Archive for the ‘1-Minute Inspirations’ Category

1-Minute Inspirations—They’re Catching On

July 8, 2011

I posted my first 1-Minute Inspiration the first Wednesday in October 2010. Except for when I traveled in France last month, I’ve created a new one for release each Wednesday morning, totaling 38 of them so far. You’ll find the latest one, entitled “Wall,” at this LINK. It includes a couple of images from my most recent photographic excursion to Normandy.

Our New 1-Minute Inspirations

January 25, 2011

What can you communicate in 60 seconds that matters?
That inspires a little?
That appeals to the eye and the ear?
That touches the heart and the soul?

These questions appear at the top of Willowgreen’s newest website: 1-Minute Inspirations.

Every Wednesday morning Jim Miller releases his latest answer to these questions—a 60-second video incorporating his writing, photography, and voice, usually formed around a quotation he has selected to bring focus to a single encouraging thought.

Jim has been known as a nature photographer, making images from the created world that help express the concepts found in his printed and audiovisual resources. Now he has enlarged the scope of his photography, including images from the human-made world along with images of people themselves.

The 1-Minute Inspirations website opened in early October. You can watch all the Inspirations, including the one just released, at

The 1-Minute Backstory:

January 25, 2011

An Interview with Jim Miller

InSight: Where did the idea for 1-Minute Inspirations come from?

Jim: Early last year I worked with focus groups to test the idea of developing short videos to support and encourage healthcare professionals in their daily work. I created three prototype videos, each between three and five minutes long, and asked people to respond to what they saw and heard.

InSight: And their feedback?

Jim: While this response was not universal, consensus seemed to be “the shorter, the better.” I commonly heard, “We healthcare professionals definitely need encouragement and inspiration but we’re so busy, we cannot take much time to view these.” I remember one man said, “These need to be really short: one minute, no longer.”

InSight: And you said?

Jim: I didn’t say anything. I nodded my head and wrote the comment in my notebook. But I thought to myself, “That’s impossible! 60 seconds to develop a meaningful, useful, inspirational thought? No way!”

InSight: So what led to your developing these Inspirations after all?

Jim: It was several weeks before I opened to the idea. One influence was the realization that most of us experience many complete one-minute messages many times a day. They’re called TV ads. If others can communicate that succinctly, why not I?

InSight: What has been your experience in creating these?

Jim: It’s hard to do! I usually begin with, or include, a quotation from the ages. Normally I write my own additional words as I expand upon the basic idea. But sometimes I don’t use any more words at all—just music and photography.

InSight: And you’re able to keep it to one minute?

Jim: I don’t count the introductory titles or the ending credits, which can account for twenty or thirty seconds. But, yes, the music I choose lasts exactly sixty seconds and that’s the timeframe I work within. Every word counts. So does every image, every dissolve between images.

InSight: Where do the ideas for your themes come from?

Jim: I wish I could tell you. Sometimes I look through my quotation files. I have tens of thousands of them, all on 4 x 6 cards, organized around hundreds of subjects. Sometimes I come across a meaningful idea in a book or magazine. Sometimes a thought jumps out when a person is talking to me. Every once in a while a thought comes from nowhere, seemingly, as I lie in bed at night or as I awaken from a dream.

InSight: Completing one a week seems like a task. Is it?

Jim: Back when I was in the ministry and had to deliver a new sermon every week, I used to say that I was surprised how many weeks of the year had Sundays in them. These days I say that I am surprised how many weeks have Wednesdays in them. But so far, three months into this experiment, I’ve not missed a deadline. When I began, I thought I could do each one in two or three hours’ time. Even now that I have developed a rhythm to this work, it still takes more like eight or ten hours on average to complete each one.

InSight: How long will you carry on?

Jim: I’ve committed myself to doing these for one full year. After that I’ll evaluate. Are they of value? Do many people use them? Am I continuing to enjoy the creative process? Somehow it will all become clear.

InSight: Can people purchase these Inspirations?

Jim: I’ve been surprised when people have asked that question. No, they’re not for sale. They’re free. But perhaps someday I’ll release them in a high quality format as a DVD. Once again, somehow it will all become clear.