Waiting for inspiration to write your novel? Never going to happen…
I met someone recently who told me she was waiting for inspiration to write her novel. I replied bluntly by saying that it’s not going to happen. She was shocked by my response, so I felt compelled to explain to her how it works… at least in my case.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard people say how they’re waiting for inspiration to start writing. I wish it was that easy just as much as I wish the tooth fairy existed and Genies lived in brass lamps. Just imagine if the staff of every advertising agency waited for inspiration to produce a print or TV commercial… that would be the end of their business. Similarly, a song writer or a band doesn’t wait for the gods to bestow them a number one hit. The same goes for screenwriters who churn out movies or episodes of a hit television show. You can go fishing and sit on the boat for hours staring into the water, but it doesn’t work that way when it comes to writing a novel.
Simply put, you can’t wait for inspiration. The idea is a fallacy. Start writing no matter what. There are several ways to start writing. You could create a storyboard to take you from beginning to end or you could experiment as you go along. Expect to rewrite and revise repeatedly before the final, polished product materializes.
How can you possibly begin? The answer lies within us, in the power of imagination. Do you honestly believe Ernest Hemingway waited for inspiration? “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Hemingway knew there was more to writing than wait for the magic dust to be sprinkled on the writer’s head.
The techniques of writing can be self-taught, or you could attend a school or a workshop. But you must stimulate your mind to encourage creativity as no one can help you but you. The point I’m trying to make is that you must keep writing no matter what. Louis L’ Amour said it best: “Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Find your way inside the story after you’ve written the first sentence. Be your own guide. If you don’t, and expect to wait for inspiration, all you’ll get is a rusty funnel.
As I always say, waiting till you feel like writing is like waiting for a train at an abandoned station. So, don’t wait for inspiration.