It’s a sad fact but true, but if you wait for inspiration to strike before writing anything, you will never write anything. Waiting for inspiration to strike is like waiting for lightning to strike. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Inspiration is funny that way.
What you need to do is just write something every day. I keep a journal. I write these blogs in it. I try to write twelve hundred words in each entry. That means I write a lot of garbage. I also write these blogs and my novels in it. Are they good off the top? Of course not, nothing is ever good off the top. That’s what revision is for.
All you have to do is write until something sparks you to write more. That’s true inspiration. If you wait for it to strike, it won’t. If you start writing something, that something could well turn into something. It might even be worth writing and keeping. More often than not, it doesn’t, but your chances are better if you write than if you don’t write.
It’s like the lottery. Your chances of winning increase a thousandfold if you buy a ticket. You can’t win if you don’t take a chance. So, if you are waiting for inspiration to strike, stop. Sit down and write something, anything. It doesn’t have to be good. It just has to be. Maybe you won’t get anything good today. That’s OK. There’s always tomorrow.
You can wait for inspiration if you like waiting. Or if you really don’t want to write anything. But writing something can draw inspiration to you. Think of it as attracting attention. Inspiration won’t come to you unless you attract it.
I did have an analogy of inspiration being a bird of prey and you the prey, but that didn’t hit the right beat for me. I doubt it would have for you. That’s how it goes for me. I get an idea that is terrible, but I think about it and twist it until it works. That is, I write garbage until I write something good.
I’m not saying that’s universal for all writers, but it is how I do it. I’ll go further and say that sometimes I get the idea before I sit down to write. That’s because I wrote the day before and perhaps got nothing. Or maybe I got a germ of something that my unconscious mind turned into something and sent it to my consciousness. I’m not sure what goes on there, but I know it works. I’ve done it.
It takes practice to get good at anything and writing is no different. So if you are out there waiting for inspiration to strike before you start. Stop. Get a pen or pencil and a notebook or piece of paper, use a memo app on your phone, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you write something. If you write, inspiration will come. If you don’t write, nothing will happen. It’s as simple as that.
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