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Author Information

Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Waiting to Be Inspired to Write? You’ve Got It Backwards!

How would you feel if you were playing hide-and-seek and no one came to find you?

What if it turned out you were “It” and everyone else was waiting for you to find them?

Are you playing a backwards game of hide-and-seek with your writing? Are you hiding, waiting for inspiration to find you when you should be out looking for inspiration?

If you’re waiting to write, you’ve got it backwards.

We don’t write because we’re inspired – we get inspired because we write.

We don’t write because we finally figured out what to say – we figure out what to write as we write.

We don’t write when the resistance goes away – the resistance goes away when we write.

We don’t write when the time is perfect – time becomes perfect when we write.

Simple Solutions

The next time you notice you’re waiting for inspiration, consider who or what inspired you recently. Start your 15 magic minutes of Product Time there.

  • Freewrite about who or what inspires you
  • Freewrite about who or what infuriates you
  • Create a collage of people and things that inspire you
  • Research who or what inspires you: read, talk to others, search online
  • Take a walk and get curious about what you see, hear, smell or touch
  • Draw a cluster or mind-map
  • Write a poem about who/what inspires you without naming the person or thing
  • Explore what happens when you give an object that inspires you to one of your characters; or what happens when you take that object from a character
  • Google “writing prompt” and so you don’t waste time trying to find the prompt that inspires you the most, just do the third one you find
  • Practice writing the way a musician practices scales; select seven words at random, repeat the first word and start writing about those words
  • List things you’d like to write about someday

Stop Waiting!

Welcome inspiration when it shows up, but don’t wait for it. If you write only when you’re inspired, you’ll spend far more time waiting than writing.

Bottom line: Do you want to be a waiter or a writer?

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One Comment on “Waiting to Be Inspired to Write? You’ve Got It Backwards!”

  1. wendyandcharles March 31, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    Reblogged this on Siefken Publications.


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