Friday Speak Out!: When the Spirit Moves You, Guest Post by Amanda K. Jaros

Friday, November 11, 2011
When the Spirit Moves You

by Amanda K. Jaros

Writing, for me, is essentially practice. Some days I write really fabulous things and it all comes together in a stunning whirl of perfectly chosen words underlain by a deep creative force that gives it all texture.

Some days I write about my toenails.

I think what I am beginning to realize about good writing, as perhaps about a good life, is that writing is best when it is inspired. I always thought inspiration was a beautiful person, a gorgeous flower, a melt in your mouth meal. But that kind of stimulation comes from the mind, and goes back to the mind. Those things can bring on inspiration, certainly, but it is not of what I write.

The inspiration that I have felt on occasion over the years when I write is what artists everywhere would love to capture, to bottle up and bring out when their work is tedious. It is the inspiration that comes from somewhere outside of yourself. It makes your hands paint, it makes your vocal chords tremor, it makes your fingers hit the keyboard or carry the pen so effortlessly and lightly that you are not at all sure the creation is coming from yourself. It flows. There is no thought, no judgment, it just comes out. The editing voice that insists on commenting on what you create has taken a coffee break, and you are suddenly left alone in your room with the one thing we each so desperately want to hold on to. Creation.

I never write so well as when I am writing from that strange place of inspiration. I am not thinking about what to write, or planning or scheduling, or working on the next sentence when I should simply be crafting the sentence in front of me. I am just writing.

Despite wanting it so much, inspiration, it turns out, cannot be grasped. The second you try to hold it, it flees. Then you are left waiting out the times between until it comes again. But, in that time while you wait, you practice. You write every day, you read, you learn about your art. And when the spirit returns, because it always does to those who want to create, you are more ready than ever to capture the moment, and bring voice to the creative force that inhabits the earth.

You cannot search for inspiration, nor can you call if forth at a moment's notice. It comes when you are least expecting it, when you are vulnerable and calm and able to hear. And if you are ready, if you have practiced, if you are deeply open, then when the spirit moves you, as they say, you can allow something powerful to be created. Soon, the inspiring energy will move on and you will go back to writing about your toenails.

Until the next time.

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Amanda K. Jaros is a coffee-a-holic who spends her days in Ithaca, NY. When she is not writing, blogging, or cleaning the house, she is forcing her husband, 5 year old son, and 13 year old stepdaughter to go hiking with her. Amanda blogs her inspiration at

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


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