Since I released my first novel, almost four years ago, I have done a complete 180 in terms of my writing process. I used to believe fervently in waiting for the arrival of that elusive ‘writing muse’, and when she did finally make an appearance, I would write feverishly until she chose to leave. But in the last several years, I have adapted my belief, changed my process until I now believe in a different kind of power – the power of starting.
The difficulty in waiting for inspiration to strike, with a flash and a bang, is that very often, it doesn’t come at all. The period of waiting stretches out and stretches out, and nothing is accomplished. This is why there was over a year and a half between the release of my first novel, and my second one.
It took an image, and a quote from Dan Poytner for me to realize that this approach was all wrong for me:
So, I began to show up every day, sitting down with the intention of writing every day. And I discovered something rather remarkable. Inspiration no longer arrived with a flash and a bang. Instead, through the simple process of sitting down every day and just writing, inspiration creeps into my work bit by bit; sometimes it feels like it’s leaking out of my fingers, through the keyboard and onto the screen.
Inspiration begets inspiration. The more I showed up, the more inspired I became; the more immersed I was in the story I was telling, and the more excited I became as my work unfolded before me. My writing productivity comes not from waiting for inspiration to strike, but in that first act of discipline – showing up, and starting.
Tell me about your writing process. Do you wait for inspiration to strike?
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