On Writing & Inspiration

Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard! I’ve been thinking of a story plots for ages, but I can’t seem to get any inspiration to help my writing.”

I don’t know how this is for everyone – and that’s always going to be something with writing, different things work for different people – but I cannot be inspired if I am not writing. Until it’s words on the page, it’s not quite real yet. I might have plans and ideas, but they aren’t actual until they’ve happened. 

I sit down to write with a premise in mind – the idea, the general plot, and I begin to write. I don’t wait for a muse or some epiphany moment. I don’t have enough time or patience for that. Instead I remind myself that the thing in my head will not be the thing on the page and though they have things in common they are not the same, and then I begin writing. 

It’s not perfect the first time. It never is, so I allow myself to make mistakes. The tone is wrong. The pacing is horrendous. I write the things I care about, which for me is always the same things: character and action. What is the character doing? Why are they doing this? What do they want? How can their wants direct them from point A to point B? It might mean making mistakes and writing things that don’t work, but at the same time, I write a lot of things work better than I’d thought they would. 

I might write a few more scenes and then later go back to work on the first one, tinker with it and edit it, make it more along the lines of the thing I’d had in my head. It’s not perfect still, but it’s closer. And maybe none of these scenes are particularly “inspired.” I’m writing them because I want to tell this story and this is just a way to start doing that but as I go, something happens.

If it’s a strong concept, you get into it. You start coming up with new scenes as if by magic. Someone told me that there’s a point around 10,000 words you’ll know for sure if this is something you can run with and that’s just how it works for me. Suddenly I have a dozen things that I could write about this character doing. It’s not a struggle anymore and it’s actually fun. I might still run into hard scenes, but I know my characters better, I know what they want and what they’re looking for, even if it’s intangible or hard to put into words, and I know just how far they’ll go to get it. 

So, moral of the story, I’m not easily inspired. I suck at finding inspiration. I write because I want to get an idea on paper and for awhile, it’s hard for me. For awhile, I don’t like it, but then I get past it. I’m inspired while writing and it becomes fun and easier and there’s a million different things I want to talk about. This may not be what works for everyone, but it’s the best thing for me. 

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