Finding Inspiration Again

The words have gone.

It’s every writer’s secret nightmare: to sit down, brimming with ideas, only to have the words shrivel into dust. The few that end up on the page lie in awkward sentences like jigsaw pieces that don’t quite fit.

They’re dead; there’s no emotion left.

For the last few months I’ve struggled to write — and what’s most frustrating is that I don’t know why.

I’ve tried focusing on one project. I’ve tried flitting between them. I’ve tried outlining and freewriting, skipping ahead and writing in order. Music and silence. Bedroom and living room. Evening and daytime.

Nothing seems to work.

Staying inspired and motivated is no easy matter. With every unproductive writing session I’ve felt gradually more defeated, and it would be so easy to let everything slide, to stop trying so hard, if only to avoid that creeping sense of depression.

Because without words, what am I?

And then I wonder: where can I find inspiration again?

But there is no magic cure, no secret shop of wonders.

The truth is that inspiration is inside of us. We won’t find it anywhere else. And if we lose it, the only thing we can do is to continue to sit down in front of that dreaded empty page — to continue despite every defeat — and WRITE.

Yes, even if all the words are clumsy, mismatched jigsaw pieces.

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9 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration Again

  1. I hope you find your inspiration comes flooding back soon, and that you take care of yourself in the meantime and don’t beat yourself up. The words will come soon enough.

  2. I think all writers go through these periods. I know I do. I have definite writing “seasons”. Some seasons I’m overflowing with ideas, and during other seasons it seems like the hardest thing in the world to get half a page down.

    Good luck with your journey. The inspiration WILL come back. :)

  3. OK, a month ago or so I commented on your planner vs pantser article, and I mentioned 750words.com. Then you replied, but since I hadn’t checked the “notify me of follow-up comments” box I answered back almost a month later, so perhaps you never read my answer.

    I suppose it looks like I digress, but I’m saying that because 750words is helping me a lot. I finished what i like to call “Book One” of something that hopefully will once be a serial in February/March. After that, well, calling it a dry spell is an euphemism. Since then, I think I may have written perhaps twenty entries of creative writing, tops.

    But still, thanks to 750, I’ve kept writing every day. Sometimes it’s fill-in nonsense, sometimes it’s personal stuff. Rants, complaints, or plans. But I get my minimum of 750 words every day.

    There’s this saying attributed to Picasso, if I recall correctly, which goes along the lines of “inspiration does exist, but it has to find you at work.” I cannot say that my inspiration is back, but 750words.com certainly helps me with the part of finding me at work.

    Hope it helps. A bit.

      • Funny there, I cannot see my original comment… :)

        Anyway, you’ll see that what Buster does at 750 is give you a lot of small incentives (badges, challenges) to keep you going, but ultimately it’s up to you. And all you write is private and personal: if you want to share, you need to go the old copy-paste way.

        As I said in the other post, it’s created the habit of writing in me. Now sitting down and pouring out my daily words is not a chore or a pain, but something natural. It might help you too…

        Perhaps I should ask for a reward for the free promotion… :)

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