Finding inspiration to write is often difficult especially if you are like me and rely on the amenity of your personal space. My creature comforts. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling and wish I could do it more often (minus flying in small-sized planes during rainstorms. I could totally do without that), but writing while away is a completely different animal. Beyond the schlepping of books and electronic writing utensils, traveling is distracting. New places, new people, things to do and sites to see take me out of my focused head space and I don’t need any more distractions…trust me my hands (and head) are full.

Anyhow, last week I took a much-needed trip back East to visit family in Burlington Vermont. Knowing I would not be home with my three computers, constant access to the internet and all the accessible things my big city offers, my synapses began to fire rapidly. What if my laptop dies, or my iPad breaks, or the cords get eaten by snakes, or my desktop explodes…hey it could happen. Look, this wasn’t a 5-alarm panic, but it still registered at around 3. I know I sound like an out of touch ancient being (perhaps I am…still not telling) since every person on the planet has, at the very least dial-up or knows someone who does and just shy of an act of congress, Starbucks is mandatory on every street in every town in the USA. But regardless, my rationale doesn’t always function when needed.

As is always the case, I was once again worried for no reason.

Burlington is not Appalachia. It is in fact a fledgling, not large, but big enough city and my trip was easier than expected. The stunning state alone could inspire even the most literary averse to pick up the plume, so describing my experience as amazing would be a grave understatement. As my wise cousin Nan would say, the experience was “Delish” both figuratively and literally. The picturesque town that sits watch over the behemoth Lake Champlain is breathtaking and so is the surrounding sense of community pride and local charm. Bravo Vermont for all your hippie, sustainability wonder, we should all be so future focused.

The moral of this story is that my entire ridiculous dysfunctional freak out was not grounded in reality. So what did I do about it? Absorbed my surroundings and made the world around me become my inspiration. I snapped pics of as much beauty as I could in an attempt to capture the essence of my surroundings; however, photos cannot convey the entirety of the experience (especially with a novice behind the lens), so my emotional encounter with the state will be translated through my writing one way or another.

That is how I overcame writers block and found inspiration in my surroundings…now go find yours.


Sara O'Connor
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