Stop Writing or Never Stop Writing?

Ten Things That Inspired Me This Week

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Photo Credit: Me, Weekly coffee date with my son @ Brickhouse Coffee Co.

Since the holidays I’ve been considering wrapping up my writing career and moving on. I love writing. In fact, all I want to do is write and most of the time it is all I do. I live it, breathe it, I go nowhere without being notebook ready to jot down ideas. I take hundreds of photos in order to remember those moments I wish to transform into words.

There’s another side to being a writer, though. For those of us who write I know you understand. It’s time consuming and not profitable. There’s a scientific term for it. I believe it’s called, “Feeling defeated.”

Here are tens things that inspired me this week:

  1. The truth.

There’s a gravitational pull between by fingertips and my keyboard and I can’t seem to stop myself from writing. I went one day without writing this week and that’s only because I was distracted by my insanely- motivated husband who believes days off from work are intended to complete as many “at home” tasks as humanly possible. I’m more of a, Do we have to get out of bed,? girl myself.

This is # 979,842 on the list of things he and I don’t agree on.

But even on the day I didn’t write three separate story ideas found me. If they’re finding me then it’s meant to be, right? Write.

One of those story ideas have already been put into action. It’s personal and painful and I found it to be self motivating after I read the final draft. I needed this story and in a way, I’d like to believe it needed me to write it.

It’s allowed me to acknowledge and accept that I have far too many stories to tell to quit writing. I need to keep writing for myself and for those of you who choose to read my stories and be a part of my life.

2. How Spider Saved Halloween, written by Robert Kraus.

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A brief synopsis: Spider is feeling shitty about himself. His friends are wearing super disguising costumes for Halloween but no matter what he tries he still looks like him and he just doesn’t think he’s good enough, get it? Okay.

By the end of the story (I don’t want to give away too many details) he becomes the hero after his friend’s are robbed of their candy and now he’s feeling all good about his spider-self.

There’s a line from the story that I often think about when I’m struggling or just having a crap day in general. During the intense scene of Spider’s turning point he decided to stop feeling sorry for himself and start feeling sorry for his friends. Reading requires critical thinking and when I read this I interpreted it as everyone is going through their own thing. No one’s life is perfect and we should be looking out for each other.

I drew my own version of Spider to hang up in my workshop as a reminder of this valuable life lesson.

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(Side note: There’s a collection of books/ stories on holidays Spider has saved)

3. Matt Haig’s writing advice.

1) Stare out of window 2) Worry about fascism 3) Open a Word doc 4) Stare at its Arctic blankness 5) Sigh 6) Go on Twitter 7) Sigh again 8) Don’t do any writing

4. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Gladiator, starring Russell Crow has been my go to movie since its release in 2000. I’ve probably watched it over 100 times and it always gives me the same feel good vibes at the end. I feel triumphant and powerful as if I could conquer the evil in my own kingdom and set shit straight.

I recently got hooked on the Amazon Prime original series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for the same reason. It gives me the same feeling. It’s funny, liberating and Rachel Brosnahan makes it impossible not to fall in love with the lead character, Midge.

5. Creative handmade packages to send to supporters who shared my website link on their social media.

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I truly enjoy putting these little gratitude packages together and it feels rewarding to create for the people who make a contribution to keep me up and running.

6. When my teenage son is being lazy and sends me a text from his bedroom.

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Why am I not this cool? Why don’t I think of these things? No words, just pure awesomeness in a media message.

7. Micheal Finkel.

In last week’s Ten Things That Inspired Me This Week I had written about the book Stranger in the Woods, written by Michael Finkel and Michael Finkel- THE Michael Finkel shared my article on Twitter.

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I’m personally more excited about the, “wonderfully foul-mouthed,” part than I am the “addictively readable.”

8. Other writer’s stories.

Medium has certainly made it a challenge to read the writers I most enjoy. They’ve kind of got this click bait- mainstream media featured thing going recently. I have to search for the buried and this week I started making it a point to do so. I’ve been dedicating an hour each day to reading stories from “my network” and it’s been the best.

9. A gift from a friend.

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Salvador Dali postcards. This made my week. I opened a package sent from a friend and these were hiding in there with what he told me he was sending. It was an awesome surprise and I squealed. I love zoning out on these photos while sitting at my workbench contemplating the universe.

10. Readers, supporters and followers.

Thank you to all that have become a patron, made a contribution, shared my stories on social media and who continue to read my work. I’ve kind of been in a personal (more like emotional) slump lately and you all have inspired me to keep going even when I’m not feeling at my best. I am grateful.

Erika Sauter is a writer and artist. She currently lives in Small Town, Iowa with her husband, children and eight cats. Her hobbies include excessive reading, eating her feelings and shamelessly adding self-promo links in her bio. You can support her work at and- or follow her creative endeavors on Medium. She feels awkward writing about herself in third person.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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