Saturday 9 April 2011

I is for...Inspiration

When I'm stuck in a scene, and want to procrastinate by kidding myself that I'm doing something useful, I visit writers forums. It's not a total waste of time, I've met some really nice people and got a lot of information about the publishing process from those sites. And writing can be very lonely sometimes; it's nice to make small talk with people at a virtual office water cooler.

One of things that took me surprise, was the amount of new writers who asked about inspiration. Now we were all new writers once, and the idea of writing an entire book is quite daunting at that point. When you realise just how difficult the writing process can be, but don't yet have the confidence that comes from having completed a first draft. But I found it quite strange that people have such a problem with finding an idea for a book. Plot holes, I can understand. That point when you've run out of steam after the first five chapters, sure. You know that you want a character to move from this point to this point, and aren't sure how to make it happen? We've all been there. And sometimes the sub plots are more difficult than any other part in the book.

I have loads of ideas for books. In fact, my problem is resisting the urge to start a new project when I'm up to my eyes with my current drafts. When I really need inspiration is not at the beginning of the story, but during it. That's when I discover problems in my plot that I hadn't anticipated. If I can't iron it out at the computer, I have to go and do something else. Usually I walk my dog, go and see a film, or go out with my friends. Usually, something will click with me while I'm doing something else that solves the problem.

What do you all do when you need inspiration?


  1. I do my best brainstorming while doing the dishes, showering, driving my kids around or taking a walk. I can't think straight when I'm staring at the words in front of me, as if that curser is beating its little foot just waiting for me to write the next thing.

    I have several more books in my head, just waiting to be written. I just don't have the time.

  2. I lay down on my floor, prop my feet up on something, and just start thinking - away from my computer, away from my notes. That normally works.

    If I'm really stuck, I'll normally take a walk or do some sort of exercise. Maybe fold some laundry or iron (which I fine theraputic for some reason...turning a chaotic mountain of laundry into neat, orderly piles is very relaxing for me). And then I'll come back to my story, read a few earlier pages, and then start again.

  3. I go and do something else. Right now the hard part for me, is getting through the fog. At times it is overwhelming. I hope you are doing well today with less pain.

  4. I usually have a lot of book ideas floating around in my head, but I don't usually write all of them. Sometimes my best inspirations come right before I fall asleep when I'm just letting my mind wander or at work when I'm just walking around and dusting the sales floor.

    Sometimes I watch movies for inspiration and see how much I can twist the plot into something new. It's quite fun!!

  5. I love laying in bed. Most of my ideas come to me when I'm almost asleep. I don't know why. Also, I do come to the writing community online to find inspiration.