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By B. Lynn Goodwin.

Sometimes words inspire us; sometimes photos of skies, silhouettes, and special people are worth a thousand words. Inspiration comes in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes it’s anticipated and sometimes it’s unexpected.

What inspires you? Do you have your own set of inspiring photos?

Victoria Falls Mist1
Mist and a roaring wetness rise from Victoria Falls

The mist rising from Victoria Falls shows me the power of nature. It’s so beyond my power. Surely something grander than humans designed this. And what am I, a middle-aged California woman, doing in Africa? I’m seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Life can be amazingly inspiring when you say Just Say Yes.

Four Women @ The Pyramid
Four Women Walking, Talking, Thinking, and Imagining

These are four of the women I write with, walking, talking, imagining, and dreaming during a break on a writing retreat at a private home above Jenner. Their writing inspires me and so does this shot which captures them in a moment where they are simultaneously independent and connected. We have separate lives, but we have a purpose in common: we want to tell our stories and share them with others. What does your favorite shot of friends look like?

Spotlighted by sunlight

I swear it’s the sunlight and not electricity highlighting this retreat nestled in the hills west of Seattle by the edge of the sea. When I first saw this house, I thought its isolation was inspiring, but when I saw it in a photo, my imagination went wild.

R L In Yosemite
R & L in Yosemite

Richard, who is now my husband, offered to take a photo of strangers in Yosemite last summer, and then asked them to do the same for us. At the time, my common sense told me I couldn’t love him, but when I looked at my face, it showed something very different. I love this photo because it tells the whole world that I’m happy, and what could be more inspiring than that?

Sky Clouds
Sculpted Clouds

I shot this on my way to Missoula, Montana to visit my sister and her family. I took it right after I’d turned off from the Interstate heading east and began traveling north. I looked in my rearview mirror, and gasped. Who sculpted those clouds and who backlit them? I pulled over, hopped out, and preserved exactly what I saw before the clouds shifted. Every time I look at them, they lift me up.

Why not write back and tell me what photos inspire you? Or tell me why music or dance or art or your child inspires you more than photos.

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B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, available on Amazon. Her stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career; We Care;, Friction Literary Journal, and The Sun.

A former teacher, she conducts workshops and writes reviews for Story Circle Network and InspireMeToday. She’s working on a YA novel and brainstorming a memoir.

She’s the owner and editor of Writer Advice. Writer Advice recently celebrated its 16th year and runs contests for aspiring and published writers as well as sharing useful tips from experienced writers.

For more information, please visit

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Scrolling through those pictures makes me appreciate all the things that are right in my life. Someday, make a list of the things you accomplish instead of a “to-do” list. Or in addition to a “to-do” list. You might get a whole new picture of yourself.

  2. Great photos! I agree that photos can inspire us. Once someone commented on my blog that I was good at finding images to pair with blog topics. More often than not, the image triggers the topic. When I shoot the images, I rarely know how I might use them. That usually comes later, when I go back through the shots, and they just pass along their own ideas. As I look back at the photos, it’s as if they talk to me, telling me their stories. It lets me relive the moment of the image and it’s bigger message over and over, and to share it, too. Now that is inspiring!

    1. Thanks, Dr. Mike. Different images inspire different people. I love the way photos “…just pass along their own ideas.” What a great concept. Do you share photos and what they inspire in a blog, on a website, or somewhere else?

  3. GREAT post, B. Lynn! I too am inspired by images: ancient rock writings of those who have walked this earth long before us; nature, as it reveals itself in the wonders on this earth; human nature; and animals. I use these images as a ‘spring board’ to my creations in the studio.

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