NaNoWriMo and the Truth About Inspiration

It’s been a super long while. How’s it going, Internet? With National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) just around the corner, I figured it would be pertinent to touch on something many novice writers find themselves at combat arms with.

Inspiration.

It takes a lot of guts, courage, and time management in order to pound out a 50,000 word manuscript in as little as 30 days. But for many writers, they cannot help but eagerly face the opportunity. However, like winged ants in search to begin a fledgling colony of their own, many writers will rise to the occasion, but very, very, few will succeed to reach their goal.

In fact, even outside of NaNoWriMo, you’ll find many writers (perhaps there are those among my readers who can relate) who very rarely finish what literary ventures they start. We grow weary of our projects; they become a bore, or cumbersome, or we’ve written ourselves into a corner and don’t know how to find a guiding light. New, lustrous, ideas tempt us elsewhere, and some of us fall victim only to be left feeling just as unsatisfied in the long run.

It’s a vicious cycle. And that’s where “inspiration” comes into play.

Many writers (myself included for the longest time until only recently) swear by the creative muses. If we did not feel inspired to write that day, we did not write that day. If we did not enjoy a current project, we would set it aside, claiming “Oh, I’ll tackle this later when I feel more inspired.” Then weeks pass, then months, sometimes even years, and very little would ever get accomplished.

The bare bones truth is that very few novice writers finish what they start. Unforced creativity very rarely swims to our artistic senses. The fact of the matter is that you have to sit down and just do it. Just write. Write though the pain, and the agony, and the lack of inspiration. At the end of the day you’ll thank yourself, you’ll feel better, and each and every day you do this it will become easier and easier (for the most part).

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo, I want to leave you lovely creative types with the following, below. I want to see you succeed at your works. Not just your NaNoWriMo projects, but with all of your creative and non-creative ventures. If you are absolutely serious about being a novelist, or a journalist, or whatever else the writing field has to offer, I encourage you to take this advice on “inspiration” to heart:

Inspiration is a hoax. You want inspiration? Plant your butt and start typing. Type until you reach 1,000 words or more. Every day. I don’t care how hard it is to do that; I don’t care that you’re mentally exhausted after three sentences. I don’t even care if you’re bleeding out of your fuckin’ eye sockets. Whatever you do, don’t get up. Just write. Just do that. Inspiration? Romanticized bullshit. You want your inspiration? Paycheck. Advance. Royalties. There’s your inspiration. Now quit your bitching and get creating.

With much love,
E.E. Blake

grumblegrumble

HERE ARE SOME RESOURCES TO HELP YOU BUCKLE DOWN AND GET SHIT DONE:

Write or Die (Online writing prompt that eats your words the longer you procrastinate – I found this very handy during my first NaNoWriMo venture.)
Focus Me (Blocks distracting programs for a set time, total customization. Free trial, full version is about 20 bucks — but totally worth it)
Cold Turkey (Handy social media blocker)

For more, read this Mashable article, “6 Apps That Block Online Distractions”.

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