An Inspiration Post, for writers

Do you ever have one of those days where you don’t feel like writing? I had one on Sunday. I got 1,000 words down and then looked bleakly at my manuscript and thought… I really don’t want to write another 1,000 words today. So I didn’t. Luckily, I had the option of doing that because I’m ahead of my Camp Namowrimo word count by a few thousand words.

But in light of that, I thought I’d the address the matter of “inspiration” “writing inspiration” and “motivation” or whatever word you want to use to describe somehow getting 1,000 words to 80,000 words.

I’ve taken it a little for granted this year. I’ve been getting words down with relative ease, but every now and then I’ll have a lack of inspiration moment, and I’m sure you guys do too. So I decided to put a couple of questions on the table so maybe we can address this issue of losing inspiration together.

1. Why did you start writing?
2. What do you love the most about writing?
3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?

Let’s share our answers and inspire the writing community. Particularly considering it’s week two of Camp Nanowrimo and a lot of people will be looking for a little bit of inspiration right now.

Here are my answers:

1. Why did you start writing?
I guess I’ve always been writing, I can’t really think of a time when I wasn’t. I’ve kept a diary religiously since I was eleven-years-old and I started writing quite a bit of fan fiction when I was around sixteen. I’ve always been writing something.

2. What do you love the most about writing?
I’ve always found writing to be such a therapeutic way to get all my thoughts out of my head and to figure things out and make decisions. I like the idea of building words and characters in my mind and then putting them onto a page in front of me. It’s strangely magical.

3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
Right at this very second I’m working on Camp Nanowrimo. It’s going pretty well so far. I’ve broken the cardinal “no editing” rule pretty much every day, but I’m still getting the words down so I’m not too concerned.

4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
Whenever I’m feeling stuck, I go look at DeviantArt.com – I find images to be a wonderful source of inspiration. So many of my novel ideas have stemmed from images. I’m a very visual person 🙂 And if you’re struggling with a first draft, remember: The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

Would love to hear everyone else’s answers! If you need me, I’ll be at camp 🙂

On a side note, my mum (being the proud mum that she is) entered me in the Best Australian Blogging Awards. So if you have a spare couple of seconds, feel free to vote for me. I’m listed as Jodie Llewellyn.

 

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to An Inspiration Post, for writers

  1. sophiawood says:

    Omg I did NaNoWriMo too. Yay! Anyway awesome post 😀 Made me feel motivated

    Like

  2. Here’s my response!

    1. Why did you start writing?

    I started out of boredom, when I was a kid. Now I write because I can’t NOT write.

    2. What do you love the most about writing?

    As a kid, it was because I could do whatever I wanted in a story, without anyone telling me what to do. Actually, nothing’s changed.

    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?

    Finishing a manuscript by the end of Spring.

    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Stop writing, go do something else. You can’t always get inspiration from staring at a computer screen. I like to build stuff, draw, or look at artwork.

    Like

  3. sophiawood says:

    And I voted 😀 Good Luck

    Like

  4. Oh man, I’m so glad you posted this, Jodie! I was beginning to think you were like super-human!

    Like

  5. Much needed, thanks!

    Like

  6. 1. Why did you start writing?
    I started writing because I had stories to tell. Even as a young child my head was full of them and I liked entertaining people.
    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    The freedom of it, and getting to spend so much time with the wonderful characters who share my head space. It fortifies me.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    Like you, I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve taken on an even bigger responsibility as a wrimo this time around and decided to be a sponsor. Now I just have to figure out how I raise that money!
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Try a writing prompt, or write yourself a letter, both work for me. If you’re really stuck then take a break for a while, get out of your head space and let it all settle before you begin again.

    Thanks for another great post 🙂
    Mel

    Like

  7. David says:

    1. Why did you start writing?
    I wanted to express myself.

    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    The means to express a sense of myself that is otherwise silent.

    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    Just to write a decent poem.

    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Wait for it like you wait for love, or waited for love, whatever the case may be.

    Like

  8. Louise Ross says:

    Just found your blog. Love your style.
    1. Why did you start writing? – I started because I was creative. Writing is just one outlet out of many.
    2. What do you love the most about writing? I love the that not only do I get to be creative and make something that might last for a long time, but it is a skill that challenges me to learn and improve continuously.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now? I’m drafting a novel. Again. 🙂
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now? Go back to the characters. What would they do? What do they believe? How is it different than what the antagonist or other characters think/act/feel?

    Like

  9. lauramccain says:

    I sometimes ask myself if I really do like writing. But I keep coming back to it.

    Like

    • jodiellewellyn says:

      I think that says a lot. I didn’t write for about a year and half… but I always come back to it eventually.

      Like

    • I wonder that too, more often than I like to admit. My friends all ask me why I’m an English major when I complain about all the things I need to write! But there’s always a time when I’m writing or after I’ve finished a draft that reminds me why I write.

      Like

    • I wonder that too, more often than I like to admit. My friends all ask me why I’m an English major when I complain about all the things I need to write! But there’s always a time when I’m writing or after I’ve finished a draft that reminds me why I write.

      Like

  10. Pavowski says:

    1. Why did you start writing?
    I wrote my first creative stuff, real genuine doing-this-for-my-own-dark-and-slimy-writer’s-heart after playing a video game, of all things. It had such a great (to me, at the time) story that I felt compelled to write a similar story without the video game construct. God, it was awful.

    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    The raw, maker-and-breaker-of-universes feeling. And the release of psychic tension. I said psychic when I meant to say intellectual, but I’m sticking to it, because I am the maker-and-breaker-of-universes and surely the maker-and-breaker-of-universes says what he means and means what he says.

    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    Finishing — really finishing — like, for serious, really and truly nail-in-the-coffin finishing — my first novel. Also, developing some ideas for future novels so that I won’t have what happened last time I finished a creative project — I stood around for a while, thinking “what now”, couldn’t think of anything, and quit — happen again. The construction of that sentence is correct, and again, maker-and-breaker-I-do-what-I-want.

    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Write off topic or read. Writing about something unrelated to your focal project has, for me, a way of unstopping the pipes and burning out the gunk. Reading — whether it’s good lit or bad — fills my head with all kinds of ideas — new storylines, phrases, voices, characters, conflict structures, paces, artful misspellings, the list goes on — that, after a while, I can’t wait to bring back and experiment with over in my shallow end of the pool.

    Think I may expand on this as I continue to burn out some gunk over at my space. Thanks for the kick in the brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the awesome post! It helps knowing there are others who have days like this.
    My answers:

    1. Why did you start writing?
    I honestly can’t say. I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s a part of who I am. I remember trying to write down my first story when I was six or seven, and my brother made fun of me for it. (What did he expect? I was six!) I think a good portion of it was a way for me to make friends, since I didn’t do that very well socially. All my books and stories and the characters within them became my best friends. Now I can’t help it. Writing is something deep inside, and if I don’t do it, I feel like a part of me is dead or dying.

    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    There are no limits. Truly. None at all. I can write about anything I want, in as crazy a voice/setting/style/form, etc. as I want. Nothing can stop me when I’m writing except myself. And I don’t let myself do that. I love the freedom of writing in a world that is otherwise bound by incessant rules and limitations, where people are told what to do and how to act. Writing isn’t like that. It’s the ultimate escape, and the ultimate high!

    3. What goals are you working towards right now?
    I’m querying agents like mad for my first book, and have started about twenty others in that time. Mostly based on conversations with other people, the new books have either very dark or very light elements to them. I’m also continuing to edit my first book, since I can’t seem to stop. And I’m working on the second book in my middle grade fantasy series. I have so many story lines in my head right, it’s hard to keep them straight, but I somehow do. I actually spent time in six different books (and three different genres) two days ago. Whew! I was exhausted after that.

    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Go read your favorite book. Now. Or your favorite two, or three, or ten! Step back from your work and enjoy someone else’s, especially those authors that may have inspired you to write in the first place. And exercise! Or take a shower. Somehow, those two things, when I have the least ability to write down my thoughts, always bring about some of the best ideas. Exercise is really, really, REALLY good for the creative juices. (I’m talking from personal and professional experience. I’m a physical therapist and consult people every day on the benefits of exercise). Get out of your writing zone and enter another. Then, when you feel refreshed instead of bogged down by your thoughts and “writer’s block,” come back and write away!

    Thanks, again, for the post! Another great one!

    Like

  12. iamccsmith says:

    Thinking about what got me stated writing makes me want to write more. I really liked the questions in this post so I put my answers on my blog, hope you don’t mind!

    Like

  13. perlesink says:

    Why did you start writing?
    I’ve journaled since I was a child because I must. My initial published work came straight from the pages of my journals.

    What do you love the most about writing?
    Couldn’t say, except when I’m on a roll the world falls away.

    What goals are you working towards, right now?
    My e-book, How to Journal and How to Publish from Your Journal, is finished and on sale at Amazon; My memoir is taking shape; My spin-off of some minor characters in an old unpublished novel into a story of their own is moving slowly; My poetry needs organizing into topics before I can move ahead on publishing it.

    What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Don’t wait for the muse to show up on command or you’ll get very little writing done. I practice what Julia Cameron calls ‘the morning pages’ in her book, The Artist’s Way. Single greatest tool for a writer I have ever found.

    Perle Champion at Perle’s Ink, freelance words & art

    Like

  14. I voted for you. Hope you win 🙂

    Like

  15. falzalnz says:

    I really like your last comment about how the first draft is just me telling myself the story. That’s EXACTLY how it feels. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed because I know there are a lot of details missing and I want everything to be perfect and some things don’t really fit. But it’s nice to feel as though I’m being introduced to all of my characters and they’re telling me something that happened.

    Man, that sounds kinda crazy. Whatever.

    1. Why did you start writing?
    There’s nothing else I’d rather do.
    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    The way it can completely take over. I mean, hours can fly by and I won’t even realize it. And even though it feels like the story is being told through me, I can edit the parts I don’t really like or wouldn’t like if I was reading the story.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    Finishing something.
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by how you think everything should be or sound. Let your mind relax. Take a break. And be open to everything (news articles, images, environment, people, etc).

    Like

  16. Looking at pictures sounds like a good idea! Might try it some time 🙂

    Like

  17. Harliqueen says:

    A great set of questions 🙂

    1. Why did you start writing?
    To get out the large amount of stories in my head that wouldn’t be contained! 😀
    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    The fact you can go anywhere, do anything, write about anyone. It’s pure escapism.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    Finishing the editing on my current book.
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Take a walk. Step back from what you’re doing and get away for a bit, it’s amazing how much fresh eyes can help get you motivated again 🙂

    Like

  18. embrystical says:

    1. Why did you start writing?
    Because it was fun, getting to pretend I was someone else, with friends and a cool job and stuff.
    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    Getting to make it up, and seeing how much others enjoying reading my stories.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    50K for my NaNo project.
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Find a friend, family member, anyone who’ll read your stuff (and like it, of course. There’s no point asking someone to read yoru YA dystopian if they don’t read YA) and give you plausible feedback. That’s the best way to encourage yourself, in my book.

    Like

  19. Thanks for the images idea. I usually turn to music or just lay there and brainstorm.

    1. Why did you start writing? I have always written. Always.
    2. What do you love the most about writing? I seem to think better when writing.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now? Camp NaNoWriMo fantasy novel. Also editing a fantasy novella and then returning to writing on a general fiction novel in May.
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now? I really just love to give myself some space to stare into nothing and think about what is going on in my story. Music may facilitate. Otherwise, I also chat things over with my husband. Then again, if I have put in a good amount of work, I don’t fault myself for doing some laundry or–schedule permitting–going for a hike. There’s always some sort of writing project I can return to (even cover design or marketing), as long as I am making strides ahead.

    Like

  20. cfjeanjean says:

    Yay for Camp NaNo! I’m doing it too (first NaNo effort so far) and I’m having the HARDEST time not going back to edit. Or wander off to worldbuild etc.

    It’s great to have the support and inspiration of other writers though – which is what is so awesome about the Internet / blogging. Since getting involved with blogging I’ve found the comments I get from people on the blog do a lot to keep me motivated, as does finding other writers’ blogs out there like yours! 🙂

    Great post! 🙂 and good luck with tomorrow’s writing for Camp!!

    Like

  21. adreamersoul says:

    Beautiful post and highly motivating! Is it too late for me to write my answers? I tried NaNoWriMo this year but failed. Next year shall be the one!

    Like

  22. 1. Why did you start writing? I loved the 80’s miniseries “V” so much I wrote a fan fiction with me in the story. I’d watched scifi as a kid but for some reason that one put me over the moon.

    2. What do you love the most about writing? The chance to do things and see places and experience things that I never would in real life.

    3. What goals are you working towards, right now? I’m working on a Star Wars fan fiction novel.

    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now? Write something that no one will ever see, just for you. For me writers block happens when I think my ideas aren’t good enough or I’d be embarrassed to show people what I wrote. Go ahead and write something for you. If that doesn’t work, change genres. If you write fiction, do poetry, or nonfiction. Rant. Make a list. Talk for five minutes about a thimble. Be as silly as you can or as serious as you can, but take a walk outside your head.

    Like

  23. krystal jane says:

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE DeviantArt! I have so many ideas derived from some the awesome artwork I’ve come across on that site, including my current project. ^_^

    Like

  24. roseywaters says:

    1. Why did you start writing?
    Cause I couldn’t draw. My mother and brother are both professional artists and my dad went to art school before getting into animation, so everyone in my family can draw beautifully. Me? I can manage stick figures and the same face over and over again. When people ask me about my artistic tendencies, I can fall back on writing. The actual start of writing though, I don’t remember. I’ve been writing since I was seven though, so it was a while ago…

    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    Stories working. Like the moment that something clicks into place is one of the best feelings in the world. A story line that’s been in the background of my head that suddenly takes on a whole new level of importance is amazing. I love those moments when you can make plot and story and character all work together.

    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    I’m writing a trilogy of novels currently. I guess I’m working towards getting it published?

    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    Go back into your character’s histories. Write out their worst memory, write out their favorite childhood moment, write out when they first went to school, or the first time they saw their parents cry. Nothing story/plot related, but history related. Very often I find some key or something important in those scenes, and while no one else sees them, it fleshes out the character and gets you writing the main thing again.

    Like

  25. unknown says:

    Given that you write because you like it, sometimes stepping away is good. I walk the dog. I used to know someone who solved plot problems vacuuming. It’s whatever works for you, and you can only find that yourself. I have to be honest, too, and say that when you turn pro there’s nothing like a deadline and an irate editor to get you going! After a while, finding those methods of getting the drive and inspiration back become second nature. It’s like any skill, really – it’s about practise as much as anything else.

    Like

  26. egehlin says:

    This is a great post.

    1. Why did you start writing?
    My mind is crowded with ideas and characters that are busting to get out into the world. Sometimes it feels like my head will explode if I don’t develop the ideas, bring the characters to life…tell the stories.

    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    The feeling I get when I finish what I’ve started. Finishing is the hardest part for me, so when I complete a project the feeling of accomplishment is a real victory.

    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    Finishing the current series of books I’m writing. Writing between 500-1000 words per day which, for now is the best I can do given my work schedule ay my 9-5 job. On schedule so far to complete the first two books by next September. Life is good.

    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    I get my inspiration from so many places that it’s hard to list them all. Mostly I read everything I can get my hands on (books, magazines, even advertising brochures). I read all types of subjects including history, science, politics, mystery, horror and science fiction. I’m also inspired by art of all kinds. I’ll usually search out sites with concept art for movies and video games because these are ideas in development and tend to have a vitality that is hard to find in more traditional art. If I get stuck on a project, I’ll usually take a step back for a day or two and do something relaxing. Then when I return I find that I’m refreshed and I have a fresh perspective on the elements that were giving me trouble.

    Hope this was helpful.

    Like

  27. OOOOOHH this looks fun! I’ll do it on my next post and mention you! Ugh, if I remember…dumb brain cells!

    Like

  28. pauljgies says:

    1. Why did you start writing?
    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I have been writing since my teen years and I am now about 5,700 years old. I started writing a LOT about twenty years ago, and the past few years (since my divorce—coincidence?) I’ve written 500 words a day almost every day.
    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    I love my characters. I adore them. I write so I can find out what they’re doing.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    Finishing another and another and another. I don’t even really care about publishing. You can read my stuff on WordPress for free.
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    The first half page is the hardest. Force yourself. As Kingsley Amis said and I often quote, “The art of writing lies in the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” After that first half page, it gets easier. Also: Elmore Leonard’s ten rules.”If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” Do not be in love with your voice. Be in love with your characters, even the ones you wind up killing.

    Like

  29. 1. Why did you start writing?
    I’ve always been writing; it’s just been a way I can express myself. After college it only got better because I fell in love with research so my writing turned into nonfiction which I love.
    2. What do you love the most about writing?
    I love the creativity. Even in nonfiction writing you can always experiment with writing styles and vocabulary to spice things up.
    3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
    I am working on a nonfiction book which is taking on a life of its own. I am also trying self-publishing which is a goal for me to branch out of customary.
    4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?
    I am totally in agreement with using pictures as inspiration. Pintrest is a godsend when it comes to inspiration. Just find images that spark the imagination and before I know it, I’m 1,000 words closer to finding a story.

    Like

  30. araneus1 says:

    1. I like the sound of my own voice.
    2. Not knowing what my characters will do or say.
    3. Remaining sane long enough to write another short story.
    4. Stare into your favourite painting or photograph or window or movie or the couple at the next table and write all the back story you can imagine.
    Terry

    Like

  31. orgoh says:

    I needed this today 🙂

    Like

  32. catsandog says:

    Advice: keep a journal and write when you wake up. Taken from The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. I offer this because I do it and it works to give you inspiration! It’s also a good way to get rid of what’s on your mind! Until my mind is clear I cannot write creatively or even be inspired! I find I tend to write a lot of poetry and creative writing (descriptive) now. It makes me feel good and inspires me to keep going! Hope this one piece of advice helps anyone out there who may be struggling for inspiration.

    Like

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