Can we force inspiration?



It’s that time of the year for me again. Mid-October, close enough to November and the beginning of NaNoWriMo. If I sign up, this will be my sixth year participating. I love the challenge and deadline of this competition. 50,000 words in 30 days. In my earlier days of writing, I never thought I could do it. But I learned that my own brand of discipline mixed with my stubbornness helps me win every time.

I don’t want to sign up unless I’m positive I can create those 50,000 words. So I need an idea. A plot. A fascinating character. A setting. Something to start with. But as I sat down yesterday with my blank notebook to begin my brainstorming, I had nothing. No name, no face, nothing that stuck at all.

So I went to Pinterest to peruse pictures and photographs, which has usually helped me in the past. Nothing. I asked my husband for help because his unusual and entertaining stories and friends have inspired more than one of my past stories. But this time, no luck. So I wondered what was wrong.

And now I’m here writing about my lack of inspiration and wondering if we writers can force it?

How do you find inspiration for your writing? Is it easy for you? When it isn’t, what do you do?

And I wonder if it’s a sign that I shouldn’t participate this year. If I could come up with some idea, would I fail? NaNoWriMo is the one challenge a year that forces me to write one novel a year. Those novels may never see publication, but that’s not the point. I write. I need to write. It doesn’t matter if anyone else sees these drafts. But I need to finish them.

So I will get back to that notebook now and think. I’ll remember people, places, feelings. I’ll draw pictures and I’ll probably cross out more than one page of scribbles. I might even throw the notebook across the room or in the trash. But I’ll keep at it. There’s still time and while I may not believe I can force inspiration, I’m going to damn well try and summon it.

Stay tuned and let me know your thoughts. Have you ever forced (or summoned) inspiration?





4 thoughts on “Can we force inspiration?

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