Inspiration versus Perspiration

There is a saying that writing is he easiest job in the world: you just load up your word processing program, and stare at the blank screen until your eyes bleed.

Well, it’s not always that hard, but sometimes I wish it was that easy.

When I get inspired, writing is so easy. The words just seem to write themselves, and I can pour out four or five thousand words a day without even trying. Indeed, that’s how I started writing, with so many ideas coming out I didn’t know what to do with them. That’s why the Lydia’s Path series, my first major project, is such a smorgasbord of kinks: so many ideas, so little time!

Then it got hard.

My first dose of writer’s block was awful; I just ran out of ideas and found myself staring at the page…and nothing. It’s the most terrible feeling, like you are empty and can’t find anything to fill that void. You wrack your brains, but even when you know where you want the story to go, getting that bridge between what’s already on the page and what’s in your head eludes you.

Hot on the heels of running out of creativity came the procrastination: I have this to do, that to do. I should go on Facebook and promote my earlier works. I should tweet about what’s coming. Clean the house (anyone knowing me knows I have to be really desperate for THAT excuse to rear it’s head, or else my living room is about to spontaneously combust from the mess). Sign an on-line petition. Go check up on a sick friend. Trust me, if there is something I really don’t want to face, I’ll find a way to avoid it.

Then you finally have to get your shoulder to the grindstone and you have to force those words out. You have to beat yourself (I can’t get someone else to do it, I’d like it to much) into sitting down and writing just a dozen words…however many you can, every day.

Then, eventually, it clicks and suddenly you are flying again!

There’s no inspiration without perspiration, it doesn’t happen. But if you invest the perspiration, the inspiration is worth it. I wouldn’t do anything else in the world.

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