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HENSLEY: Inspiration is a must

By Judith Hensley
Contributing columnist

Inspiration can change the world. Consider Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, or the Wright brothers. Perhaps others would have been inspired in the same way to create the light bulb, the car, and the airplane eventually. But the inspiration of these men gave birth to inventions that changed the world.

I’m not an inventor, but inspiration is a key ingredient in my life. As a writer and photographer, inspiration is deeply valued. I can’t write my way out of a paper bag without inspiration. I don’t see the world around me worthy or photographs the same way without inspiration. My imagination goes dormant without inspiration.

Most of us, before we accomplish any small or great thing, need some level of inspiration to get it done. Our inspiration may start out as a thought, a question, a visual image, or be born from a conversation with a friend.

Since being hit with health challenges last fall, I find that inspiration for a new writing project eludes me and I’m uncertain of how to finish the projects I’ve begun.

Warrior Women, Steadfast will be the seventh book in the Warrior Women Series. I don’t have enough stories submitted to complete the book and have lost my ability to inspire others to share their stories, it seems. I could write many pages on the topic of god’s steadfast love myself, but this book series is not about me alone. I am a story gatherer. It is my goal to give Christian women a voice on the written page, an opportunity to share their stories of God’s faithfulness and intervention in their lives through good times and bad.

Panther Tales and Other Wild Things is a collection of stories from people who have actually seen a black panther in the wild, or had other remarkable animal encounters. Again, not enough people have responded to fill the pages of this third and final volume of the Panther Tales Series. I know there are people out there who have not shared their stories. I want to give them the opportunity to do so, but am currently lacking the inspiration to encourage and track down people with these stories ready to be told.

Mountain Wisdom, Mountain Folk, Volume II is a collection of Appalachian wisdom, stories, jokes, common sense, and bits of wisdom that are both interesting and will remind people of their Appalachian roots. People get excited about such things when they read them but are not inspired enough to follow through with sharing what they could.

I’ve been asking God to give me the inspiration to finish these things I’ve started, or perhaps to grant me inspiration for an entirely new book of my own.  I’ve written two Christian romance novels. The inspiration for one came pouring out in about a month. The other took years. I’ve written several children’s chapter books. I’ve written books about Appalachia, as well, yet my mind is blank when I try to find another story inside me begging to be told.

Without inspiration, I am a dry well. Over the last several months, since no writing inspiration has come, and God has not deposited a new thought or passion for me to write about on a larger scale, I’ve considered the possibility that it’s time for me to give up writing.

In this season of our lives and of the changes in this world, may we all find our inspiration to do good, to make a difference, to create, to invent, and to make positive changes in the world. When the right person is inspired with the right idea, good things are inevitable. I hope to be one of those who finds the inspiration to allow good things to pass through me through the inspiration God gives.