While I’ve actively participated in the #YourTurnChallenge, writing every day, reading the writing of other authors, and joining conversations in the facebook group, this will be the first day that I’ve written to any of the daily questions that Winnie provided in case we got stuck.  Today’s question is “What are you taking with you from this Challenge?”  As you might guess from the title of today’s post, I’ve been inspired.  I’ve experienced three levels of inspiration over the course of the week:

1) Strategic inspiration

I joined the challenge to jump start my blogging and add some external pressure, since I would be accountable to all the others participating in the challenge.  I joined a tribe for the positive peer pressure it provided, and the benefits have been enormous: I have learned that I can write everyday, I’ve learned that the more I write and think about writing the more I have to say, and I now know that I can translate those skills to my personal blogs.  Maintaining consistency will be an ongoing challenge, but I know that I can do it if I hold myself accountable.

2) Artistic inspiration

I added an additional personal challenge of not only blogging, but working in my glass studio every day, and making that commitment got me motivated to think about new images and approaches.  I had to make something, or I wouldn’t have anything to blog about.

What I didn’t expect was to receive direct inspiration from one of the challenge members.  They admired my heart shaped beads, and commented that hearts are a natural for romance authors.  That directly inspired me to experiment with techniques I haven’t used much (see yesterday’s post), and I’m fairly happy with the results:

I doubt if I’ll make 100 heart shaped beads decorated with quill pens, and I may never sell one, but the idea was a gift, it motivated me to work with methods that I had little experience with, and I gained skills that I can apply to other ideas in the future.  For that I thank Monica Stoner,

3) Hope for the future

Some days it seems like there’s a never ending supply of bad news.  Cruelty, selfishness, greed, shortsightedness, willful ignorance, deception, manipulation, laziness, the list goes on and on.  I’m not a saint, or a genius, but there are days when I think the end of the world is at hand (or should be).  But when I read the work that others have submitted to this challenge I realize there are a lot of smart people in the world, capable of doing outstanding work, and that gives me hope.  This tumblr blog won’t directly change the world, but as long as good people continue to do the right things we have a chance.