Here is Jim’s comment:
“I don’t believe in inspiration, not in any Romantic sense. Inspiration is a good idea – literally – and I don’t like to mystify the process. If I have a good idea, great, if not then any old idea will do. I used to wait around for inspiration to strike as if it was out of my control and that’s such a waste of resources. This doesn’t mean I’m not affected by my moods and there are times I’m less responsive than others – there’s nothing like having a clear head when you’re trying to write – but there’s often much we can do to improve our chances of a successful writing session, if we know ourselves. This is why some writers rise at the crack of dawn because they recognise that is the optimum time for them to work. I used to find working in the middle of the night was a very productive time but these days I’m at my clearest in the afternoons.
That said you can be struck by a good idea any time. The key is to be on the lookout. And have paper handy. It’s no different to a photographer wandering around with his camera on the lookout for something worth snapping. Unlike some authors there’s no place I find inspiring and believe you me I have pounded the street looking for ideas in the past. You can’t force a good idea to come to you any more than you can encourage a cat to come to you by shouting at it.”
We writers must write under all circumstances. If we were to wait around for inspiration, then it may be a really long wait. As writers we have to be our own inspiration. Once we start writing, our words will inspire the next lot of words, which will further inspire more words which will give birth to the next lot of words.
I tried this four days back. I was battling a vicious bout of virus, running a temperature and the medication was making me sleepy. My Crit Partner had sent me her feedback on my MG fiction. She was waiting for me to make the changes. Frankly speaking, I was in no mood to write, my muse as usual was missing in action.
But, I forced myself to write. For the next fifty minutes, meaningless words escaped my head. I jotted them down, though I knew I would discard them later. The initial blank page slowly filled with words as the thought of my Crit Partner waiting for the last few chapters filled my mind. I ended up making the changes even in the midst of a virus with my muse gone on a holiday.
This is one habit all of us should incorporate into our writing life. We should and must set personal deadlines. Else, the manuscript will take ages to get written. Do you all force yourself to write irrespective of the circumstances? Or do you all wait for the muse to drop in?