I’ve been giving inspiration a lot of thought this month. Partly because I’ve been writing 4 to 6 posts for my blogs every week, partly because I blew a bunch of deadlines last month, and partly because I haven’t written a word for NaMoWriMo in weeks. And the clock is ticking!
What is working is that I’m writing every day! What isn’t working is that I have yet to balance my blog posts with my fiction writing life. Everyday – except Fridays and Saturdays – I get up and write one or more essays. That means that every day I have to have a new thought, a new idea to research, or something new to say. It feels like work – but fun engaging work that I’d do for free (oh, and look I am doing it for free).
But while the blogs are going well my fiction work is suffering. The deadlines I blew off last month are gone, but new ones are on the horizon and I need to get working on them or they too will zip past me. Last month I felt worn and my ideas tired and shapeless. This month I’m revitalized… so I should use that and get to work.
I’ve always believed in the power of panic!
Maybe for me panic is my Muse. That is why I love deadlines and have such a hard time writing things that either don’t have a home or only the possibility of one. Sending words out into the ether seems to be a leap of faith – and I am not one of the faithful.
The end of the month is approaching and I have yet to write anything… since I killed the original story. It isn’t time – I have time – it is something else. It isn’t a lack of ideas – I have tons of those too – it’s more about wadding through them and trying to decide which ones have legs and which ones don’t.
So what is left?
It isn’t inspiration I am lacking – but discipline. Learning to be a writer is a process – learning to produce each day, day in day out, is one of the most valuable lessons I can think to learn… and I’m learning it…but I still have a ways to go. I know this – I’ve known this forever. When I get up in the morning I am responsible only for myself (and the cat – but Minerva’s pretty low maintenance) and that means that every moment I spend working is only for me – I don’t have a “job” where I’m responsible for things outside myself.
Everything – creativity, inspiration, discipline – all comes from inside.
Just me, the computer, and the stories… so… the question this week is can I write 50,000 words by the end of November? Of course! I’ve done it before I can do it again.
The value of panic!