You’re relaxing in a pleasant environment thinking about the past or dreaming about the future and an idea hits you. You go to your notebook or computer and start writing. It all comes together beautifully. A great article is born or a new book is on the way.
That’s how a lot of people think of writing, even those of us who know better. It’s the ideal of writing. Sometimes writing really happens that way.
If every author waited for inspiration to write, there wouldn’t be any books. Instead, inspiration gets the writer writing. When the inspiration is gone, momentum, methodology and motivation take over.
While inspiration is strong, the experienced writer gets to work creating an outline or summary. Once you have all of the main points down on “paper” you can complete the work whether you’re inspired or not.
Your outline or summary gives you the points or story scenes you will write about for the first draft. You work your way through a piece of writing several times. The longer the piece, the more passes it takes. For the best results, have passes to expand, revise, and cut, in that order.
There are several motivators to keep you writing when you don’t feel inspired.
If you’re employed as a writer, you write no matter how you feel. If not, you’ll be fired.
If you’re in an educational program, you write to pass your courses.
If you have a website, you write to entertain or educate your visitors and keep them coming back.
Once you are making a profit from writing, you must keep it up to pay the bills.
And don’t forget writing just to get an answer; e-mails, instant messengers, blog comments and tweets.
Professional Writers Must Work Without Inspiration
Writing does not require inspiration. Just get to work even if you feel like what you are producing is total crap. You can polish your work after you have all the information gathered and organized. Have you ever had a job as an employee and didn’t do your work because you weren’t inspired? Professional writers can’t wait for inspiration either.
Keeping a journal is a good way to practice writing without inspiration. You can write about whatever interests you at the moment. Because you have other writing you’re working on, related material will pop up in your journal. I’ve had many blog posts that started as entries in my journal, including this one.
How about writing something without inspiration right now? Stop reading blogs for 20 minutes and write something. Need a prompt to get going? Go to your bookmarks or favorites menu and click on a link in the middle of the list without reading the title. Review the web page quickly and then write a list of points related to something there that interests you. Turn those points into a short article. It won’t be a great article, but it’s a good exercise to prove to yourself that you can write without inspiration.
Article text copyright 2011 David Arthur Smith. All Rights Reserved.