I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately. Not just how it applies to writing, but to life in general. I’ve wondered what is it that inspires us, what are the little (or big) things that kick us in the arse and say, “Hey! Inspiration here. Don’t you think it’s time to get moving?” Longer than I care to think this has been me, about nearly everything from my regular life to school life to work life, which explains my lack of posts and well, lack of just about everything:
Because of that, every once in a while I think, “I should be doing X” or “I really ought to get back to Y” and yet I haven’t. Every once in a while, I get a spurt of something, but there’s nothing behind it and it fizzles out quickly after its arrival. Some days, I look around at what I need to do, or want to do, or should be doing, and feel like there’s way too much so why bother with any of it?
Now, those of you who know me know that I have a thing for lists. I have lists in databases backed up by hard copy hand written versions supplemented by online task management apps that are synched to my smartphone. My newest and niftiest version is a combination of Pinterest (here’s my post on that) and a new site that allows me to create workspaces within which I can arrange any number of tasks and to-do’s. I currently have 10 of these on Wunderkit, but there are four that are most relevant to today’s post (along with two additional pinboards for character inspiration and setting inspiration):
- My “12 in 12” > the checklist for my 2012 resolutions, including #12 of finishing my novel and a link to its pinboard (I posted about this list here).
- Write Or Else > anything related to writing in general; NaNoWriMo, 29k in 29 days, Pinterest board inspiration, you name it.
- Great BF Experiment > the outstanding tasks on my current WIP and a link to its pinboard; and
- Grant Siblings > preliminary tasks for my next writing projects, a two-book series about a brother and sister, and there’s also a Pinterest board for this, too.
You’d think with all of the projects and fun things to do in those lists finding inspiration wouldn’t be a problem. Well, you’re right it shouldn’t be. But it’s much easier to take a couple of seconds to pin images like the following to a bulletin board than it is to suck it up, sit down and write:
Now admittedly, that’s some fine inspiration from the Avengers right there. They are also not wrong. I should be writing. Every day. Heck, once a month would be an improvement on never. So, what is it that really inspires me to do whatever it is that I need to do?
It’s not like I’m lacking in people who are willing and able to offer support and all manners of inspiration. Quite the opposite in fact. I have local writer pals, not-so-local writer pals, family, best friends near and far, and there’s even an author or two in my genre that inspire me just by being themselves and share wisdom with me on occasion.
It’s also not just about inspiration, but also a little about fear: fear of confrontation (between the characters in the book during the pivotal Act III scene not to mention facing my own procrastination); fear of actually finishing the book and then having to actually do something with it; fear that I might be a success at something I really love to do.
When it comes to writing romance–because let’s face it, I can call it “chick lit” all I want but in the end this book is all about the guy and girl getting together in the end, and that’s a romance–I find need to feel at least a little bit of that in myself so that the scenes don’t come out forced or fake. This has not been my situation of late so to me it’s no surprise that the most interest I could drum up for my book was to reread the last chapter I did months ago and say to myself, “Yeah, I really should get back to this,” and then I close the file and don’t reopen it for weeks.
But now, smack in the middle of May, I’m finding myself in an interesting situation. I’ve made one tiny little change in my life and suddenly instead of that bored little girl depicted at the beginning of this post, I’m feeling a lot like this:
I don’t know for sure quite yet, but the inspiration I’ve been looking for might just be back.