Whether you are a writer, a painter, or a librarian – there is nothing like that spark of inspiration. If you are privileged enough to attend conferences in your field, the part that is most fun is when an idea strikes you and you think “Oh! Yes! I can….”
One of the best parts of mentoring someone are those moments when there is shared inspiration. When I’m helping someone with a resume, we look up job opportunities that match their qualifications, and I share some insights into the library field – there are usually moments of excitement. There is renewed hope. People typically wait to find a mentor until they lose hope or passion. Don’t despair. Find a mentor to bounce ideas off of and walk with you on your journey.
This summer, I remembered my passion for writing. The first time I recall someone commenting on my writing was my second grade teacher. After reading one of my papers, she told me I would be a writer some day. In high school, my English teacher said she couldn’t wait to read my future biography. I’ve kept journals of short stories and ideas for years. But it wasn’t until recently that a wave of inspiration came over me to start writing again. I realized that I have a job I enjoy, I work with people who inspire me, and I love sharing my library passion. It was time to start writing again.
So if you get a spark of inspiration – follow it, see where it takes you. If you are afraid of change or where it will take you – do it anyway. If you are looking for a boost of inspiration to create something from within you, I’d recommend two books. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and Oprah Winfrey wrote What I Know For Sure. Both are inspiring. Both will take you on an uncomfortable journey of freedom.
Look Beyond Your Desk
It is important to find inspiration. To be inspired. To collaborate. To network. If you are privileged enough to attend conferences, workshops, and meetings – take advantage of those opportunities. Any time you can look beyond the view at your desk – do it. It is important to keep tradition and great ideas going. But, it is equally important to create and journey into something new.
If you attend one of these opportunities, write down a new idea or an inspiration. You might not be able to do anything about it right now, but you can develop it as you walk on your journey. Perhaps someday the world will get to hear about your idea. I will look forward to it.
If you are not one of the privileged who can leave your desk or your department – look outside the box. Children love playing with boxes. Ask any parent. Be that child. Just because someone gave you a box, doesn’t mean it has to stay a plain, ordinary, brown box. It doesn’t mean you have to sit in your box as if you were in a Time Out. You have been given a quest to learn, to discover, to journey.
What inspires you?
~I’m here to help
References, resources, inspiration, oh my!
Find the amazing David Darrko (Instagram link) who inspires me daily on many platforms, here’s his YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTVuBXgTeztM3S8jaGR7MxA
Be creative and create an online meeting or conference hangout. These creative librarians, Barbara Alvarez & Gwyneth Stupar, shared how they did it.
If you can afford it, take a vacation, go on a retreat, or get away.
If you’re looking for a writer’s workshop you can do from home, a must read is Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way (2002).
I’m inspired by beauty and people’s stories.
If you are on Facebook, find a place or two to network and find support. Jess Bacon wrote the article “The Big HUGE List of FB Groups For Librarians”
Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of library associations, worldwide.
Wikipedia’s list missed an important library association: ABOS – The Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services. Outreach is becoming one of the most important services libraries offer. Find out more about it and the annual conference held throughout the USA. http://abos-outreach.org