people use ellipsis in artwork, when visually I find the ellipsis distracting on a billboard or in an email header, (but that’s a bunny trail from the purpose of this writing).

According to AnMy Favorite—the Em Dashn Stilman in her book, Grammatically Correct, the em dash serves four functions, to:

  1. Mark off a descriptive element or digression
  2. Mark an abrupt break in structure or turn in content
  3. Indicate interrupted or scattered speech
  4. Set off the source of a quotation

Ann also shares the ellipsis, a word from the Greek meaning “to leave out,” or “fall short,” has three functions, to:

  1. Specify omissions in quoted material
  2. Indicate hesitation or trailing off in spoken words
  3. Impart extra significance to a sentence

I am constantly thinking. Ideas and creative thoughts interject my flow all the time. When I write, I want to interject a thought—sometimes mid-sentence—and the em dash performs very well to indicate interrupted or scattered speech.

Are you looking for help with your next project? Connect with us on the contact page here.

Gregor Connections LLC