I’m not sure who wrote it, or where I read it, but I distinctly remember reading an article (probably on the internet) in which the author told the readers that he/she didn’t believe moments of sudden inspiration really existed. That they may feel like grand inspired moments, but later it turns out they were shit. I remember being quite offended by the article and angry at the author. If I hadn’t been able to calm myself down, I probably would have ended up hunting the author’s contact information down and writing an angry letter. Of course, when I read this I was about 13 or 14 and even though I was well on my way to becoming serious about writing, I didn’t yet understand the good advice in this rather horrid article.
Is Sudden Inspiration a Real Thing?
Some writers might say no. They might say that these moments aren’t really leading to anything substantial in the end. I would disagree. Whether your moment of borderline crazy writing ends up leading to anything or not, it is important to get it out. If you’ve been writing for any length of time, you probably understand the sensation of an idea constantly rattling around in your head. If you have an idea like this, even if you can admit that it’s a terrible one, you need to get it down and out of your head. Until you do this it will be difficult to think of anything else. Once your all-consuming inspiration is down on paper, give it a few days and then go back to it and read it over. Then you can adequately decide if the idea is worth while or not. Even if the writing itself isn’t so great, the idea still might be worth saving. After all, it is just a first draft.
It’s difficult to write sometimes if you don’t have inspiration. The consuming, manic inspiration might not be very common, but without any inspiration at all, it kind of makes a person want to bang their head against the wall. As tempting as that might be (sometimes the keyboard looks particularly inviting too) there are some things you can do to help that are a little more constructive.
Free Writing has some ideas to help with inspiration. One thing that James Chartrand discusses that a lot of writers don’t think about is how difficult it is to come up with new ideas when you are doing the same thing. There is nothing wrong with routine, or “writing what you know” but you need new experiences and new knowledge to give you fresh ideas for writing.
Those Times When You Just Aren’t Inspired
There are going to be times when you just won’t be inspired. It can be easier to come up with an idea for a brand new work than to keep writing a novel or a short story. There are going to be times when you are writing something that is difficult or uninteresting to you and you won’t be able to rely on inspiration to get you through. As a writer, you need to develop your writing so that even when you aren’t inspired you can write something well and in an interesting way for your readers.
One of the greatest abilities of a writer is to write wonderfully when you really just don’t want to write.