Writing is a lonely business. No matter how many writing groups you go to, or how many discussions you have, there are always those moments of crippling self-doubt when the imagination juices just won’t flow. It’s a make or break moment when the project you’ve poured your heart and soul into for the last year may never actually make it into the world.
We’ve all been there.
But we don’t all come out the other side.
Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. – Louis L’Amour
Waiting for inspiration is a pointless exercise. It’s not going to come no matter how hard you push. Why do we have the most vivid dreams in our deepest sleep cycle? Because we’re completely and utterly relaxed. We give our minds and bodies up to the imagination and that’s where our dreams come from. Just because you’re awake, doesn’t mean you can’t achieve that state of creativity.
If you wait for inspiration to write, you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. – Dan Poynter
This is one of my favourite quotes and very true. If you want to re-find the flow of inspiration, then you need to grab it with both hands. Take a break from your novel and write whatever is in your head. It’s a great exercise one of my lecturers used to make us do at university. Spend five minutes writing down anything and everything in your head – it doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t even need to be in full sentences, just get it out of your system.
You know when you have an idea and you can’t seem to move on? That’s when this comes in handy…write it down, get it out of your head.
There’s only so much space up there and you need that space to think more clearly.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. – Richard Bach
This is another favourite quote of mine and one that is very very true. How many agents and publishers turned down the first Harry Potter manuscript? And how many of those agents and publishers are now kicking themselves about it?
How did JK Rowling become a professional writer? She didn’t quit.
When asked ‘How do you Write?’ I invariably answer ‘One word at a time’. – Stephen King
The legendary Stephen King hits the nail on the head once again. The king of horror is always write when it comes to finding that spark inside you. Just because nothing comes to you right now, doesn’t mean it won’t come in the future. Panic clouds our thoughts, it clouds our judgement and leads to poor choices.
Remaining in control is the only way to help you focus on what really matters, getting those words down onto paper.
This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy and that hard. – Neil Gaiman
I’ve used this quote before in one of my blogs but Gaiman is a true inspiration and man of wisdom. Writing isn’t meant to be easy, if it was we’d all be doing it. But it takes a special kind of person to be able to harness the most powerful tool and craft it into something beautiful.
There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter & bleed. – Ernest Hemmingway
Writing is lonely. Writing is hard. But lucky for you, you’re part of a community that has an unspoken bond. A community that understands your pains. A community that you can reach out to, lean on, give support to.
You, my friend, are a writer.
Inspiration will come.