What form of inspiration do you prefer? I think that is a good place to start. The answer to this question will lead to the answers that your work needs. Some meditative writings probably need some meditation. Just as practicing an instrument makes the music you produce sound better, writers need to practice everything they write about. Most of the time this is just research. I surely do not condone experiencing murder before you begin writing a short novella about a person who murders their whole family. Yet, researching serial murderers or reading a novel like “In Cold Blood” would help someone to write something fantastic and also help to keep you out of jail.
After the excitement of the initial novel idea wears off, our work becomes exactly that, work. The romantic aspect of writing becomes a task or a chore. I feel in my own personal experience that I normally cannot even begin to write when I’m uninspired. Something tugs on me to do anything else. The dishes or walk the dog. I’ve found a way around this. I give myself deadlines, just as we learned in school. This blog post is an example. And boy, did I procrastinate. A poem a day, gives you from sun up till sundown. I know that I have that window to work with, so the work will be less hindered by inspiration and more accepted as something that is hindered by time alone.
I tell myself that the time will be just right,
I will write myself something awe inspiring,
You will love it.
I will love it.
Finding beauty is waiting.
Waiting is how we find beauty.
Without the mundane,
beauty would be normal and waiting,
waiting would be the part that feels insane.
Only it is excruciatingly dull,
and we forget the feeling of beauty,
when beauty finds us it reminds us:
People, who must wait, do things without intention, without fear, without adventure. They live with boredom and disdain. Some could say this is part of the adventure, even the hardest part, which is learning to use the time given, wisely. Yet, I remember learning in school all about the trials and errors that come along with the adventuring spirit of exploration and conquering.
There is no class in school that reaches the fine art of patients. Granted the learning process of waiting for the last bell of the day is a lesson in patients all its own. Some would even say that is what is being taught through the whole experience of school. But, that’s a theory for another day. Just as Pavlov had bells, so do schools.
Back at the topic at hand, inspiration, waiting can be part of the deal of being a writer. I’m not saying that you should wait for inspiration to begin writing, quite the opposite, you should be writing constantly if you wish to be a great writer. Not Stephen King great. Just as in professional sports, only a tiny amount of us will make it to even successful publishing. I just want to say that my definition of a great writer is someone who is confident in their writing voice. That is great writing to me. It matters not to me, even if you make a million sales of your best seller. To me, confidently writing what you are saying will help the world to understand different viewpoints and that is important for me.
I know that I don’t always have the strength in me to write blather day after day, waiting for something to inspire me, but maybe you do. Writing takes a lot of practice, and I am willing to say that waiting for the next great novel idea to come along every once in a while should be the inspiration that you need to keep the ideas flowing, even if they are not the best.
for a new perspective
something to change my mind
from the soup into cake
as an oven bakes and the
water boils above.
Change cures boredom
the excitement of a new
methodology to attain.
I guess that is why we
to change our minds
till we are boxed in
on our side of the line.
Send me your quips or anguish to @Tdowko on twitter.
Or if you are an adventurer, send some work to firstname.lastname@example.org
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