Writing from Inspiration

Jeffrey James

Do you love (or at least like) to write? I do. In fact, I wish I had more time to write. Although writing for the most part is an enjoyable and rewarding experience, there are times when it’s downright hard. You know what I mean. The times when we’re sitting there for what seems like an eternity staring at a blank piece of paper or monitor because the words just aren’t coming. No fun. I’d like to try and avoid these times or at least minimize them.

If you’re interested in improving your writing, there’s tons of information available to help you do that. Here are some of the more common recommendations:

  • Write daily
  • Write at the same time of day
  • Read widely
  • Edit mercilessly
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink lots of coffee (a personal favorite)

These are all good. But for me, one of the best ways to improve as writer is to write when inspiration strikes. It’s that moment of creativity when a great idea is born. I find that not only do I have an inspiring idea, but many of the supporting words to develop a great written work are not far behind. The outline starts forming in my mind almost immediately. Writing at times like these seems very effortless.

The problem is sometimes we’re not ready when inspiration presents itself. It can come at an inopportune time when we can’t act on it. At other times distractions can arise to pull our attention away from the inspiration, and a great opportunity can be lost.

Writers need to be ready when inspiration arrives. If possible, strike while the iron is hot. Stop what you’re doing and start writing. Don’t let the inspiration slip away. If this isn’t possible, have a notepad handy and record all the thoughts and words you can. Or, have a recorder handy and dictate your ideas. Whatever you need to do to capture these bursts of creativity, be ready to do it. When inspiration strikes, capture it. Your writing will benefit.

What do you think? How have you leveraged inspiration and what steps have you taken to become a better writer?

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