don’t wait for inspiration to strike

get a pen and paper (or keyboard and monitor) and do it!

that’s what i always come back to – so i guess i could call that my first rule of writing (and i have to tell you, the word “rule” makes me squirm). rory over at clean cut blog (and check it out, his blog is definitely clean cut) asked that question in his “first rule of writing” group writing project.

“get a pen and paper and do it” means, among other things: “don’t wait for inspiration to strike”. it occurs to me that that the reason we want inspiration so much is because we want control – the control that comes, for example, when we suddenly have a colourful vision of what the writing project will look like. inspiration brings knowledge, and knowledge means power/control.

for example, we may not want to start writing a short story until we know whether the protagonist will die at the end. if we don’t have control over something, we often don’t want anything to do with it. giving ourselves up to the flow of the story (on paper and in real life) can be pretty scary. however, i find that in the end, it’s the only thing that really works.

so – whenever i meet someone with writers block, i always suggest simply plunging in and “copying” what runs through their head. it’s a terrific way to start. chances are that what runs through your head is related to what you want to write about in the first place anyway. and then suddenly, without trying, inspiration will often strike.

(by the way, it’s interesting that i’m ending up writing about inspiration – that’s how i got to know rory at clean cut blog: through vivien’s group writing project about inspiration.)

on a very personal level, “get a pen and paper and do it” also means the excitement of a blank piece of something, ready, willing and receptive to whatever scribbles appear on it. it’s like the promise of a new morning, or a brand new dress. it’s the chance to start something new, invent a tiny little corner of the world all by myself, and to do it through the sensual experience of hands and mind forming letters, words, sentences …

that’s not a rule or a guideline but perhaps a guiding light, a pleasurable knowledge: writing as a delectable experience of the senses.

do you have a “most important” writing guideline you want to share? if you have a blog, go over to rory’s article to participate in this group writing project; if you don’t have a blog, feel fee to post your ideas here.

i’m also alerting a few of my blogging friends to this: jobmob, verve coaching, the fit shack, massage your mind, and reiki blogger.

14 thoughts on “don’t wait for inspiration to strike

  1. Rory

    Thank you so much for this, Isabella, and thank you for alerting others.

    What a great first rule. It really works, as well. Just writing and letting the thoughts flow. I especially like your illustration, like the promise of a new morning. Ah, this is wonderful!

    I wish I could give you the accolade of being the first, but this (new) morning I received an e-mail from someone who game me their first rule of writing. Quite an unusual one, too. But you are definitely the first trackable participant, and I really appreciate it.

  2. inspirationbit

    Isabella, your first rule reminded me of this vulnerable poem by my favourite poet – Boris Pasternak. (I hope you won’t mind me posting it here)

    February. Get ink, shed tears.
    Write of it, sob your heart out, sing,
    While torrential slush that roars
    Burns in the blackness of the spring.

    Go hire a buggy. For six grivnas,
    Race through the noice of bells and wheels
    To where the ink and all you grieving
    Are muffled when the rainshower falls.

    To where, like pears burnt black as charcoal,
    A myriad rooks, plucked from the trees,
    Fall down into the puddles, hurl
    Dry sadness deep into the eyes.

    Below, the wet black earth shows through,
    With sudden cries the wind is pitted,
    The more haphazard, the more true
    The poetry that sobs its heart out.

  3. the individual voice

    Just beginning to explore the world of blogging and I just started a blog about being both a psychotherapist and a writer. The intersection of inspiration in both is discussed in my most recent post accessible above.

  4. TC

    Thanks for the “alert”. I am heading over to have a look.. also I really liked your “control” point.. it is an interesting observation..

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  8. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker

    Isabella, your method works well for me. I may have an initial idea but more than likely it is a feeling that starts me writing and I go with the flow of words. Sometimes the words come slow. Other times, they come so fast that I can hardly write fast enough. I write until the words stop then I go back and do rewrites and correct spelling and grammar.

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  10. isabella mori

    hello everyone, and thanks for your many comments!

    author mom with dogs, i like the image of starting and insipration catching up. it makes me think that inspiration WANTS to be with us (otherwise why would it bother to catch up?)

    individual voice – welcome to the world of blogging! you already have lots of interesting things to say. like your entry self censorship, where you talk about your “weightless” experience of getting to know the blogosphere!

    patricia – writing often works for me the same way it does for you. when i write poetry it may just be that feeling, or even just one little sound … and then it’s like following a pawprint in the sand …

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