Monday, May 24, 2010

Inspiration...and Non-Inspiration

Some people are under the impression that as writers, we walk around in a haze of inspiration and creativity. I'm much more likely to walk around in a haze of confusion and absent-mindedness than anything else. That isn't to say that on occasion I don't have ideas pop into my head and I have to search frantically for pen and paper to write them down. I just tend to get more annoyed when that does happen.

Inspiration is almost always confused with force of will and determination. I can honestly say that I am never inspired at six in the morning when I sit down in front of my computer. I'm not inspired five minutes later, or thirty minutes later. But if I can sit myself down and start writing, that part of my brain that actually does all the writing will wake up and get going, and before I know it, I've got a good dozen pages. But again, this is not inspiration--this is willpower and stubborness.

Non-inspiration is just a way of saying I'm lazy or annoyed or pissed off. Let's face it, sometimes life is really, really frustrating, and just the thought of sitting down and writing a sentence shoots that annoyance to new levels. On those days, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that anything I write will be complete, utter crap. And since I'm already feeling lazy, wasting my time doing something I'm going to have to undo would really, really piss me off.

Having said all this, I'll go back and shoot myself in the foot and say that inspiration, that hazy mist of creativity, does exist. It can come from a song, or a snippet of conversation, sometimes just looking at a person is enough to get the creative juices flowing. One of the major scenes in Shades of Desire was inspired by a Nickelback song--I could almost see the action unfolding, like a music video of sorts. The entire premise for New Moon Rising came about after I wrote the first page completely on a whim--at the end of the first page, I had no idea what was going to happen, no clue, until I got to the end of the first long scene. Now, I'm so deep in this particular world, I couldn't imagine it not existing.

Whether you call in inspiration, determination, or non-laziness, something pushes us to write. And thank God for it.

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