Get Inspired

Many people ask where did you get your ideas from, but this chapter asks, how do you keep the inspiration coming?

The boys in the basement. Ha!

 If we are working toward a career in writing fiction, we can’t wait for inspiration to strike us. We have to create an atmosphere conducive to creating ideas. In Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell suggests going for walks, keeping paper and pencil handy, brainstorming, and waiting until the next day to assess them. He refers a lot to the “boys in the basement” a phrase coined by Stephen King from his book, On Writing. “It refers to the writer’s subconscious mind. Prompting the boys to do their work is one of the best ways to get through a wall.”

 I’ve experienced this. When I’ve been consistent with my writing and reading, I’ve found idea after idea coming to me throughout the day in numerous of ways. But as soon as I get out of my creative routine, the well dries up.

At the moment…my well is dry. I took a year off of writing (sort of) when my baby girl was born, but now I’m getting back into the swing of things. Writing, reading, balancing reality with dreams. I’ve got a couple of projects I’m looking at tackling. Loads of fun. 🙂 New worlds to create, people to meet, stories to craft. And thanks to a writer friend of mine who did this, I’ve decided to create a board on Pinterest to collect photos to share the fun and keep the inspiration coming.  Once I’m back in my groove, it will start up again. I just gotta stay focused, connected, and keep my priorities balanced.

So what say you? Is your well dry? Or over-flowing? What do you do to keep the inspiration coming?


10 thoughts on “Get Inspired

  1. C.L. Dyck says:

    I wish I had time for all the stuff that flits through my head and then vanishes in revenge for me not sitting down and working with it promptly. (Muses are so vain and tempestuous.)

    I’ve cultivated a habit of writing anytime, anywhere, but I find it works *much* better for nonfiction. Just the facts, and whatnot. Immersing my thoughts in an alternate reality takes a lot more energy, and there are pitfalls to pushing forward sometimes. But I’ve spent years not pushing forward as much as I wish I had, so I’m at a crossroads on how to adapt my writing life for this very loud, chaotic teenager-raising phase I’m now in.

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      It’s all a season, isn’t it? I try to write down those little snippets of ideas that “flit” though my mind and then look at them later when I have time. Sometimes something really cool comes out of it, sometimes not so much, but it’s there if I ever have need of it. Still there are other times, when I have a light-bulb moment and I worry about trying to catch it and I lose it 🙂 J.K. Rowling mentioned that when she had the idea for Harry Potter she was sitting on a train with nothing to write with so she sat there brainstorming where her mind went with it and then when she finally got home, she wrote it all down. Maybe a stoke of brilliance will hit us and who knows how we will capture it 🙂

  2. C.L. Dyck says:

    Oh, and, thanks for linking! I feel cool now. 🙂

  3. I’ve got great ideas, but now that I am starting to read all the “how-to” books, I find myself staring at the screen more and more wondering how to go about writing my ideas down properly without feeling too confined by all the rules. It’s a hard balance. I don’t want to lose my true voice, but I also don’t want to write poorly. I will keep plugging away a day at a time!

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      I hear ya! I find it more difficult to get the story down when I got all these do’s and don’ts ringing in my head. That is why I LOVE NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. It really helps me to take an idea to outline to rough draft and then I come back and work on it later. I’m still looking for my voice but I’m kind of excited about it…because it is an expression of me, my art, and what God has done in my life.

  4. It’s so hard to get back to writing after having a baby! It took me 18 months the first time and this time around I didn’t take a break because I’m mid-revision, but there are a lot of days I can’t write due to sleep deprivation or other priorities, This week my well is temporarily dry do to a sick baby and being away from the page for a week dries up the creativity, as you talked about, but I hope to be back in a routine next week.

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      Thanks for joining in on the discussion and sharing your thoughts. I hear ya about sleep deprivation and priorities! I have to keep reminding myself these little ones who tug on me now, in a few years, they’ll be skipping off to school. My three year old is getting to the point where he kind of still needs a nap but he’s pushing on staying awake, which “nap time” has been a great opportunity for working on my writing stuff but now I’m having to readjust. 🙂 I hope your baby get better soon and that you find a way to fill up your well so that you are roaring to go next week. 🙂

      • My older one hasn’t napped in almost two years, so now I have to coordinate the little one’s nap with the older one’s preschool hours if I want to write. It works some days but not every day! My older one is actually skipping off to school this fall. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, and while I look forward to the extra time, I’m also sad about these magical preschool years coming to an end.

      • J. L. Mbewe says:

        Agreed. 🙂 They grow up so fast! A friend of mine says something along the lines of: practice living in the now. The past is gone, nothing we can do to change it, the future isn’t here yet, all we have it now and what are we going to do with it…

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