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The swirl and color of autumn leaves. The first flowers peeking their heads through the still-cold earth in spring. Lying in the grass on a warm summer night, staring at the stars or the full moon’s silver orb. The hush of winter snowfall. The owl’s hoot. The deer’s wide gaze. The calming scent of lavender. The magic, pungent scent of burning sage.

I stare down a forest path and I wonder: What lies down that path? If I take it, will I encounter wolves, faeries, goblins, magic? Will it lead me to another world, or simply to a deeper understanding of myself?

Those are the questions I ask as I set off on my writing journey. The most meaningful writing digs down deep, to ask the questions that baffle us most, in search of an answer we may or may not find. The most powerful writing touches on our sources of inspiration, calls upon the power of the five senses and in doing so, allows the mind and spirit to dance, a spiral dance deep to the heart of the writer, where the magic happens.

For me, nature has always been my most powerful source of inspiration. Because I am a Pagan, a Goddess daughter walking a nature-based path, nature also means magic to me. It’s the magic asleep in a polished bit of amethyst or a clear quartz crystal. It’s the cleansing power of sage, the passion waiting to be awoken by a red rose petal, the majesty of the oak leaf, the poetry of the willow’s weeping branches.

My fiction certainly draws on these things. Journaling helps remind me of the sources of inspiration, draws them closer to me. Poetry has its own magic, and lately I’ve been experimenting with haikus, in which language is stripped to its bare bones to harness its true power.

Whenever I’m lost on my journey, it’s because I’ve wandered from the heart’s center. I’m too focused on the product and not the journey. When I sit down to write, I try to find that center, to call upon the Goddess and nature and allow that to guide me on the story’s journey.

My goal for 2017 is to remain close to those sources, to stay true to my writer’s heart. With that in mind, here are my goals for Round One of A Round of Words in 80 Days (join us on Facebook here):

  • Write 300-500 words daily. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed lately, so I’m aiming for something small.
  • Stay close to sources of inspiration by meditating, doing yoga, journaling, spending time in nature, and exploring other creative outlets. (See specific, measurable goals below.)
  • Journal at least three times a week.
  • Explore another creative outlet at least twice a week.

What about you? What inspires you? What sources of inspiration are in your writer’s heart, and how do you connect to those sources?

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