Inspiration…

…do we need it?

I came onto WordPress with not the faintest idea about what I was going to blog about. I didn’t feel inspired in any particular direction, which led me to think about inspiration itself.

Over the summer, I didn’t feel inspired to keep on working on Book 3. That was my excuse, anyway.

This is National Novel Writing Month and I know of several people within my home region who have failed to write a single word as yet. The idea in their mind has failed to make it onto paper, either because the idea wasn’t that good to start with, or because they’re scared it won’t be good enough. I’m sure those writers, just like me over the summer, will be blaming that damned elusive Scarlet Pimpernel of inspiration.

But I’ve learnt something, through forcing myself to get started on Ragnar’s saga; you can’t wait for inspiration to strike you. You have to go out there and grab it. I sat down on Saturday with only a chapter title in my head (In which a Viking, a Pict and a Priest walk into a tavern) and a vague idea that Ragnar would get involved in some drinking games. The chapter, without any massive excesses of energy on my part, wrote itself. It’s not how I’d pictured it (not that I’d really pictured it in any great detail!) but I’m happy with it. It fits. If I’d waited for inspiration to write it for me, I wouldn’t have Api Lokison and his pet Taupe, or Sigrid Stripherknickersoffherson the Amazonianesque Viking woman, striding about the pages of my novel.

Living with depression is like that; you have to get off your backside and get on with life without waiting for your mood to “feel right”. You’ll be waiting a long time. Looking back, I waited 28 years. This year, knowing the signs and what to do, I waited a couple of weeks before going to the doctor and saying “this isn’t working for me”.

Don’t wait to feel inspired. Don’t wait to feel “better”. DO something yourself to change your situation. I promise you’ll feel better for it, and your word count will soar!

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