Friday, August 30, 2013

on inspiration

I woke up late the other morning, past eight, maybe because I didn't hear Trevor when he left early for work. I sipped on my lukewarm coffee and sat down to my desk, sweatpants and T-shirt on. This has, more or less, been my routine the past few weeks. Sometimes I wake up early, clean the kitchen, make the bed, get dressed in real clothes and do my makeup. And other times I head straight to the writing room. But every day I manage to complete my daily word count for my book, which usually ranges between a thousand and two thousand words.

I take little breaks (mostly due to my ADD. As in, oh look, time to clip my nails. Or, Wow, that was a good paragraph. Time to organize my bookshelf by color), usually finishing in time to buy groceries or do laundry or read for a bit. But writing has filled my days, and it's become strangely normal, like this is the thing I've been waiting to do all along.

I'm linking up with Jenny Highsmith again for her "Let's Make Habits" series, and the prompt this week is about inspiration and staying motivated.

And boy have I needed that lately.

Even with this unexpected rush of energy and committed-ness to my manuscript, I still hit a bit of a road block about a week in. I'd been writing so fast, so mindlessly almost, that I paused one day and wondered, "Is this real? Is this really happening or am I just wasting my time? How does this fiction thing work, anyway, and what if I'm doing it all wrong?"

I needed some fresh inspiration.

I took a break one morning, after writing a page or so, and just sat down with my journal. Instead of worrying about character motivation or dialogue, I just wrote. And it felt good. Isn't it funny how, when you write long enough, you begin to uncover solutions to your own problems?

I realized that I was reading too much nonfiction; I needed to immerse myself in a world of someone else's story. To get reaquainted with the pacing and technique used by another writer. So I went to the library and came home with a stack of books with pretty covers.

And they were exactly what I needed. They reminded me that finishing a story will not only be worth it, but that it's also possible.

It makes me cringe to write about this, my "book". It's embarrassing, something I don't even talk about in real life. My poor husband doesn't even know what the book's about. But somehow putting it all out here keeps me accountable, and the encouragement you've given has helped propel me forward. So here's to another week at it.

Jenny Highsmith


  1. It's always a nice surprise to stumble across another fiction writer (who also blogs). I recently had a similar situation. I read about 50/50 with fiction and non-fiction but when I last had my manuscript writing slump was when I was, like you, reading more non-fiction. As soon as I picked up some more fictional reads it all geared back up again. :)

  2. You're doing great, Heather! :)
    Reading is such an inspiration for writing.

  3. Hi Heather! I'm doing Jenny's challenge as well! Happy writing! What book are you reading at the moment? I'm looking for some great fiction reads.

  4. I take little ADD breaks too. Like now...I'm supposed to be finishing a presentation. lol


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