Thursday, July 9, 2009

There's a dirty little secret no one tells about inspiration... it's not as important as you think it is.

People like to say they were inspired to write this or that, and it's true to an extent, but if you wait for inspiration to strike, you won't be writing much of anything. At all. Ever.

Inspiration is great for coming up with a premise. Just today, something my mom said YEARS ago clicked in my head and the entire structure of a contemporary YA novel downloaded itself into my brain. I was inspired.

But when it comes to plotting and then writing an actual story or novel, sooner or later, it becomes work. You have to train, and sometimes force yourself to write everyday - even if it's just a little. This is the point that so many people fall away from their "dream" because in the dream it's easy. It's meant to be. All you have to do is put pen to paper or hands to keyboard and the words just flow.

Yes, there are days like that. On my best days, I can knock out 20,000 words in a matter of four or five hours (that's about one quarter of a novel). On an average day, I used to hit 12K. Lately it's been closer to 2 - 5K. But at least it's something.

Don't worry about inspiration. Do the work and make it as good as you can. The rest will take care of itself and no one will know the difference in the end.

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