Going After Inspiration

One of my favorite authors, Jack London, has a famous quote. He says, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club..png

This is often true. Think of inspiration as a cute white baby seal flopping aimlessly around on the ice, and of yourself as a bloodthirsty,  club wielding maniac.

No, wait. Stop thinking that. That’s horrible, you monster. Wtf.

But, on those days when you are tired and don’t know what to write, and the blinking cursor is taunting you, there are places to go and grab inspiration. For one thing, go easy on yourself.

A friend once told me to set this goal:

Write a sentence for your novel every night.

You may feel skeptical. How many years will that take? But you can’t make excuses not to write one measly sentence, and more than likely, once you’ve cranked out one, you can come up with one to follow it, and another after that.

Before long, you might have written a whole paragraph –or page, or chapter.

Either way, you met your goal, which was one sentence.

Sometimes, you might feel so tired you don’t even want to open the file containing your novel. Who knows what madness you might plant in there.

On those days, I think it’s safe to get your writing in another way. Come up with a blog post. Do a writing prompt. One of those 100-word stories, maybe. Write a vignette about your characters doing something, relevant or otherwise.

You can always explore your characters outside your novel, after all. It might help you learn more about them. You could even have them carry on a conversation movie script style.

Scroll through the beautiful pictures on Unsplash –and use them! They’re public domain. You can find a setting, there. Look for prompts on Pinterest. There are gajillions. And of course, The Daily Post gives a one word prompt every day. You can read what others did with it before attempting it yourself.

The point is, write something. Insert justdoit.gif here. Who knows what stories might come of it?

5 thoughts on “Going After Inspiration

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