I don’t remember much about the movie Center Stage. I think I saw it once in college, but one scene has stuck with me.

One of the would-be ballet stars is frustrated in her studies and returns to the studio late at night only to find her teacher already there, practicing gracefully in the semi-darkness.

The teacher pats her hand along the dance bar and says, “No matter what happens, how bad it gets, how many distractions fight for your attention, always return here. It all starts here.”

I feel that way about good books or, really, a good story in general. It can be a book, a movie, a real-life tale. Something about the idea of great characters and stories that lift us up calls to me. For me, that’s where it all starts, and when I need a renewal, that’s where I always come back to. It gives me strength and happiness.

How about you? Where’s your place of renewal?


  1. I always go to books for renewal too. Great post.

  2. A good book is healing! Wonderful thoughts, Nicole!

  3. I love the movie center stage! I've watched it a billion times, haha :) but yes, I do the idea of going back to how it all started and remembering why you have a passion for writing in the first place. Wonderful post :)

  4. That's a great image of going back to the bar (ballet bar not the whiskey bar :P ) for inspiration. A really great novel will do that for you as you're reading -- remind you of what you're working toward.

  5. Aww! That sounds like such a great scene. I can see how going back to the start can help. :)

  6. Back to basics so to speak. A good story always does it. So does music.

  7. Lovely post. And I agree it always helps to back to that place. A good book always renews me.

  8. LOVE this Nicole! I haven't seen that show, but I love the part that you shared for us. It's important to remember that stuff. I like to turn to a good book too!

  9. Well said!!

    This is one of the best posts I've read yet. Super.

    I'm keeping this post to read when I'm down and needing a little inspiration. Thanks!

  10. Oh! I remember that scene! I love that you're relating it back to writing. You are so right! Great post. :)

  11. It feels great to get lost in a good story. When I need an extra inspirational kick, I tend to turn to music. Good music helps me see the world in a different light quickly, where a story is more gradual (with key moments). Fantastic post! :)

  12. I'm with you. There's something special about a great story. It has a life of its own.

  13. Natalie - Thanks!

    Emily - I agree.

    J.A. - I really need to watch it again. ;)

    L.G. - Exactly

    Cherie - The scene definitely stuck with me.

    Alex - Yes! Music is fantastic for this.

    Christine - Can't beat a great book. :)

    Leigh - Glad you enjoyed the post!

    Huntress - I'm all about spreading the inspiration. ;)

    Rachel - I know! It's the one I always remember too.

    Michael - Good point about the difference between books and music. You're right, and I use 'em both. A lot!

    Lynda - Yup. And the best ones pull us right in.

  14. That's a great insight to have. A really great story inspires me to move forward.

  15. Reading something will inspire me. Just being out in nature will help as well.

  16. my desk is a comfort zone no matter what i get done!

    and i love your survey, below. goes along with sitting at the desk. sometimes i find time to write, sometimes i dont... it all depends!

    happy monday!