Dec 21, 2016

Inspiration and Relaxation - Annie West

Hi, everyone! As it's almost the end of the year, I've been taking stock lately. I've been thinking about what I've achieved during 2016 and what I might try to do differently in future.

Following Stefanie London's recent post which included a total of words written, I thought I'd try the same thing. I'm stunned to find I've written over 300,000 words this year - that's new stories, not editing. Sadly, as I have a tendency to write long then prune that does not mean I've written 6 x 50,000 word books. It does mean though, that despite some upheavals through the year, I've been writing steadily. One of the reasons for that is sheer determination. Especially since there were upheavals, I was determined to get in and keep writing. Writing also gave me a rather nice place to escape to sometimes.

But there were other factors too and I've been thinking a lot about inspiration and relaxation. I reckon both are necessary for writers. Writing is so much easier if you feel inspired. And if you feel relaxed, the same applies. If I can close my mind off to the world and dive into the story, so I feel I'm actually there, and relaxed enough to enjoy the experience, I find I write better. 

Which leads to the big question - how to find inspiration and relaxation. There's no one answer, of course. But here's one of mine. This is the view from my desk. I look out on the pool and trees. Sometimes I get distracted by the birds coming in to the bird feeder, or eating my flowers. I'm convinced looking out on greenery, and on water, helps me feel relaxed and inspired. After all, I get my best ideas while walking by the water each morning, or while in the shower.  Speaking of water, I live near both the coast and a huge lake. Is it any wonder there are lots of inspirational places to visit? Okay, this photo below was taken at Coogee Beach in Sydney - much further than a stroll away from my place, but you get the idea.

And knowing how inspirational water is to my thought processes, my dear family recently bought me my own private fountain. When I have the door open and sit at my desk I can hear the sound of the water running. Apologies for the quality of the photo. I left it late to write this blog and the shadows are across the fountain but you may be able to make out a lion's head dribbling water into a bowl. I love it!

How about you? Is there something that particularly inspires you, or helps you to relax?

If you're like me, and reading is your other source of relaxation and inspiration, check out the covers of currently available books by the Love Cats on the side bar. You'll see my DESERT KING'S SECRET HEIR  there too. Maybe it would be just the thing for a little Christmas treat?

Annie's current release


  1. Hi Annie

    I have to agree with water being relaxing I can sit and watch it for hours and even better if I have a book to read while doing so :)

    Lovely photos and I do hope that 2017 for you and your family is fabulous and you get lots of writing done because that will mean more stories for us readers :)

    Merry Christmas

    Have Fun

    1. Hi Helen, and best wishes to you and your family for a lovely Christmas. Hope your new year is filled with books!

      Yes, there's something both soothing and stimulating about water. I'd love to have a house with a view of the sea, though people tell me I'd take it for granted if I did. I'd like the opportunity to find out!

  2. Sitting on a lovely beach watching the ocean is always inspiring, but I also love to sit in a quiet garden and look at flowers. I always have my camera with me so I usually am inspired to take photos.Thankfully, there are lots of gardens in Florida.

  3. Ah, Laurie, I'm with you on the gardens. I find the tranquility there is wonderful. I bet you take some terrific photos. My parents were avid gardeners so we spent a lot of time visiting gardens and even now I find they refresh me.

  4. Ooh, you have had a productive year, Annie! Go you. :-) And I really envy you your lion fountain -- love it.

    I don't think it's any secret that I find the beach a wonderful source of inspiration. Reading and music are splendid for relaxation too. And nice ambling walks. May plenty of these feature in 2017! :-)

  5. Hi Michelle, you'll have to visit to see the fountain. I'm so pleased with it.

    Yes, I know you like the sea too, and walks! What a great way to get inspired. I must admit I don't find music particularly inspirational for my writing but maybe I haven't focused on it enough. Yes to the reading too. I love the sound of a year full of reading, walks and beaches. How appealing!

  6. Hello Annie, your has been a very busy and productive year.
    One thing that helps me to relax is to read a book, or if you can be by the sea and hear the waves.
    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your family.

    1. Franca, you've mentioned two of my favourite things. Something I look forward to after Christmas is burying myself in a book. If I can also hear the water - so much the better!

      Thank you for the good wishes! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas too, and a terrific year ahead.

  7. What a lovely piece, Annie. And huge congratulations on your huge productivity this year - that's wonderful news for all your fans, among whom I count myself! More Annie West stories? All good! Happy Christmas and a great new year to all the LoveCats!

  8. Nice to have you drop by, Anna!

    Yes, it's been a big year here and I'm just about ready for a break. yay! Here's hoping readers will enjoy what I've got planned for next year.

    Thanks for the good wishes, and Merry Christmas to you too!

  9. I agree, relaxation is vital for writers. And I can see why you find those lovely views so inspiring :)

    Reading always relaxes and inspires me. I think I write better when I read, so I try to get some reading time in wherever I can. At least3-4 days per week. But life gets in the way sometimes!