A question that always seems to come up amongst writers is whether they write from a place of inspiration or discipline?
We all would love inspiration to whisper into our consciousness, and lead us on a whimsical journey, to a destination unknown, time and again. This is what makes the writing process magical. People and places refuged in our heads are transformed into the stories that we want and need to tell. These are the moments we savor. This is when we most love being writers.
But the reality is on most days writing looks something like this: sitting alone in a silent room, fingertips poised at a keyboard or with pen in hand. Voices, visions, and vibes stirring within us. They are noisy and unrelenting. They demand immediate release. But we cannot free them because we do not have the words. Or, we have the words but they are not at all befitting of the story waiting to be told. So we struggle. Sometimes for days, even weeks. We give up. We come back. In our most defeated state, we question why it is we dare to do what we do. But deep down, we know exactly why. So we persist.
This is me, like so many others.
The inspiration writer.
I am fed by all that I see and hear in the world. The words come hand delivered by inspiration, who tells me to do what I will with them. She feeds me frequently and bountifully. But when she does not appear, I not only await her, I desperately search for her. I convince myself that I cannot write a single word without her.
But writing demands that we write even when inspiration abandons us. This is when our commitment to our craft is tested. This is when we know that we write because we do not know how not to write. We dig deeply to find a beginning. It may be a sentence, a phrase, or just one word. It may wreak like garbage or paint the most beautiful of images. But we write. Consistently and decidedly.
Inspiration is sweet.
She is beautiful, but frustratingly fickle. So we must write as if she will never again find us. Because she may not. To await her arrival is to miss our opportunity to create over and over again.
Photo Credit: Terri Linton