Saturday, July 28, 2012


Many people think that inspiration is automatic, that it comes and goes like a feather in the wind. Many people think that writers have it easy that way, that we are just naturally creative people. If that was the case, I would definitely pick it. Writing, like life, is never easy though. I would be the first person to argue that, as would many other writers. So often I just have to sit down and force myself to write through apathy, distraction and writer's block. By no means is inspiration the norm for me; most of the time, writing is hard work and I have to wrack my brain to think about what I should say and how I should continue the story. However, tonight I seem to have all of the inspiration in the world. Muse seems to have dropped off a particularly special package for me, one that I am certainly very eager to open up and admire. I just want to write and write and write, long after my usual mandatory pages were done for the evening.

Inspiration chooses funny times to strike, that's for sure. Most of the time, it comes in little spurts. On rarer occasions, it can come in one great rush. Sometimes, it can be elicited by a picture or an exercise or a song. Sometimes, it comes out of nowhere. Accompanied by the drive to write, a writer has a powerful combination on their hands like vodka to the writing mind. In this mindset, I almost feel as if I am on some kind of substance.

When inspiration strikes for a novel idea, it usually has to be expanded upon and planned out a little bit before the writing comes. As much as I dread doing this, I know now that it will save me from a lot of mistakes that I made in my formative writing years. For the beginning of the story, inspiration and the drive to write are both on full blast and that's an especially dangerous combination for a novel or even a long short story piece.  Often, this heady feeling can result in careless plotting mistakes and things of that sort. However, when it comes to the short little flash fiction pieces, this is quite beneficial. In this case, writing in abundance can create so many positive things for a writing piece and it can make it seem more passionate and raw. Also, pieces of flash fiction and monologues can inspire longer stories that might need the work detailed above. Clearly, those little things aren't very fun but necessary.

Some have described inspiration as a myth, but I don't believe that it is. It could be argued that writers can inspire themselves with pictures and thoughts, but I don't believe that either (that's called work, people). I just believe that it can only happen under a very rare set of circumstances and that it's too spontaneous to rely on. Inspiration is like the calorie-heavy dessert after the more important three meals of the day, only to be indulged in occasionally. Inspiration is also useless if it's not spun and mined and picked at; if it's not woven into a plot idea, inspiration is just a thought. Nothing more, nothing less.

With experience, I have come to use inspiration to my advantage. I am too serious about my writing to wait for it to come with a shrug of my shoulders; sometimes, I work at making it happen. I am also too serious about my writing to let myself get too heady off of it, but I also love my writing too much not to enjoy it a little bit. Ultimately, it's that fine line and shades of gray that come with everything else in life.

It's these bursts of inspiration, these strange urges to write and write and write, that I live for as a writer. These inspiration-heavy moments remind me why I love writing so much.

A day like this is what I call a really good writing day.

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