Monday, April 11, 2011

Industrious Inspiration

One of my favourite writing quotes is from Jack London: You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Many established writers dread the question, ‘where do you get your inspiration from?’ That’s because it comes from anywhere and everywhere. But we can’t wait for it to strike. We have to go after it, hunt it down, seize it and make it work for us.

In fact, sometimes we have to write without inspiration.

What do you do when you aren’t ‘inspired’? How do you go after inspiration?


Pic: Trevi Fountain, Rome.

Note: This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. To learn more about the challenge click the image on my sidebar.

32 comments:

  1. This is great! I love London. My main tactic for clubbing down inspiration is reading or watching someone else's art. So, reading a fantastic book or short story, watching a good movie. That gets the mental wheels out of the ruts. Usually.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  2. Lots of concentration and freeflow writing. Sometimes it's just writing down random words and sentences or things I've witnessed, memories. This isn't my favourite type of method but sometimes - say when I have to hand in a piece of creative writing for my course - I need to resort to this method. It sort of works eventually - but after much of my brain is frazzled! LOL!!!

    Take care
    x

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  3. When I lack for inspiration, I've always done one of three things: go for a walk, go for a drive, or attend a boring meeting at work. But now that's all going to change. Now I'll be doing all these things with a club.

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  4. Reading probably inspires me more than anything else. Also daydreaming.

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  5. I love reading, listening to music, watching movies in the same genre I write.

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  6. Jack was a truly wise man! I couldn't agree more!

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  7. I love reading. I always describe myself as a very passionate reader.

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  8. Sarah, yep, great work is highly inspirational

    Old Kitty, yeah I think I'm almost used to a frazzled brain now ;)

    Nate, hahahaha better sendout warning notices ;)

    KarenG, ah yes, daydreaming... blissful sigh.

    Clarissa, all good! especially music

    Dezzy, yes indeedily

    Nas, reading is brilliant :)

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  9. Love that quote! It's funny you should post this, as for this week I decided to put away a chunk of time and just generate ideas. (I'm so fascinated by them!) The newspaper, music, and doing quick little writings that lead to nowhere always inspire me.

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  10. just keep swimming... write til it comes. But you're right. Great quote~ :o) <3

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  11. Hi Lynda .. I can see inspiration or finding different approaches or ideas would be difficult at times.

    Fortunately I suffer from too much inspiration .. but then I get overloaded and too much is too much!

    Good to meet you and thanks for dropping by my blog - see you around .. all the best Hilary

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  12. Hello lovely to meet you. I am originally from Sydney and now reside in Qld. Its really strange sometime what I write about. I will log in to share a particular experience and when I begin to type it all changes and something else ends up in front of me. I amaze myself many times....so I guess mainly the Spirit of God does the prompting and my fingers do the typing. God Bless.

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  13. Great post. I freewrite when I have no inpsiration or you might try my I: Inspirational Ideas post :O)

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  14. Keeping a dream diary helps me :)

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  15. Inspiration is often found in the most unexpected places. Just have to keep your eye open.

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  16. I guess I would have to say reading. That, and hanging out browsing in book stores or the library.

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  17. I tend to get inspired when i'm writing or when I'm partway between sleep and waking up. I try to remember to keep a notebook on my bedside :)

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  18. Love this--I'm a big fan of London, and I adore that quote. I'm a power-through kind of girl. That means on some days I have 1,000 words that I know will eventually get trashed, but I finished my goal-of-the-day, dammit!

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  19. What a great post! I love "I". What I do for inspiration is anything that makes me happy. I go out or watch a show. I go on the net. You are right ...inspiration is just 'round the corner, we just have to go get it. What a great feeling though when it does happen...I know it makes my day! Blessings, Joanne

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  20. I have to force myself to write 78% of the time. Inspiration is over rated! :)

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  21. I love this. I just usually force myself to press on through. Having a word count goal *really* helps. Even if you have to delete a lot of it, a failed attempt is better than no attempt at all.

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  22. I usually keep working even though the inspiration is not really there. I have also found that the quickest way for me to get inspired is to preoccupy myself with other activities and before I know it, my mind is thinking up all sorts of new things. Thank you so much for following my blog.

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  23. Sometimes I have to wait for it as I know the chapter or scene is a dud without it. I usually go do something else - work out [yoga is good at shaking out some inspiration], showers usually work, or chopping veggies. Something will usually trigger that aha. I will struggle through without it, but won't move on until inspiration hits. It rarely takes more than a couple of days.

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  24. When I briefly studied architecture last year I remember seeing the Trevi Fountain. It's so beautiful. I love the quote!

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  25. Madeline, that's a great idea to set dedicated time for idea generation :)

    LTM, yes indeedy

    Charmaine, yup

    Hilary, that's a great thing to suffer from :)

    Crystal, hi to another Aussie! :) God bless to you too

    Madeleine, hehe, great post

    Siv, they are great.

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  26. Wanda, true

    Elizabeth, yep I do a lot of browsing too

    D U Okonkwo, I have notebooks everywhere because I'm bound to get ideas when I'm furthest from one.

    Jess, daily goals are a great way of breaking through any barriers.

    Joanne, it is a great feeling :)

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  27. Rebecca, hehe as they say: 1% inspiration 99% persperation ;)

    Kiernan, I agree. And we learn a lot from just writing too.

    Murees, welcome. Experience is one of the best idea generators.

    M Pax, yep, breaks are also good :)

    Emily, it's beautiful. I even did the traditional thing and tossed a coin over my shoulder into the fountain.

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  28. Getting out of the house usually works for me. Sunshine, fresh air, and the beauty of the city usually clears my head.

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  29. Ahhh, put on some jazz and pick up a pencil, paper, and erasure and start doodling.... that is how many a new stained glass design comes into being.

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  30. I love that quote!
    I get away from the computer... get our and inspiration finds me.

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  31. Michael, I LOVE getting out of the house. Sunshine is inspirational.

    Stratoz, I'm a fan of doodling

    Michelle, definitely good to get away from the computer.

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I'd love to hear your opinion. Thanks for leaving a comment.