Not long before heading to St. Simon’s Island, I did a special project video on Inspiration–mainly because I was getting so many requests to do something on the topic from my Aids4Writers group, but also because it’s good to stop and take stock on occasion, and let’s face it, inspired writing is always in demand.
Maybe it was feeling refreshed and renewed–except I came home to mountains of work and a 3-page to-do list.
Maybe it was the rain–a blessed relief because we’ve been on conserve water status and it’s been relentlessly hot.
Or maybe it was that I slowed down long enough to feel inspiration knocking at my door. (There’s been a cardinal knocking on my window for about a year now–he let’s me know when the birdfeeder needs refilling–and he knocks and knocks persistently until I answer.)
But here’s what really happened….
I returned home with no idea of what I wanted to write next.
I answered over three dozen questions for folks in my A4W group, catching up on the Urgent requests that came in while I was gone and without email access.
Then I read a book to endorse for a writer.
Then I read my critique partner’s latest complete.
Still no idea what I wanted to write next. I bought some of my favorite magazines–SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, TIME, etc.–and nothing struck a spark, much less the level of interest required to devote the time of a book.
I phoned my critique partner to discuss her latest and share my thoughts on it–and whamm! Idea slams into me, intrigues and delights and I think, oh, I’ve gotta write this one. We finish discussing my critique partner’s book and I tell her my new idea. She laughs at the appropriate time–loves it.
Twenty-four hours later, I had a synopsis submitted. And while I’m doing the final edit on a nonfiction, whammm! Another idea–one that just grabs me by the ears and shakes me like a dog shakes off water.
By the next morning, it had developed into a series. And by that afternoon, I had another synopsis done and a series overview finished and both were winging their way to my agent.
Now, it isn’t a question of inspiration, it’s a question of what order to write the books in–which one do I tackle next?
I think all the above things factored into inspiration. I think focusing on others gave my mind time to do a little work putting things together and then I slowed down long enough to let it knock at the door in my mind.
Sometimes, I think, Inspiration has to find us and that requires us being still long enough for it to peg where we are and our mindset.
And sometimes, I think, we have to ring Inspiration’s door bell, and then stand at the door long enough for it to get there and answer.
Having a play day, enjoying the sun and water and family helped, too. So did freeing my mind of everything that needed to be done, which at times, can exhaust one before doing a thing.
So lesson learned: Ring the bell then relax and give Inspiration time to answer the door–and when it does, be wearing your waders. Because you’re in for a flood!
©2007, Vicki Hinze