Ignoring Inspiration

Writing is a tough gig. Most writers don’t have the luxury of devoting themselves to their work full-time. They hold dayjobs, look after their kids when they’re home, and they are usually damned tired by the time they finally get a little privacy with a keyboard.

Even if a writer has been chomping at the bit to get back to his next chapter while at work, chances are his daily routine has dulled that motivation to a faint itch. That spark flaring in his head earlier has fizzled out, leaving his fingers frozen on the keys. And since the body and brain are tired, it would make sense to wait until that weekend or day off rolls around, right? To start off fresh and hit the next blank page when that energy returns.

Wrong.

Not only does this approach rely on the belief that the inspiration felt earlier will return, it ignores all the work that could have been done in the meantime.

Every muse is a fickle bitch-goddess. There is no way to know when a flash of inspiration is going to hit. And who’s to say it might not happen in the middle of another workday? Or while at a movie or out on a date?

Furthermore, just because the words aren’t coming right now, that doesn’t mean they won’t flow later. Twenty minutes of writing dreck and erasing it is sometimes enough to dislodge writer’s block. Sometimes not. But there’s no way to know what the case will be tomorrow. If this fact is ignored, all the writing that might have been produced between each creative burst goes undone.

Instead, set aside a minimum word limit or amount of time to work on a project each day. No excuses.

Yes, writing when the words aren’t flowing is frustrating. Ungodly irritating, to be honest. But using that as an excuse to not even try is pure laziness. Writing is a skill like anything else, taking countless hours to master. And like any practice session, sometimes all one can do is grit his teeth and plow through the bad days.

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  1. Pingback: New Article Up (Ignoring Inspiration) | The Third Eye Opened

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