Inspiration is a beautiful, glorious thing. It hits you like a static shock: unexpected and something you just can’t miss. When it has you cradled in its creative arms, words flow effortlessly as if from the great beyond.
But it’s fickle.
You can’t always count on inspiration. In fact if you want to be a writer, a real writer and not a dabbler, you can’t count on it at all. You can hope for it, of course, and welcome it when it does arrive, hoarding all of its beautiful suggestions for drier, emptier days. But you will get nowhere if you sit waiting for inspiration to strike.
Inspiration has other things to do. Inspiration has a packed calendar and reminders on its phone that beep every three minutes. Inspiration is really, really busy.
The work of writing comes when you’re standing in the middle of the idea desert, not even a mirage of a thought for miles in every direction, the sun beating down you as though you were under interrogation. The work comes when you are in a tundra of white even sameness all around, with not even a hint of warmth to spark an idea.
The work comes when you stare at that blinking cursor long enough and just start typing.
I’ve talked before about how we like to romanticize the idea of writing, that it seems like it should be all quills and garrets and smooth, unbroken stretches of silence. It’s nothing like that.
Nope, writing — real writing — is knowing when you’re not inspired. And it’s sitting down to do the work anyway.
Check out my full-length novels, Her Cousin Much Removed, The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!