Inspiration; It’s not all that.

From several observations, I know how much we wish, hope and strive to find inspiration to help us in our writing. How often do you stare at a blank page or screen begging for something to jump out at you and reignite your passion for words? When we’re stuck, we search the web. Check out pinterest. Listen to music. Explore the local coffee shop as though we’re expecting to step into a new dimension where the writing bug is abundant. We’re desperate for anything that can help give us a fresh perspective, a renewed vigor for our love child.

It’s so strange that autumn is so beautiful; yet everything is dying.
William Shakespeare

However, relying on inspiration to write, and using its absence as an excuse not to, has only one end goal.

Failure.

If you rely on that often-hidden muse, you’ll have no productivity and that novel you’ve been desperate to write will remain as an unfinished document gathering dust. Despite the stigma that this is a hobby, if you’re truly serious about your career, then writing is a business. You have to treat it like one. And that means arranging a schedule like every other businessperson. Doesn’t matter that you’re working from home, or paying yourself. If you want to be a success, you have to be disciplined. If you decide you don’t want to write today, then you won’t get paid. It’s simple maths. 1 – 1 = 0. Can you afford to live like this?

Why let something as fallible as inspiration rule over whether you make a career of this or not? It’s cliched and boring to hear that the more you write the better, and easier, it becomes, but it’s true. The same with any muscle in the body, if you work at it, you’re going to become stronger. Finding motivation in art, music, nature, books, online etc. is great, but don’t give it so much credence that without it you’re crippled. It’s a bonus, not a necessity.

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
Louis L’Amour

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Music Inspires

I  scrolled  through  the  music  on  my  iPod,  searching  for  the  perfect  song   to  match  my  mood.  I  selected  the  tune  I  knew  would  work  best,  and  placed  the  buds  into  my  ears.

Block  chords  on  a  piano  began  to  play  before  the  bass  of  the  drum  increased  the  tempo.  A  tap  on  the  snare   produced  the  rhythm,  and  a  heart-pounding  fill  introduced  the  chorus.

The  music  streaming  into  my  system  spurred  my  imagination  into  creating  scenes  relative  to  my  story  line.  The  lyrics  held  meaning  to  my  characters’  emotions  and  struggles.  I  drew  on  that  energy,  and  visioned  the  life  they  were  destined  to  live.

Music  inspired  my  mind  into  creating  something  of  value,  and  I  realised  my  characters  were  more  than  a  puppet  in  my   novel.  They  were  as  real  as  I’d  let  them  be,  and  their  story  was  yelling  at  me  via  musical  stylings.

Music  influenced  my  writing,  as  it  did  my  life.  It  was  ingrained  on  my  body  as  a  reminder  to  create  my  own  melody  on  the  journey  I  took  every  day.

My  personal  composition  became  my  motivation.

Nature’s  Destiny  theme  song.  Fire  and  Fury  by  Skillet.  Enjoy  and  have  a  great  week!

 

Sprinting Without Running

I  wanted  to  write.   To  clear  my  thoughts,  impart  some  wisdom,  and  to  leave  an  imprint  in  the  world’s  readers.  I  wanted  to  inspire,  to  have  my  words  relate  to  others,  and  to  speak  the  truth  through  my  minds  imagination.

I  wanted  to  say  something.

But  I  couldn’t.

I  couldn’t  find  the  words  of  my  story  though  I  knew  what  I  wanted  to  say.  What  could  I  do?

Staring  at  the  computer  screen  proved   ineffective,  and  my  attention  span  wavered  way  too  frequently  towards  finding  something  better  to  do.  The  achievement  chart  on  the  wall  beside  me  stared  me  down  in  a  silent  challenge.  I  wanted  to  fill  in  the  days  writing  goals,  but  92  words  seemed  pathetic  for   a  whole  days  work.  I  couldn’t  write  that  down.

I   was  frustrated  at  myself  for  slowing  down.   I  had  deadlines  to  meet,  and  at  the  rate  I  was  going  they  would  pass  me  by  with  little  to  show  for  it.

I  needed   the  ‘writer’s  block’  cure.  What  was  it?

Word  sprints.

I  called  to  the  power  of  twitter  for  writers  alike,   who  like  me,  needed  the  extra  incentive  to  get  on  with  it.  A  20  minute  sprint  with  a  writer  unknown  was  all  I  needed  to  increase  my  92  words  to  830.

How  did  it   work?  Why  did  it  work?

Friendly  competition  was  enough  to  spur  me  on.  It  kept  my  concentration  focused  long  enough  to  tap   away  at  the  keys  furiously,  to  move  my  story  along,  and  to  meet   a   new  acquaintance  in  the  process.  The  timer  chirped  signalling  the  end  of  the  session,  and  it  was  time  to  check  in  to  relay  the  number  of  words  we’d  achieved.  It  didn’t  matter  who’d  won,  it  was  the  companionship  between  writers  to   help  each  other  out  that  was  important.

Sprinting  was  becoming  my  favourite   activity.  It  quickened  my  heart  and  sharpened  my   mind,  and  turned  my  writing  into  something  more.

Are  you  ready  to  sprint?

Reflect And Renew Resolutions

2013  was  the  year  I  vowed  was  for  me,  not  because  I  depended  upon  luck,  but  because  I  promised  myself  to  make  things  better. I  was  stuck  in  the  shadows  of  my  past  as  they  tore  away  at  me  day  by  day.  I  was  becoming  hollow,  a  mere  figment  of  the  person  I  once  was.

I  wasn’t  the  type  to  create  resolutions  year  upon  year  that  I  already  knew  I  wouldn’t  keep.  Determination  couldn’t  succeed  if  belief  and  willpower  wasn’t  behind  it.  Why  set  yourself  up  for  a  fall?

I  didn’t.  I  succeeded because  I  believed  in  myself  to  not  give  up,  not  this  time.  Being  ambitious  and  determined  didn’t  make  me  naive,  it  made  me  dangerous.

A  person  with  a  dream  and  a  goal  was  far  more  likely  to  succeed  than  somebody  who  didn’t.

Who  was  the  fool  now?

Like  a  Phoenix  I  rose  from  the  ashes  of  my  buried  past,  and  made  the  year  better.

I  hadn’t  set  out   to  write  my  debut  novel  this  year,  but  like  a  sequence  of  events  everything  clicked  together.  The  pattern  that  formed  soon  after  was  what  led  me  here.  The  secret?

Reading.  Never  underestimate  the  power  of  a  good  book.  It  led  me  to  write  mine, to  create  this  blog,  and  most  importantly  to  connect  with  others  in  the  wonderful  writing  community.

While  they  may  not  be  resolutions,  I  do  have  a  plan  for  the  writing  year  ahead:

  • January  1st  will  be  the  day  I  begin  writing  the  sequel  to  my  novel  Nature’s  Destiny.  I’m  super  excited  about  extending  the  journey  that  begins  in  my  debut,  and  I  cannot  wait  to  expand  on  the  ideas  I’ve  had  rolling  around  my  mind  for  the  past  few months.
  • Nature’s  Destiny  will  be  published.  I’m  nearing  the  end  of  my  editing  process,  and  will  soon  be  depending  on my  beta  readers. 

While  I  cannot  promise  to  know  exactly  what  will  happen  in  the  long-term  future,  I  do  know  that  I’ll  make  the  most  of  it.  Why?  Because  being  optimistic  has  given  me  the  better  outlook  on  life.  The  time  I  wasted  trapped  in  the  past  changed  my  perception.  The  clock  continues  to  tick  whether  I  want  it  to  or  not,  only  now  there  isn’t  a  minute  I  want  to  waste.

Writing  has  become  the  essence  of  my  being,  and  I’ll  make  sure  it  has  a  place  in  my  future.

2013  was  my  year.  Will  2014  be  yours?

Battling With A Poisonous Mind

I  pounded  my  head  against  the  desk  again,  frustrated  at  my  lack  of  creativity.  The  word  document  open  on  my  white  laptop  held  the  same  sentence  I’d  deleted,  rewritten,  and  deleted  again  before  deciding  it  was  actually  decent  enough  to  keep.  #Irritating

I  closed  the  document,  and  clicked  on  the  internet  icon  knowing  exactly  where  I  was  heading  –  Social  Media.  Twitter,  Facebook,  an  update  on  the  blogosphere,  anything  was  better  than  having   to  scrunch  my  brain  into  writing  something  worthwhile.

Between  self-doubt  and  procrastination  feeding  each  other,  I  wasn’t  getting  very  far.  The  blank  wall  always  seemed  infinitely  more  interesting  than  any  drivel  I  was  sure  to  waffle  on  about.

Writing  as  a  craft  was  exciting,  exhilarating,  stupefying  and  damn  terrifying.  I  was  alone  in  my  pursuit  to  create   a  masterpiece,  saving  all  comments  for  when  my  manuscript  was  perfectly  polished  to  my  satisfaction.  Only  then  could  I  really  appreciate  the  feedback.  That  was  until  the  seeds  of  doubt  grew  into  a  mighty  tree,  and  the  evil  demon  sitting  on  my  shoulder  grew  into  the  devil.

Do  you  ever  feel  like  your  head  has  turned  into  a  jumbled  mess?

I’d  read  articles  online  in  an  attempt  to  ease  the  warring  conflict  of  what  I  thought  was  right  and  wrong.  Trying  to  find  the  answer  to  my  harmony.  Was  I  good  enough?

My  already  gooey  brain  turned  into  an  even  bigger  slush  pile,  as  the  articles  contradicted  one  another.  What  was  I  supposed  to  believe  now?  I  liked  logistics,  and  I  liked  rules,  but  when  they  clashed  it  left  me  with  a  headache,  and  an  uneasy  stomach.

Advice.  That’s  what  I  needed.  The  best  I  ever  got  was  to  forget  about  the  rules  and  just  write.  I   soaked  up  information  like  a  sponge,  and  what  I  thought  was  the  right  way  to  do  something,  wasn’t  the  right  way  for  me.  I  flexed  out  my  fingers  like  a  pianist,  and  bashed  away  at  the  keyboard.  Something  was  better  than  nothing.

The   key  role  to  writing  was  that  it  was  personal.  My  way  wasn’t  your  way,  but  I’d  still  get  there  in  the  end.  And  wasn’t  that  the  point?  To  share  our  passions  with  readers?

Writing  was  as  solitary  as   I  made  it,  but  I  wasn’t  alone.  Not  really.  I  couldn’t  expect  my  writing  to  be  perfect,  when  I  wasn’t  a  perfect  human.  I  was  my  own  worst  enemy,  but  it  was  time  to  loosen  the  reins  a  little.

“Whatever  happens,  happens.  We  can’t  go  back  in  time,  and  there’s  no  point  in  guessing  what  might  happen,  it’ll  cloud  your  judgement  and  you’ll  second-guess  your  motives.  No  good  can  come  from  that.  You  need  to  believe  in  yourself  Luna.”
–  Riley,  Nature’s  Destiny,  coming  2014

Writing Welcomed

I  waited,  patiently,  in  line  to  be  served  a  steaming  takeaway  cup  of  hot  chocolate  (with  whip  of  course).  The  whirring  noise   of  the  machine  competed  with  that  of  the  room,  and  the  noise  levels  as  a  whole  increased.  I  stared  out  of  the  large  glass  windows  and  watched  as  people  passed  by,  going  about  their  day.

I  speculated  over  their  destinations,  and  wondered  if  the  man  in  the  hoodie  and  low hanging  trousers  was  an  undercover  agent  on  assignment.  Or  if  the  lady  in  the  red  trench  coat  and  matching  heels  was  about  to  walk  down  the  red  carpet  of  some  fancy  gala.

The   weather  was  its  usual  predictable  self,  and   I  took  the  break  between  showers  to  dash  towards  my  car,  careful  not  to  waste  a  drop  of  my  beverage.  I’d  queued   long  enough  to   enjoy  it.

I  settled  into my  car,  and  got   as  comfortable  as  I  could  before  I  pulled  out  my  laptop.  The  screen  lit  up  and  I  opened  a  new  document,  ready  to  write  as  much  as  I  could  in  the  space  that  I  had.

My  time  wasn’t  ever  wasted,  and  every  minute  I  had  to  myself  I’d  write.  I  couldn’t  have  chosen  a  better  profession;  who  else  could  say  their  work  was  as  portable  as  mine?  Whether  I  waited  for  an  appointment,  or  in  the  car  on  my  taxi  duties,  I’d  pack  my  life  into  one  bag  and  write.  I  didn’t  need  anything  else,  just  my  laptop,  notebook  and  pen.  The  basics.

The  temperature  dropped  in  the  car,  and  the  windows  fogged  up  as  condensation  crept  its  way  across.  I  felt  cocooned  in  my  own  little  writing  bubble;  the  world  was  on  one  side,  and  my  world  the  other.  Nothing  could  compare  with  the  joy  and  freedom  of  letting  my  mind   run,  the  make-belief  and  fairytales  concocted  from  living  in  a  controlled   environment.  Nobody  could  stop  me  from  living  my  dream,  when  it  was  one  I    lived  every  day.

 I  was  born  to  write.  You’ll  see.

NaNoWriMo – Exciting Adventure or Dauntingly Pressurised Task?

It’s  that  time  of  year  where  writers  stock  up  their  cupboards,  dig  out  their  cosy  pyjamas,  and  litter  the  house  in  post-it  notes.  That’s  right  folks,  National  Novel  Writing  Month  is  upon  us.

Though  I  already  feel  like  I’ve  competed  in  this  form  once  already  this  year  I’m   contemplating  par  taking  again.  Why?  Because   I’m  clearly  crazy!  As  some  of  you  may  know  from  reading  my  previous  posts,  I’ve  just  finished  writing  my  first  novel  which  I  spent  the  month  of  August  doing.  I’m  deep  in  the  stages  of  editing  now,  but  I  can’t  shut  my  mind  away  from  the  lurking,  I  mean  tempting,  month  of  November.

I  have   quite  a  busy  life  at  the   moment,  which  by  the  way,  I’m  willing  to  trade  with  anyone  who  has  free  time.  Go  on,  you  know  you  want  to.  Wink,  wink!  Between  my  bakery  course,  business,  writing  course  and  current  novel  I  have  extremely  limited  time  left.   So  my  question  is:

Do  I  NaNoWriMo  via  the  website?  Or  do  I  do  the  sensible  thing   and  join  in  when  I  can   without  signing  up?

I  have  a  few  ideas  as  to  what  will  happen  in  the  sequel  to  my  novel,  Nature’s  Destiny,  but  I  want  to  invest  the  appropriate  time  it  deserves  in  it.  You  can  understand  that  right?

After  all  this  deliberation  I  still  haven’t  reached  my  decision.  Perhaps  I’ll  leave  that  down  to  you.  What  are  your  thoughts?

To  be,  or  not  to  be  involved  with  NaNoWriMo?  That  is  the  question.