Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Inspiration

I've been taking my writing seriously for about a year and a half now. In that time, there have been short stories, articles, blog posts, one completed novel and one in it's first draft. I have notebooks everywhere; beside my bed, in every bag (yes, I have many!), on the kitchen table etc. The reason for this is I like to have them on hand whenever I get an idea. In truth, I have been keeping a notebook handy for longer than I can remember, long before I ever thought writing could be my career.

I try to keep certain notebooks for specific types of writing, e.g. newspaper pieces, blog posts, novels or themes like romance, sci-fi, drama, and so on. I try... Of course, I'm completely unorganised and a lot of the time just grab the nearest one to me at any given time. This is because I know inspiration is fleeting. As any writer will tell you, inspiration can grab you at any time; walking for the bus, in a waiting room, having a drink in a bar or coffee shop. However, the one time (for me anyway) that most of my inspiration comes, is at night, in those moments before sleep comes. Many times in the past I've sketched a whole novel in my head and thought, I'll definitely remember that in the morning. Do I? Do I heck! I can't even remember the basic premise. Usually, it only takes a few key sentences in the notebook to help me remember the next morning but, without that, the story would be gone.

Now, of course, for the time when there's no inspiration... This usually happens when I sit at my computer, ready to start a new chapter/paragraph. What do you do then? 

If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. ~ Dan Poynter

You just crack on with it. The first few sentences might not be very strong but that's what editing is for. You push through that barrier. Everything needs a push to get going and once you're going you keep going, for as long as possible. Even if the day outside looks like this...


4 comments:

  1. ohmygawd--I so have that notebook fetish! I have them everywhere. But I DO try to designate a single notebook for the project of the moment... I write or edit one thing at a time. Then another notebook for my primary 'random ideas related to OTHER work/blog posts/promotion'. When I finish the work I've been focusing on, I then go through ALL the notebooks and try to transfer things to 1) the idea file for things that are only an idea, or 2) the proper computer folder for more developed stuff. It took a while to get regular about that transfer though--when enough ideas had enough parts that I really just had to organize or they'd get lost or bungled.

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    1. I really should get organised! I found three more notebooks while sorting out the last of my moving boxes. Don't you just love filling one up and starting the next one? Sometimes I go 'old school' and write huge chunks of my novels in them.

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  2. A notebook is good to have. I do it like Hemingway, always carry a Moleskine notebook, in case I see or think about something I want to write down >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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    1. A notebook is a writer's best friend :-)

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