Keep the Spark sheltered
- Keep it in a safe place, surrounded by a supportive group, encouraging friends and other writers who understand the fragility.
- Delight in the Spark by remembering what it is about writing you love so much.
- Be kind to the Spark by easing off on the pressure 'to get published'.
Keep the Spark fuelled
- A writer's fuel is reading good books written by authors we admire.
- It's getting out and trying new things, taking on new experiences, spending time with family and friends.
- It's research and non-fiction reading. Our strange and wonderful world is full of inspiration.
- It's watching people, paying attention to how they dress, speak, move. It's taking note of their reactions to the world around them.
- It's finding encouragement wherever it might be. For example, the Spark can be ignited by reading our own older works. Occasionally I'm pleasantly surprised by work I used to think was seriously ho-hum. Time has a way of clearing our muddy view.
- It's writing. Odd that writing can be a fuel for more writing, but it's true. The more we write, the easier it becomes and the more ideas come flooding our way.
Use the Spark
The spark is like a muscle. It needs to be used or it will atrophy. Just as writing is a fuel, it's also an exercise for our creative muscle. Don't let the spark wither and die. Don't let ideas go wasted. Write them down to explore later. Write a journal. Write flash fiction, essays, outlines, concepts, thoughts, observations. Write snippets, captured moments, short stories and novels. Just keep writing.
What has threatened to dampen your Spark... and what have you done to guard against it?
This post was written for Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers' Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.
I had a great time during my mini break doing research for a possible new project. I looked up so many government sites on biological warfare and emergency procedures that my hubby thought we might be getting a knock on the door soon. Hopefully not! Famous last words: It's just research for a novel... I swear!