Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creating a Personal Inspiration Book

A Journal with a Difference
By Debbie Roome

Have you ever read a sentence or paragraph that really sticks in your mind or something profound that triggers a stream of thoughts or memories? I often find this happening and for a couple of years now, have recorded these words into a book. I use a journal that contains beautiful photographs and call it my Inspiration Book.

Is it Plagiarism to Copy People’s Words
If I used their phrases in my own writing, it would be classed as plagiarism ... but I don’t. I use them to prompt my own creativity; to help me come up with something new and fresh. Somehow, the process of reading skilled writing and deep truths causes something within me to respond.

How can I Start my own Inspiration Book
I’ve found a blank journal with a peaceful cover and photos inside adds to the value of the content. This is a picture of the one I use, plus a shot from inside. Browse the stationery shelves in your area and choose something that suits your temperament. There is a wide range available from zany to reflective to modern to dreamy.

Write the Words by Hand
Although I end up typing almost everything I write, I often scrawl it on paper first. There’s something about a raw sheet of paper that begs for a pen and a dash of creativity. I’ve thought about typing pages and gluing them into my journal but handwritten words work best for me in this context. They’re natural, free-formed and from the heart.

Include Scriptures
There are some incredible word pictures in the Bible that fit perfectly into a journal of this kind. Psalm 1:3 (NIV) is one of my favourites:

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

Add to it Regularly
Keep the journal on a shelf or somewhere near your reading and writing area. If you read something that resonates, copy it down or if away from home, make a note of it and do it later. It’s an ongoing discipline but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Read it Occasionally
Don’t read it too often or the words will lose some of their effect. I pick out pages here and there if I need inspiration and that is often enough. It’s like priming a pump so a fresh flow of water can come bursting through.

My Inspiration Book is a personal creation that means a lot to me. Others might enjoy browsing through it, but I can remember where the words came from and the impact when I first read them. I’m glad I started recording them and intend to keep it as a lifelong habit.

Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Visit her at Debbie Roome or read some of her work at Suite 101 , Take Root and Write and Faithwriters.

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