Project Inspire // appreciating some pretty cool people

Hello, minions!

Today, we clear the stage for Project Inspire. What is Project Inspire, you ask?


Look, I’m a rather miserly soul when it comes to my writing, and generally maintain the attitude of–


But I’m not so arrogant that I won’t admit if it weren’t for the people who’ve cheered me on over the years, I would be a slimy little vegetable peel in a gutter somewhere.

And that’s what this tag is about: Young writers giving recognition and appreciation to the silent forces behind their work, the comrades who deserve more credit for who we’ve become than even we ourselves do.

Beautiful, right? You know something can’t be too bad if I’m willing to write sappy things about it.

That said, let’s go over some guidelines:

1. Thank and link back to who’s blog you first saw the tag on; link back to the creator of the tag. Which would be… *drum roll* Jenna Terese! Thank you for creating such a lovely and positive project.

2. Answer the questions given. Hmm, not sure if I can do this one… 😉

3. Include 5 of the biggest things you’ve learned about writing, and how they’ve change you.

3. Don’t tag anybody. We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to take part in this. So at the end of your post, leave the open invitation to any of your readers that wants to do the tag.


01. Who’s someone who has inspired and motivated you to pursue writing?

Fun Fact: When I first started writing, I kept it secret for an entire year.

I was young, and for that reason, I knew people would think of my book only as a phase — something I’d abandon eventually. I didn’t want to be viewed with patronizing condescension — “Cute little Sarah writing her cute little book.” So I didn’t tell anyone, not even the members of my own family.

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MY MOTHER. Because if anyone was going to cheer me on, it would be her.

This woman has endured many, many moments of silent hysteria on my part, and more than a few occasions of having to drag my face out of the corner of the sofa. She puts up with my incessant jabbering about the deep thematic symbolism of potatoes. We quote Lord of the Rings together. She listens to me mutter incoherently when I’m trying to work out plot-holes.

She may have absolutely no clue what her whacko child is talking about, by golly, she supports it.


02. Who encouraged you when you felt like giving up?

My sister may take me down a notch when my ego gets the best of me, but she’s also 100% ready to pull me out of the miry depths of discouragement when I fall prey to my own perfectionism.

Albeit in some very… unconventional ways. (ie, “Sarah, stop being stupid and keep writing,” or my personal favorite, “Sarah, God will hold you personally responsible if you slack off on His book.”)

Anna is epic.


03. Was there a person (or even a blog post) that came at just the right time to give you the boost or motivation when you needed it?

*stares blankly* What is… motivation?

Okay, but seriously: If ever there was a work of Providence in my writing history, it was the moment Kate Flournoy took me under her wing. She’ll never admit it because she’s terribly humble, but this girl is a writing superhero who flew into my life one day like a literary hurricane, tearing everything apart and putting it back together in a way that was beautiful beyond what I could’ve ever hoped for.

She has an uncanny habit of publishing blog-posts or sending notes saying what I need to hear right when I need to hear it — not to mention she’s a pretty cool person in general, even beyond the writing realm.

Kate, you’re a keeper.


04. Who’s always been there for you, through thick-and-thin with your writing?

My best friend and kindred spirit, Emma Flournoy. Guys, this girl hasn’t just been there for my writing through thick-and-thin (though let’s be honest, I’ve spent a good deal of time whining at her about writers’ block, which she’s suffered through admirably); she’s poured such love, loyalty, and encouragement into my entire life that without her, there’s a good chance I never would’ve become the effervescent whacko who mouths off in the bloggisphere and doses your Thursdays with sarcasm.

If you see her in the comments (which she’ll probably avoid like the plague after I say this), do me a favor and gang up on her with virtual chocolate and glitter. She deserves it.


05. Who’s helped you make your writing better, wasn’t afraid to give you honest feedback, and helped improve your craft?

To the folks of the Kingdom Pen forum (you know who you are) — ZIKERS. You guys taught me everything I know about writing and showed me what it truly means to be a young creative with a mind for God. (Even when it did involve someone pointing out to my poor, insecure 14-year-old self that I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. #TotallyNotBitter 😏)

(Also, you’re the reason I’m now such a psychology nut. Thanks for corrupting me.)

Long live the raspberries. And frogs.


06. Who’s given you doses of healthy laughter that brighten your day and bring a smile to your face?

My buddy Danielle. Or Snapper. Snaps. Honey Lamb. My personal favorite is “Kid.” (Don’t ask…)

Back in the days when Kingdom Pen was still running, we were the rambunctious two-year-olds of the forum who derailed many a serious conversation with Loki gifs, banter, incendiary insults, and a shared love for How to Train Your Dragon.

She’s inspiring. And funny. Being funny is very important. *nods sagely*


07. What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

“Write what you know,”
So they say, all I know is I don’t know what to write
Or the right way to write it.

~”Watch What Happens,” Broadway’s Newsies

Yes, I’m joking.

(Though seriously, this song is the most genuine thing to ever hit the writing species. Inspirational? Not really. Relatable? Tragically so.)

Ha! It’s a cinch!
It could practically write itself–
And let’s pray it does, ’cause as I may have mentioned,
I have no clue what I’m doing.

*cough* As I was saying–

But give me some time, I’ll be twice as good as that six months from NEVER.

Yeah, I’ll go now.


08. Is there someone you just want to take a moment to thank, for anything?

I’d like to thank the Mayan civilization of 900 A.D. for discovering the edible quality of cocoa. They have no idea that thousands of years later, a semi-crazy writer girl would stake her survival on their groundbreaking advance in the world of modern cuisine.

I also want to thank my dad for eating all the toast I’ve accidentally burnt over the years. He’s a long-suffering fellow, to be sure.


09. What author and/or book inspired you to write better stories and motivate you to strive to give your message to the world?

The Chronicles of Narnia were the force which eventually pushed me over the edge of the writing precipice and made me take my ambitions seriously. C.S. Lewis holds my infinite respect, and if I have even a 17th of the impact on humanity that he did, I will find my life well-lived.


10. What piece of advice do you want to give to other young writers?

You’ll never have the chance to become good if you give up because you’re bad.

*mic drop*


Five Big Things I’ve Learned

  1. Trying to imitate other writers’ stories will only end in disgrace.
  2. You are what you read, and reading stupid books will result in writing stupid books.
  3. Strong female heroines are overrated.
  4. Paragraphs are actually important. (Crazy, right?)
  5. God cares more about your attitude than your list of pitiful writing accomplishments.

You know what my absolute favorite thing about Project Inspire is?

We’re not allowed to tag anyone.

This is a work of love and appreciation (two things I’m not very good at… #oops), and you can’t finagle people into loving or appreciating. But to those who want to carry on Jenna’s vision of spreading our gratitude across the bloggisphere, GO FOR IT. This is for the people who’ve made our dreams possible.

*contemplates that last sentence*

…I’m starting to sound like a Disney slogan, aren’t I.

Oh horror.

I take it all back.



18 thoughts on “Project Inspire // appreciating some pretty cool people

  1. Aww, this is so sweet, and so fun to read! A drop of golden ray of gratitude shining in the midst of a dim and unthankful world.
    (I may or may not currently be in an Anne of Green Gables mood… XD)
    Anywho, this was truly really enjoyable to read! Thanks for sharing!
    (and you’re right, Kate is incredible. 😀 😉 )

    Liked by 3 people

    1. *headdesk* Can’t even get my grammar right… 😛
      I meant a golden ray of gratitude. Not a drop of golden ray of gratitude. That doesn’t even make sense. 😛 XD

      Liked by 2 people

  2. *eternal squealing* It just made my day to see you do this! Thanks so much! ❤

    "You’ll never have the chance to become good if you give up because you’re bad." -Sarah.
    Words of wisdom, girl. 😉


  3. I’m very pleased to observe that in singing my most meritorious praises, you were astute enough to put my most charming quality right at the front where it belongs. My humility is, indeed, beyond compare.


    Liked by 6 people

  4. uhhhh….

    *gulp gulp*

    *avoids the comments section like the plague*

    HEY GUYS, JUST SO’S YOU’S AWARES— Sarah Baran is the awesomest friend in the world and I’d in all likelihood be dead without her. Or… something like that. Just… ❤
    ALSO, let's hear a round of applause for my amazing older sister, KATE FLOURNOY! *and the crowd cheers* *smirk* I knew she'd get her spot in this. She's truly a writing wizard too, besides letting herself be sent by God just when people need her. It's pretty great. And she writes some pretty awesome books. And is a pretty awesome girl all around. ❤

    Anyway, this is a lovely post. I love seeing all the different people's devotion and stuff that go into making something great, even indirect things. Like suffering through burnt toast. And I agree most strongly with all five of your last points, but especially point 3. Strong female heroines are overrated. EXTREMELY SO.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *flys in* I heard an order for chocolate and glitter was to be delivered here. *throws chocolate and feathers* But I don’t have glitter. So you’re just going to have to enjoy feathers. *tosses more feathers and chocolate to you* Also glitter gets everywhere and is like a parasite… So this probably better. 🙂


      1. D’AWWW. Shucks. ‘ey, feathers and chocolate works. *collects them all and stashes in a safe place, discounting the one piece of chocolate having already mysteriously disappeared* Feathers is pwetty. Have some yerself! 😀 *chocolate and feathers and bugs* Glitter does have that parasitic tendency, does it not…


  5. Kate, in fact, is not just a keeper. She is a /Kapeefer./ 😉 Just sayin’ all Kapeefers are Keepers.

    For the last time, my elvish friend, I am not a kid! Though I’ll be nice and not melt your chair this time. I’m too busy reminiscing. I miss our GIF wars and ceaseless debate on whether or not I am truly a kid.

    (which I am not)


    Long live the frogs and raspberries. (I actually found a picture on pinterest of a frog with a raspberry on its head. I might have to send it to you. XD)

    This post is awesome. 😀 *flings chair-melting gifs of Toothless at you*

    Liked by 2 people


    _YOU LIKE NEWSIES?!!?!?_

    I love Newsies. I sang ‘Watch What Happens’ for an audition a couple months ago.


    Also, so is writing. And your blog.




  7. Okay, I just wanted to say, I perked up at the mention of Mayans and chocolate. Maybe more so the chocolate. XD
    But this project *dies* Yes, yes, yes! Also: “Sarah, God will hold you personally responsible if you slack off on His book.” O_O Okay, I need that kind of motivation in my life right now. XD


  8. Aww, I adored reading this so much! And congrats to you for braving up to share your praise with the blogging world, and the internet. All the people who have helped you along the way sounds like great friends and family. Also, can’t go wrong when Lewis inspired the writing bug hardcore. 😉


  9. It’s always nice to see all the people behind the scenes. Probably why I love watching all the bonus features whenever I watch a movie. 😛
    Yes. Long live the raspberries and frogs! *throws feathers* Long live The Bestest Place on the Internet! *remembers all the fun and crazys of Kindom Pen* For some reason I’m remembering that time (before I had seen Avengers) that you tried to convince me that Loki still had good in him. XD But I said I couldn’t know cause I never watched a movie with him. You shall be happy to know I now agree with you. He has some good in him. Don’t get too happy.

    Liked by 1 person

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