Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

Inspiration: Do you wait for it?

15 Comments

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Everyone always talks about inspiration, or their muse and how important it is for writing. Those two things tie together. Sure, both of them are a tremendous help and it’s best to never turn down amazing ideas they give to you, but is it right to only focus on the task at hand when they help you?

Is writing a task only meant for when ideas flow to you from within?

No, it’s not. At least I don’t think so.

Consider this: How often are you inspired to the extent that scene after scene pours out of you, making it seem like you must write? How often do characters beg for your attention and lure you in with chocolate-coated ideas of intriguing goodness?

How often do you get that spark that ignites the fiery passion within you?

Judging from my personal experiences, not often. I won’t claim it’s the same for everyone, but experience tells me that those moments strike when you least expect them and are sparse in occurrence. Embrace them as they hit you, but what happens once they end? Do you sit back and wait for another monumental moment to come?

Chances are, if your muse is anything like mine, you’re lucky if it happens once per month.

If you only write when your inspiration says it’s time, novels will take ages until completion. It’s always a goal to get things done swiftly, if possible. Writing is no different.

Don’t wait for the writing to come to you; chase it down.

Take control. You want to write the story and despite inspirational influence, it’s your job to make it work. Write, even when you don’t feel inspired. Try to get words down every day. Not much. Just enough to keep the writing process going will guarantee more frequent days of motivating experiences.

More motivation means more writing.

More writing means that novel you’re working on will reach the end quicker.

Reaching the end quicker will put you that much closer to publication.

Who can say no to that?

What are your experiences when it comes to inspiration and your muse? How do you deal with those bursts of wondrous ideas and the time around them?

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Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, a reader, a gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

15 thoughts on “Inspiration: Do you wait for it?

  1. I must admit I used to wait for inspiration and was sometimes stumped when it came to a blog post. What I have done now is have specified times when my posts go out. Its my sort of “deadline”. Without that deadline I tend to mill the thoughts in my head and never write them down.

    Also what helps is when I am inspired I write the post down and schedule them. So now I don’t have that pressure to create new posts.

    granted i only write blogs for now, so I cannot comment on what it would look like for me to write a book.

    But I am sure I would do just as you say and put words down daily, they can always be rearranged at a later stage to work with the “inspired stuff’

    • I think every writer has a tendency to start out that way. I did with my stories and I did when I first started my blog. Now, I have three days per week that I post in my blog and I get writing done between college and my part-time job. It’s not easy, but I do the best I can. There are those scattered days where there’s just too much going on to get writing added to that, but I think every writer has those days.

      Blogs are a good way to start, and I’m glad you agree with my post. Get the words down, then focus on editing later.

  2. You got it, Natasha: real authors don’t WAIT for inspiration to strike, they load a dependable weapon, go out and hunt it down. I’ve been a pro writer for 25 years and I can tell you it never gets easier. Every day one has to sit down and be confronted by a blank page…and fill it. A daunting thought. But those who are devoted to the printed word will endure the pain and frustration and push on regardless.

    Thanks for the post…

    • Exactly. If I waited for inspiration to strike, I wouldn’t have made it to 50k in my novel so soon. I probably would be stuck somewhere around 20k, to be honest.
      I will admit that some days I don’t get the words down. Between college, a part-time job, my blog and writing, there are those odd days that it doesn’t work out. Then again, which writer doesn’t have those days? It’s human to have rough days; what matters is that you get the words down. If nothing else, write a few more the next day to make up for it.

      I’m glad you like it.

  3. Stephen King’s best advice is to write every day no matter what. It’s what sets apart the professionals from the hobbyists. Some people don’t believe in this, and some of them are published authors, but the usual norm is what King says. I tend to try writing daily. Lately that hasn’t been happening. What’s odd is that, even when uninspired, I am happiest as a writer when I write daily. I think all writers are like that to a certain degree, you know?

    • I remember reading that advice and I do think it’s true, for the most part. Of course, every writer has times when life is so hectic that writing just doesn’t happen. I always try, like you, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
      I agree – as a writer, I am happiest when I see the words forming on the paper. It’s a wonderful feeling.

      • Yeah, but that’s life. If we strive to write as often as possible then we still will be able to, for the most part.

        There’s something about writing that makes me feel complete, you know? Like I have accomplished something truly worthwhile, if that makes any sense.

      • Exactly. We just need to push ourselves in the right direction.

        I know what you mean. Writing is a part of me, so making progress feels right, like it makes me whole, as you said.

  4. Years ago when I kept a blog I used to write most days. Now I just keep a travel blog so pretty much just write when I do something cool somewhere awesome and when I look back on my old stuff I’m like, how in hell did I come up with random stuff all the time? And believe me, it was random.

    Sometimes I think I put myself in a writing hole just because I convince myself I’m not in the right frame of mind. On the occasions I’ve made myself sit down and write something, even though I didn’t think there was anything to write, I’ve come up with some ok stuff.

    So yeah, I agree with you, I reckon writing every day, going out and getting your inspiration will lead to more productiveness and inspiration happening more and more. I’ve no aspirations to be a professional writer, but it’d be cool to have to stuff to write about, like, all the time. I’m gonna give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • Thank you for taking the time to leave such a kind comment. 🙂
      I think it depends on what you write. Like you said; having a travel blog is different from writing stories and other such things. Both are different, yet they have the same core.
      Just going for it and writing is one of the best things you can do. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, you can always edit later and give it that polish and shine it needs.
      I’m glad you agree and it means a lot to me that you found this blog so inspirational. I hope it works out for you; let me know how it goes!

  5. I struggle some days, because I work full-time. But I’m reading a great book right now called Writer With A Day Job — it is really changing the way I look at the time I do have available. This was a great post — always good to know I’m not the only one who struggles from time to time.

    Thanks for posting my blog post at the end of yours — I appreciate it 😀

    • I know the feeling. I don’t work full-time, but I do go to college and have a part-time job. That sounds like it could be a great book; I’ll see about looking into it.

      Thank you so much for the compliment; I’m glad you like this post.

      You’re very welcome! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Pushing Too Hard: Writer’s Block | Natasha McNeely's Guide to The Beyond

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