Monday, May 29, 2017

When Inspiration Strikes

What is inspiration and where does it come from?

In high school, I defined myself in part by my novel writing. I wrote three novels during those four years. Although I started several other novels during that time, I never did finish them. The only three novels I wrote from beginning to end were written during a National Novel Writing Month. Pounding out a novel in one month is exhilarating. Doing it during the actual month of November with everyone else also gives you an energy because you knew you were writing alongside thousands of other writers -- from wannabes to pros. I would wake up early each morning so that I could write the daily word count goal during my first hour of the day. I usually hadn't even had breakfast or brushed my teeth. I would just wake up, turn on my computer, and start typing. This would repeat for 30 days until I had the first draft of a novel in my hands.

Perhaps the reason I could never seem to start and finish a novel unless it was in a one month time period is because of the discipline. One of my favorite quotes (which has been attributed to a few different authors over the years) is:

"I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning"

The key to staying inspired is not a week in the mountains or some sort of exotic travel adventure (although those are always nice and inspirational as well). It takes discipline, a routine, of creating daily.

When writing fiction, you can make it up and no one has to read what you wrote. When writing blog posts, however, you have to write about something somewhat relevant and interesting if you don't want to lose your audience. It's important, therefore, to have a routine.

This is my eighth blogpost in eight days. I didn't write ahead a day -- I have been writing each post on the day I publish. It's interesting to see just how much discipline that has taken me in just a one week time period. I don't want to post junk because I know a few people are getting these posts in their email inbox. At the same time, it's a challenge to "stay inspired" and put out fresh content each day. But I keep writing. Forcing the habit will hopefully make me better, more creative, and "inspired" each day.

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