THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MARCH 12th 2015.
Some days I dream about making a living as a writer.
Those are usually the days I’m frustrated with my actual job. I consider how amazing it would feel to have a routine of coffee and writing – with my characters and their voices as steady companions throughout the day. I plan decorations for my office space and I swear under those circumstances I would be a mean – (eat too much sushi to be) lean – book churning machine.
I know, of course, that it isn’t that simple. My muse would loathe for it to be that simple. My routine would probably include coffee, writing, tequila (I jest) and a heavy dose of braid pulling to deal with the fight to the death periods of writer’s block I’m wont to have. (Random aside: I find persons don’t use the word wont nearly as much as that word deserves). Somewhere during my fantasizing about workdays involving sitting around in workout clothes, guzzling coffee and doing what I love the most in this world… I panic. It isn’t just because it is pretty damn hard to make a living from only writing although the publication of my first book has opened me up to a whole new world of horror… which I intend to detail in the coming weeks. Usually, however, my panic is focused on the worry I’d quickly run out of things to write. I learned my love for romance (even though I denied it pretty heavily for years) snuggled with Nora Roberts’s novels. To date she has written over 209 books.What. The. Actual. Heck. I understand that this is a lifetime of work – Nora, who started writing in 1979, is now 65 years old. However, I can’t fathom having enough inspiration to write so many novels. Hell, I find it hard to look beyond the eight I’ve currently plotted. So, the question is: where does inspiration come from? Is it just the luck of the draw? Is it Maybelline – or are you born with it?
As it stands I generally find inspiration through music or trolling my favourite stock image sites. You will be surprised how often staring at an intriguing photo results in a short story and then something more. Yet, I can’t help but worry that in the long term these tactics will not be enough. At times I worry that the writer’s constant question of, “I wonder what would happen if…” will eventually lose its impact and I will be lost in a plot-less, character-less wilderness. I guess I have eight books to work on before I allow those worries to consume me. And, until then, I can increase the inspiration tools in my writing box by researching. I’ll start with you!! How do you find inspiration for those short stories, novellas and novels? Are there any muse-approved techniques you want to share? Don’t be shy… help a writer out!