Inspiration Overload

by Starla J. King on July 9, 2014

“Believe in yourself!”

“Know you are loved!!”

“Reach for your stars, then go higher!!!”

“Get inspired by this awesome quote I just posted on a pic of a person leaping for joy!!!!”

“Watch what this guy does at 1:19; it’s the most amazing thing you have EVER seen and will change your life forever!!!!!”

Ever have one of those days/weeks/months/(years?) where every exclamation point makes you want to cry … or run screaming into the nearest cave, even if it’s full of bears??

Yeah, me too.  

I’ve been blog-quiet recently because I’m struggling.  Struggling to know how to post something inspirational when I am in — I finally figured out — inspiration overload.

I’m rolling my eyes at almost any inspirational quote.  I’m plugging my ears and grimacing when any audio starts with “I’m so EXCITED to [be here / do this thing ]…!!!”  I’m reaching for a book chock full of sure-fire motivational boosts, then scrunching up my nose and walking away instead.  You can hear crickets in the quiet of my Facebook biz pages (you know, the ones where I post inspirational quotes and photos and stuff?).

That’s not like me.

I usually troll for inspiration, dropping a net of awareness in the morning and pulling it with me all day in the hopes of catching the unique phrase, the idea that blasts my creative walls away, the quote that turns my heart inside out.

But I’m in inspiration overload.

The “sound” of everything online these days is magnified.  The gentle sentiment in a Facebook comment, when added to the gentle sentiment of a gazillion other comments, becomes a blast of unfiltered, fire-hose force.  That one video showing a beautiful act of compassion, when added to the 912 similar ones, suddenly feels like I’m sitting in the dreaded front row of a theatre, fixin’ only for a neckache and crossed eyes.

The constant noise wears away at our emotional skin, and each layer scraped off allows another 10 decibels of sound to come blasting in.

So, then, what can I possibly write here that won’t add to the overwhelming cacophony of encouragements and find-your-strongest-edge challenges?

Maybe just something matter-of-fact about some dry writing technique; a quick how-to post with all the verve of an encyclopedia Wikipedia entry.

But if there’s no heart energy there, why bother writing? (she asks as she looks at her fountain pen nib tattoo… the one she got to remind herself to always write from the heart).

So I offer simply my observations and these questions today:

How do we get inspired when we’re in inspiration overload??

How do we pull the plug and not go down the drain with the detritus?

How do we become so adept and effective at curating inspirational content that we can all start hearing it and feeling it again?

And how do we, as writers, provide our content publicly in a way that dances beautifully, helpfully, supportively on that thin thin line between too quiet and too loud?

I welcome your thoughts, on any of this.  Quietly. 🙂

Oh and here’s a picture.  Shhhhhhhh.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Miriam July 9, 2014 at 9:23 am

What if…

the greatest heart energy is found in the Valley of Baca?

The empty.

The soiled, bloodied face of an angel?

The mirror of light and its absence?

The lonely-in-a-crowd eternity moments?

All secretly, so that we only discover the new after the lonely, satiated, chaotic, bloody emptiness?


Starla J. King July 9, 2014 at 10:52 am

what if, indeed, dear Mir. The churning becoming something new… unexpectedly, and without our realization. Pondering (and appreciating)! <3


Mary July 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

I like this definition of inspiration, “the drawing in of air into the lungs” or simply “the drawing in.” Does overload occur when there is no expulsion or too little expulsion of what we’ve drawn in?


Starla J. King July 9, 2014 at 10:57 am

Marecakes, I too like (love?) the definition/idea of “the drawing in.” I’ve asked myself that question about input (drawing in) vs. output, and am realizing the answer for me lies in the quality of the input. If I’m inputting carefully curated (by me or trusted others) information/inspiration, it then grows and begs to be output through sharing. If, on the other hand, it’s the firehose of random info I see when dashing around various social media sites, I get crammed full but still stay way dry in the inspiration department.

Hmmm. Ok, now I’m looking at the “air into the lungs” part of the definition, and thinking that speaks beautifully to the QUALITY of content. Hmmm again.

good stuff here, kid, good stuff. xo!


Miriam July 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

Oooh…Mary…inspiration: of oxygen! Cannot breathe one direction. Cannot exhale only oxygen. Need to let out some carbon as well! And how do we filter gases during inhalation? If we don’t do it efficiently, do we develop an autoimmune disorder? Or perhaps we just get bronchitis for a while…or a nasty cold?

Now you’ve inspired me to read up on the biological process of respiration.


Starla J. King July 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

oh the metaphorical richness here! (look, I’m back to using exclamation points!!! 🙂 )

AND…. a friend emailed me with a suggestion to read about science. well. There ya have it.


Tara July 28, 2014 at 11:07 am

This happens to me frequently! I know the signs now – rolling my eyes at yet another ‘quote + image’, even if it’s lovely; wanting to write “no this is not ‘Truth’ you idiots” under almost every Pinterest quote that is blatantly nonsense, that kind of thing. 🙂 When that happens I know it’s time to step away. Usually a few hours or a day is enough, but it’s not a pleasant feeling, that kind of drained, heavy, I’ve-seen-this-several-too-many-times-now energy. Harder too when you are also a part of it, because it IS good to be inspired and share inspiration. It’s difficult to do quality over quantity on the internet unless you have a steely self discipline and don’t link hop for hours at a time! Anyway, thanks for sharing this; I always appreciate hearing others’ similar experiences. 🙂


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