We all could use an uplifting book right about now.
Here on the website I’ve written about Up Lit a couple of times and encouraged writers like you to try their hand at it. Now I’d like to go one step further and help you to find the inspiration to do so. After all, Up Lit can inspire us all.
Up Lit is a literary genre of life-affirming stories that are full of hope, kindness, joy, empathy, humor, compassion and love. Up Lit isn’t just syrupy sweetness, nor is it a form of unenlightened escapism. Up Lit takes into account our complex lives and the often difficult world we live in. Yet, through its stories, Up Lit reminds us that human existence isn’t futile, but something worth recognizing and celebrating.
At first glance this may seem like a tall order from one book, especially if you don’t have a lot of fiction writing experience under your belt already. However, the task doesn’t have to be daunting; I believe that most of us have an uplifting story inside of us to share, and any writing project is best approached one day at a time.
I hope the following suggestions help you to find the right inspiration to write an uplifting book of your own.
Short quotes might be authored by famous people, ordinary people or anonymous souls, but just the same, quotes inspire, provoke, challenge and soothe those who can recognize the wisdom within them.
Find a book or website filled with quotes. Read them until you find one or more that deeply resonate with you and encapsulate the uplifting message that you desire to write about.
Copy these quotes into your notebook, frame them on the wall, turn them into your computer screensaver or put them anywhere you like. Just make sure that you have them handy. As you start to write your book, consider these quotes to be your guide. And don’t be shy about incorporating them into the text of your book, such as in the introduction or as a way to begin each chapter, either. These quotes can show you and your readers the way.
Sometimes you’ll see a movie that you can’t get out of your mind easily. It sparks a range of emotions, makes you hopeful and lifts your spirits to the sky.
Take note of these kinds of movies. Then when you have a short list, rewatch them and analyze them. Consider the situations, actions and elements that contribute to the eventual uplifting effect. After all, writing is a wonderfully powerful art, but there is a lot of science that goes into it too. Try to find the right uplifting formula.
Try to be aware of and reflect on all of the emotions that the movies evoke in you, including when in the action and how. Rewatch the movies as necessary until you feel reasonably confident of your answers.
Movies can help you hone your observation skills and then give you the inspirational fuel necessary to test and create your own hypotheses, and turn science into art.
I encourage people to write their memoirs for a variety of reasons, but whether you will end up writing your memoirs or not, fiction can also be a great outlet for writing about some of your experiences.
I encourage you to sit down and spend some time doing the following exercise with a notebook and a pen, or a computer in front of you. Take notes as you see fit.
One by one, think about all the different periods in your life. Think about everywhere you’ve lived, everywhere you’ve gone to school, everywhere you’ve worked, every significant person in your life, etc. Then think about different things you’ve done and seen and different experiences you’ve had in the different stages of your life. If you like, review photos, journals and other materials you might have available.
Are there one or more periods, situations, feelings, etc. that you feel warrant being explored in depth through a largely fictional uplifting book? If so, don’t be afraid to tap into them, let them guide you and serve as the inspiration for your uplifting fictional work.
Be a Contrarian
Do you like to debate others or take pleasure in getting your point across? If so, then this suggestion is for you.
Open up or turn on your media of choice (or go and ask others for their suggestions), and choose one or more grim examples of human thought and behavior. While some of them may simply disgust you, others may light a fire under you. And that’s what we’re looking for now – with a constructive goal in mind.
Find one or more examples that you feel passionately obligated to counter. Then latch onto this inspiration; it will serve as the roadmap for your uplifting book and hopefully as a catalyst for positive change.
Dudley Court Press
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