Here at WriterMag.com,
we’re happy to offer another online-exclusive column, this one dedicated to
keeping you inspired. Brandi-Ann Uyemura (at left), a freelance writer and contributor to
The Writer magazine and this website, has been blogging for several years about
writing, creativity and things that move her. In her Inspiration Zone columns,
she’ll share practical tips as well as techniques to motivate you.
In addition to her
writing, Brandi, who earned a master’s in counseling psychology, works as an
associate editor at Psych Central, “the Internet’s largest and oldest
independent mental health and psychology network,” which Time named one of the
50 best websites in 2008.
We asked Brandi to tell us
about her own writing process as well as her plans for the column:
What inspires you?
For me, it may be easier
to answer what doesn’t inspire me. I am inspired by anything that tickles my
five senses, from the wind to the trees. Music, even a really delicious piece
of chocolate cake or a whimsical pattern, an underdog. Something or someone who
makes my heart skip a beat, which forces me to stop, take notice and feel
grateful. Those are a few of my favorite (inspiring) things.
I took a hiking meditation
class once. The teacher showed us how to use all our senses to capture each
moment. She said to zoom in on one thing as if your eyes were a camera.
Learning to focus and take notice really helped me to find inspiration in
ordinary things that people sometimes miss and overlook.
How do you make the
writing process fun?
I like this question
because most writers wouldn’t ordinarily equate writing with fun. The process
itself can be daunting. But I think there are ways to make it fun by being
creative: Going on a mini-retreat, where I can see trees out my window and hear
nothing but the sound of rain or horses or birds nearby. Splurging on a new pen
or a notebook helps, too.
Do you have a routine
that helps you get into a writing zone or creative flow?
I know of a writer who has
to write in the morning or else his day is shot. For me, I can write in the day
or the night. I guess my routine is not having one. All I really need is a
quiet space, enough sleep the night before and something to write with. If I’m
really having a difficult time getting started, I’ll listen to instrumental
music, read or meditate.
What do you enjoy most
The act of creating. I
love the process of seeing an idea come to life kind of like Frankenstein’s
monster. There is also that delicious part of writing where you feel like what
you write may impact another. That type of writing always gives me goose bumps.
What can we expect from
Writing can feel like being
in a marathon. There are moments when you want to give up, when you think you
won’t ever reach your goals. It’s a psychological race with yourself to finish.
My hope is to provide you with fresh new ways of perceiving the writing
process. Expect tips and inspiration to motivate you on your journey, making it
a whole lot more palatable and even fun in the process.
Find Brandi’s column the
third Wednesday of the month. Look for the “Columns” tab on the home page, and
select “Inspiration Zone.” (We’ll also post links to the latest columns on our
Facebook page and in our Twitter feed.) In Brandi’s debut column, she suggests
five ways to get inspired. We hope that you will feel more inspired, and be
sure to let us know what works for you!
C. Lange, associate editor