Thursday, January 11, 2007

Inspiration, Focus and Discipline

Inspiration comes in many forms for writers. We look at the world a little differently from non-writers. Writers look at a couple sitting across the table from one another and make up the story of their courtship. Writers look at a child playing and make up stories about that child, his/her playmates and the rest of his/her family. We look at someone jogging along the side of the road and make up stories about who they’re running from, where they’re running to, and why they’re running in the first place.

We listen to a particular piece of music and get inspired to write a fight scene or a love scene. We watch a particular ad on TV and get inspired to write a story based on something that happened there. We observe life around us and absorb inspiration based on what we see, feel, hear, smell, do, touch…

Inspiration can come from a picture, a song on the radio, an email we receive from a friend, and even from other writers.

Inspiration is what keeps us writing – Focus and Discipline are how we finish the story…

Focus – if you can keep your mind on what you’re writing and not let something else interfere – whether that’s a new story idea or going off on a tangent with the current story, you’ve got it made.

Focus is sometimes hard for writers due to the fact that we DO see the world differently from non-writers. What is mildly annoying to someone else can give us fodder for a month’s worth of writing.

Discipline means BICHOK – Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. That story won’t write itself! Discipline can mean writing SOMETHING every day (or night) or it can mean setting aside time during the week for a flurry of writing. Discipline will see you through to the end of the novel, even when you hit the wall and don’t know where you really want to take that story.

Inspiration, Focus and Discipline – yep, that’s what we all need to write, that’s what we can depend on to see us through, and what will get that novel written and eventually sold.

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