I’m pretty tired today and getting going feels like a bit of a slog. There are times when you’re so out of tune with writing, you just know there’s no point in even trying to force those words onto the page. When you feel like that sometimes It’s better to do something else and wait for your creativity to slowly drift back to you.
Then there’s the times when you just need to focus and make a start. You know the automatic habits will kick in when you get going but it’s the getting going that’s the hard part. This is the dangerous bit of the process; it’s too easy to wander off and “forget” to wander back again. It’s times like this, I feel, that some tough love is in order:
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Said by Jack London and one of my favourite quotes about writing because it’s true. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you need to treat writing seriously. That means not waiting for inspiration to float into your lap before you begin.
I like to think of this quote whenever I’m at that dangerous cusp of wandering off. It snaps me back to reality and forces me to concentrate. There’s nothing flowery or poetical about it. (Also I tend to get a vision of a writer in a deerstalker looking for inspiration amongst some overgrown vegetation, club in hand, typewriter slung over back, making coo-ing noises to try and lure it out.)
Because I want writing to be my full time job one day, I try to treat it like that when I’m doing it. If I don’t feel like writing or editing, I think of Jack London’s words and remember why I’m doing this. And is it really so much of a chore? When I compare it to working in a meaningless job that I hate, I know the answer.
Look out inspiration, here I come.