Whoever says writing is always pleasurable is either downright insincere or miserly with the truth.
Let’s face it, writing can be a hell of a task at times, especially when you don’t have the motivation to do so. And the ‘good news’ is you won’t always have the inspiration to write.
Sometimes, in the absence of the right stimulus, each word that goes into a write-up feels like torture. The case is different when you have a muse to write. But then, you can’t always wait on that if you want to be a serious writer.
SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE
I once wrote a short story (just a short story) that took me about four months to finish up. (Well, it was a ‘pet work’ of mine so I didn’t have to commit to a deadline). I was at work one fine morning when the inspiration to write it came. There and then, I set to work on it. It was as though I was under a spell while at it at work as the idea flowed seamlessly.
However, the minute I got home and resumed the writing, inspiration bid me farewell! I didn’t even know the next word to write let alone how to develop the story further. Although I could have dropped it and move on to other important things, I decided to put the short-lived inspiration to shame by finishing up no matter how long it took.
So today, I write a sentence, cross it out and wait till another time my brain cooperates. Anyway, I finished the blasted story after 4 travailing months. It turned out to be one of my finest stories. Ever since, I’ve made it a point of duty never to give up on a write up I start but ensure I perfect it.
Most of my works are products of a nudge or some kind of inspiration bug. I’ll like to think that the case is the same for the best of works written by the finest of writers. Unfortunately, even the best of wordsmiths don’t always have the luxury of a muse to write. If you intend to make a life/name off the writing profession, you won’t always wait for an inspiration before you put pen to paper.
I’ve written many write ups in fits and starts. I seem to get into the mood to right something, I start writing and at some point, I get the writer’s block and then abandon it. I however make it a rule to finish whatever I started, no matter how long it takes. Some articles/stories I wrote are products of weeks of efforts. When you keep making conscious effort at writing, with time, it becomes less irksome. Even though you are still going to need inspiration for many of your works, you won’t always have that luxury.
This art requires a great deal of passion, persistence and practice.
What do you do when the inspiration to write doesn’t come?
Be your own inspiration!
Sometimes, when the ‘spirit’ doesn’t ‘move’ you, you ‘move’ the spirit. Proactivity is the key. Don’t always wait for that exceptional idea to come at you. Instead, take the initiative and create something out of nothing.
Personally, in the bid to inspire myself, I explore diverse alternatives. Occasionally, I write in response to something I saw, heard, read or experienced that got me thinking. At times, I read voraciously and find inspiration to write from the works of others. From time to time, I get to assign myself topics in particular fields, research on it, read up similar works in that area, gather relevant facts and set a deadline for completion. Sometimes, I write based on some areas of interest. It’s much easier when you write on subjects you find intriguing. That way, you won’t have to labour excessively each time you pick up your pen to write.
Effectiveness is birthed in consistency and doggedness. Nothing good comes cheaply. Even the best of writers will be sincere to tell you that perfecting a piece isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes, they struggle to put pieces of ideas together coherently. At other times, they feel drained after a series of imaginative back and forths. However, what they don’t do is quit.
It takes determination, effort, proactivity, practice and interest to get the job done. Inspiration is needed and advantageous. However, it’s not always available. If you really want to write, you’ll have to go out of your way.
PS: I owe the inspiration for this write up to Florence @ http://florenceezekafor.com
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