4 comments on “Inspiration comes from all sorts of places

  1. Luree says:

    I’m not a writer (just a lover of the written word), but I do journal and occasionally write poetry. Wish I could say, as James Scott Bell does, that my best inspiration comes at nine o’clock every morning, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the exact hour and whether or not I have had the energy to brew a cup of “late night” tea) that creativity most often comes when dastardly insomnia takes over. Is a too-active-mind-in-the-middle-of-the-night a problem for real writers, too?

    • debutauthors says:

      Luree, seems our authors missed your question. Let me give it a try.

      My feeling is some of those late night can’t sleeps are partly our own fault–over stimulation with coffee or sugar or such–but some I feel are the unconscious brain squeezing thoughts into our consciousness. To me, that is a signal to grab the journal and go for it. Even when the actions of getting up cause the thoughts to poof away. Fifteen minutes just writing down whatever comes to mind. Won’t be a logical sequence of thoughts or pretty language. It’s letting the thoughts pass through and out via your pen, like meditation. This doesn’t work every time; however, when it does, I feel as though I’ve released something. Sometimes I find a nugget that calls for expansion and I take another 15 minutes in the next day or so to write some thoughts centered on that nugget. And, yes, sometimes a character in my manuscript pops in for a visit. In that case, I take dictation.

      I heard Mr. Bell speak at a marvelous conference exclusively for writers. The confab featured him, Chris Volger and Donald Maass. All three discussed the larger point of discipline with this one mixed in. I think, when he says inspiration comes at nine o’clock every morning, he’s talking about the discipline to write. Professional wordsmiths can’t afford to wait for the muse to strike them. They must learn to have an appointment with her each day. Very Pavlovian, n’est pas?

      Much harder done that said. Chores, errands, and appointments disrupt routine and, once I’ve let them take over for a few days, getting back into the discipline is hard and all about re-establishing priorities. For me, it’s the breaking of momentum and re-gaining it that are the emotionally painful parts. In other words, I don’t like the transition phases. When you love writing, it’s easier to say ‘no’ rather than to do something else like tummy crunches. Well, that one is a no-brainer. Let’s try foregoing a piece of chocolate cake. Now that one is harder!

      I really appreciate your comments and hope you’ll continue!

  2. debutauthors says:

    My copy of the digest hasn’t arrived yet. (The plague of a name beginning with Y.) I didn’t hear him make that quote, but I can say he comes across as a very disciplined guy. High energy, too. Although, inspired could mean having downed a cup of joe. Just saying…

  3. Melissa says:

    Robin, Since you’re fresh from meeting James Scott Bell, you’ll probably appreciate his article in the new (Jan 2012) Writer’s Digest. One quip he takes from Peter De Vries — “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’ clock every morning.”

Comments are closed.