Inspiration and Intimidation

Inspiration is something I don’t pretend to care about, for me it’s just random thoughts I have. Some are good (I’ve created awesome parodies of Disney songs on the fly) and some are disturbing (I use those for dark fantasy stuff like my longer poems), but unless I chase those ideas down and run them to boredom, they’re just thoughts.

I also read somewhere inspiration only lasts for five seconds, so waiting for it and/or chasing these thoughts won’t get you, or me, anywhere.

Many places I find on the internet suggest keeping a notepad and pen handy to jot them down when they come to you, so you can read them later when you run into “writer’s block”.

I think a lot of most of writer’s block, particularly in my case, is an intimidation of what the novel will turn out like, everything going wrong, little things like that. So I present, to you and myself, a great quote from Ernest Hemmingway:

The first draft of anything is shit

It’s also commonly said that once it’s all down on paper (assuming we make it that far) we can start tightening the plot up, correct our grammar and spelling, all the editing stuff. But do it in separate revisions, focus on one element of editing at the time so you don’t miss bits.

But back to the matter I started with: use these sparks of inspiration like prompts for a little challenge if you get stuck, just keep going. And focus more on what you’ve done, how far you’ve come, rather than what’s left to do. If you look at all that progress, and think “wow, that’s pretty amazing, I can do this because I’ve done x, y, and x” I think you’ll be more than able to continue the motivation through the project.

My problem, why I don’t finish these things, is because I don’t have this mentality. I see it all and I think, “OMG, I’ve still got x, y, and z to do. What if it’s bad?” I’m not a motivational trainer, I can’t tell you these things for certain because I’m not talking from experience, but I can suggest tick lists so you can visually see the progress you’ve made. I can suggest you take the time to step away from the project for a few days/hours and take a bath or a walk so you can think over how to complicate your character’s life or something, come back with fresh eyes.

Not every option out there will work for everyone, in fact they don’t. I don’t think I’ve found one that I’ve stuck to in it’s entirety because it doesn’t work for me (currently, it’s K. M. Weiland’s Outlining/Structuring Your Novel as the way of getting a good outline, then I lose steam and abandon the ideas, remember that post on passion?).

I’ll leave this post here, I think I’ve said enough and you’ve had enough of my rambling.

See you soon.


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