I'm sitting here, trying to come up with a great first line, a genius idea, a breathtaking story. I'm waiting for inspiration. And although things have been going relatively well for me in the writing department lately, I always seem to end up in this place.
I make writing deadlines, and I miss them. I miss them because I'm waiting on inspiration. Because somewhere along the way, I started buying into the idea that in order to write, I needed to wait upon a great wave of inspiration that will shower me with brilliant and beautiful ideas that I will then be able to turn into wonderful, starry-eyed stories. Because, as EVERY writer knows, to write without being inspired would be dreadfully phony. (We must have picked up this idea on the same brilliant path that we picked up the idea that if we wait on it, inspiration will shower us with genius.)
Well inspiration has been a bit slow showing up today. This week. This year, really. And I'm starting to realize that if I only write when I'm feeling inspired--although those times tend to yield great results--then my writing sessions are going to start being few and far between.
So I've come to a conclusion.
Inspiration is a nasty, moody whore who just wants to do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it.
Yeah, I said that. It's the truth. We put so much pressure on ourselves, our art, that everything we write has to be perfectly inspired--so much so that we would rather not write than to write something uninspired. We stick up our noses, put away our pens, and go about life, telling ourselves that we will eventually write something incredible, that's it's worth waiting on, that it would be an injustice to ourselves to write something uninspired.
We are wrong.
We do ourselves and our art injustice when we put away our pens and notebooks. Because it is not when we are uninspired that we are failures, it is when we stop writing. When we stop writing, we stop believing we were meant to write. We stop believing that we're good at writing. We stop believing in ourselves. Where's the inspiration in that?
Screw unrealistic expectations about starry eyed stories.
Here's to writing the truth, inspired or not.
Here's to reality.
Here's to writing.
I choose to write. I will write, and inspiration can meet up with me or not. Maybe she will, and we'll become best friends and hang out all the time. Maybe she will bump into me when I'm halfway through writing something. Or, maybe not. But how will I know if I do not start?
I won't. And that's the uncomfortable and beautiful truth. One must write to be inspired to write.
There is no better way to make yourself feel inspired than to picking up your freaking pen and writing.
So get to it.