Finding Inspiration

2013-Aug-2 -> from the search-for-epiphanies department Tags: writing 

It was as I sat here in front of my computer, staring at a blank word processor document (didn't writers used to stare at a blank page?), that I came up with this topic.

See, I've been having trouble coming up with blog topics, which is part of the reason why I went a month and a half without posting a thing. Perhaps my focus has just been too fixed on Reprisal to come up with anything, but I just haven't been able to write on any other topic.

It's the proverbial wall, and we all hit it at some point.

The writing world is full of encouraging words. We should take our time, build a following, be patient and it will come. Work hard, practice your craft, write often, read even more. There are a thousand things we need to keep doing, and at all costs, we can't get discouraged. It's a marathon, not a sprint, after all.

Yeah. Try it some time.

Finding inspiration when you're feeling defeated is tough. At some point during your writing career, whether you are indie or traditional, you will feel the icy grip of defeat take hold. You've worked for hundreds or even thousands of hours, improved your writing incrementally, sent out hundreds of queries, and you've still to see any kind of fruit come of those seeds you sow. You set up a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a G+ account, and do everything right. Blog tours, reviews, giveaways, promotions. Shouldn't you be seeing some kind of reward by now?

I thought I would. But then again, I have friends in the writing world who spent ten or more years just writing. Working on perfecting their craft before they ever let anything see the light of day. I tend to work faster than that.

For me, finding inspiration to write something beyond my current task is a monumental undertaking. If you understand at all how my mind works, you would know that I keep one task in my head at a time, and that gets the lion's share of my unconscious thought. Nothing else really takes a piece of that. For me, the last few months have been dominated by Reprisal, which is almost finished now. To be honest, blogging hasn't been a priority for me.

This is the source of my defeat.

If I ever want to grow beyond being an indie author with a few sales each month, I have to discover the inspiration to write beyond my current project. I need to find content that is inspiring and interesting to people who would be interested in the books I write. That's not an easy task, particularly for somebody like me.

So answer me this: What do you do for inspiration when nothing else feels like it's working?

Thanks for reading!

I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say. Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you.

Don't forget to join in on the conversation in the comments section below.

1 Comment:

By Ia Uaro on Sun 4 Aug 2013 11:04:30 am [ Reply ] Hi Thomas.

Try travel.

Sources of inspiration: (1) real-life experiences, (2) imagination, (3) research. You'll end up mixing all three, even when one is of them is more dominant.

I get inspired the most when I'm cleaning or walking--never when I'm sitting in front of the computer. I've been writing real-life stories--and so far decided I don't want to share them with the public! Over 90% of everything I write has actually happened, about 95% of the dialogues has been said, 100% of my characters are real. I shuffle them like a deck of cards, glue them with fiction, change the names to protect people's privacy. I have so much to write, although at the moment I'm undecided about sharing them with others (just enjoying the writing processes). Meanwhile my mentor Irina Dunn has asked me to write about my experiences as today's new author, because she's so sick of having to explain the same things again and again to her clients. So I'm writing real-life non fiction at the moment, a guide for her new-author clients, which is easy because I only have to write what I've done.

Recently I "met" Terry Stanfill. She knows how to write the regular fiction, but what she loves (and a small audience love this very much) is to write heavily researched historical fantasy. Highly academic materials. One vile troll on Goodreads says the scientific facts should make her books be classed as non fiction--but they are fiction, crafted from her imagination, although she spends several years in deep research for each book.

I suggest, get away from your screen. Visit new places and fantasize: once upon a time something incredible happened here... Watch people (your daughter, strangers out there, people on TV news), really look at them: WHAT IF an outrageous event were to unfold, WHAT IF they had lived at a different era, different land...

Have fun!

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