Inspiration Wednesday: Ugh, Do I Have To?

I’m not going to beat around the bush. I don’t have any inspiration this week. My work is tiring, my exercise is lacking, my diet is suffering from over-eating, and I’m just exhausted. It was hard to get back into the habit of writing these blogs for this week. I didn’t put up my weight loss post on time last week, and I forgot my chapter of my story entirely. (That being said, I wasn’t home at all on Friday and I forgot to set it up to post in advance because I didn’t know I was going to be gone all of Friday.)

So how do I get back into this, when it’s the last thing I want to do?

Stephen King is often quoted as saying that if you don’t have the time to read or write, you have no business being an author. And as much as I love writing and want to be an author, that’s where I’m finding myself at the moment. In the moments I find to write, I sit and stare at my computer and no words come. I took the week off of blogging in hopes that I’d find my spark again, and I haven’t. The only reason that I’ve gotten this far back onto the horse is that I told K. Baisley I’d have a review for them, and I hate to keep friends waiting. It’s not fair to the author, and it’s not fair to you readers to not post.

So how do you find inspiration in the pits of despair?

There’s a story I remember hearing about the famous author James Joyce, who was found despairing on his desk by a friend of his. When asked if it was the writing that was troubling him, Joyce responds that of course it is; what else could it be? His friend asks, “Well, how much have you written?” “Seven words,” Joyce responds.

“But James, that’s good for you!” his friend replies.

James Joyce is a billion times better than me as an author. I cannot possibly aspire to his greatness. And if seven words a day was all he could manage sometimes, then there’s no reason why I can’t manage seven words a day.

During NaNoWriMo, my good friend and fellow author Lyn Thorne-Alder has a habit of pushing people who are struggling to just write 100 words. If they can’t manage that, just write 10. Ten words is doable. Ten words is a short sentence. You can manage ten words. And what most of our friends find is that once you’ve written ten, it’s much easier to write twenty, or thirty–and then you’ve gotten that 100 that you thought you’d never find.

I’ve been talking with the ML here in Richmond, and working on getting started for the busy season. October can be just as busy for the MLs as November can be, since we need to get ready for all the stuff we’re going to do (and won’t have time for) in November. She’s pushing me to come to the early kick-off party and help her set up, and I’m keen to help. But right now, I feel like I’m dragging my feet because I don’t want to do anything now.

I don’t need to do anything now. But I know that in November, inspiration or not, plot or not… I’ll be writing. I always am. And I’ll want to be there and help. It’s just a matter of making it through the 10 or 20 word days to get to the 1000 or 2000 words ones.

The most important thing for an author to remember can be perfectly summarized in a line from a very silly movie called Galaxy Quest, so if you ever need inspiration to keep trucking and get just a few more words out, think of Tim Allen proclaiming in his best William Shatner impression:

Oh, this movie. Never give up, never surrender!

And I’ll do my same to keep trucking along too. Hang in there, writers. We can all make it through together.


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