Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Got Inspiration?


As writers, we're nothing without inspiration. It’s the magic that makes things happen. But sometimes, we find it lacking. Stuff gets in the way. Sometimes it’s really big stuff.
I asked the Kidliterati writers what prevents their inspiration and their responses can be summed up in two categories:
1) Life. The people and events—the kids, significant others, older parents, day job, school—that make up our worlds.  They can’t be ignored.

But sometimes we get lucky and we find inspiration in these very things. It might not be while they’re happening, but later. Maybe right before we fall asleep, or while we’re waiting at the traffic light, or when we’re taking a shower. We reflect on the emotions and events of the day and we think, “What if?”  And before you know it, we have an idea. We’re inspired.

One of my favorite quotes is from Stephen King's On Writing.

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write,
 remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room.
Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.”

2) Self-doubt. This one’s hard because feeling like I’m not good enough really stinks. I’m pretty sure most, if not all, writers have felt this way at one time. Sometimes numerous times.
Rejection might take the form of a query that isn’t responded to, a manuscript that isn’t accepted, revisions that aren’t good enough, or sales that are lackluster.

I’m convinced that the biggest difference between a published writer and a non-published one is that the former keeps writing even when discouraged.
One of Ki-Wing’s favorite quotes is from Thomas Mann. 
“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Ain’t that the truth!

I asked the Kidliterati writers what types of activities help them find inspiration and their answers were fairly common.
·         Listening to music

·         Driving

·         Reading

·         People-watching

·         Long walks; running

·         Taking a long hot shower

·         Finding time to be alone
When I’m in a writing slump, I often find inspiration in the words of others. It’s amazing how powerful some words are.

Here are a few quotes that the Kidliterati team finds encouraging.
"If there is no struggle, there is no progress." ~ Frederick Douglass (Becky)

“I don't need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me." ~ Ray Bradbury (Brooks)
"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas." ~ Linus Pauling (Becky)

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”  ~ Ray Bradbury (Ronni)

"I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance". ~ Steve Jobs (Becky)

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ~ Neil Gaiman (Jean)

"...it didn’t come together all at once.  I knew the kind of story I wanted to tell, but had a few different theories about... how it would all come together at the end.  The pieces eventually clicked, but I earned maybe one “click” a month. There was no magical “click-click-click-click.” ~ Rebecca Stead (Ki-Wing)
"Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us sit down and get to work." ~ Chuck Close (Becky)

Here’s the thing…we can’t wait around for inspiration. Sometimes we have to simply put our butt in the chair and write. And it’s that act of writing—putting one word down, then another, then another—that makes the magic happen.
So maybe that's why Paul's favorite quote speaks so loudly to me.

“Do or do not. There is not try.” ~ Yoda

How do you get your writing mojo? We'd love to hear it!

~ Dana

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