fountain of inspiration?

i’ve reached a point where i think it’s time to address a long running fear of mine. i think we’re ready for that, oh dear blog reader. so, this fear of mine? it’s a fear of no new inspiration on what to write next.

my current WIP has a character that deals with things i understand explicitly. those things might be irrational, but she feels them and i feel them and as a result, writing this was a bit like therapy. the thought of starting a new piece with new characters completely unrelated to me is startling and confusing. i feel like i’ve been plopped down in a foreign country and i’m the only one who speaks English.

it seems like people are always talking about this dream they had that triggered that massive selling book, or even a mildly selling book. i have a lot of dreams, but none of them are publishing worthy. i wonder if it’s because i dream in the first person. i dream about situations i am in. and yet, so far, everything i’ve written has been in the third person. perhaps. just perhaps, i’ve been looking at my dreams from the wrong angle.

all i know is that i had a dream, a horrifying dream, last night that involved lava and cages and me and children i was responsible for and no way out. is this the sign of the apocalypse? or that i’ve spent too much time following Eyjafjallajokul on Twitter? or could this be a scene from my next novel? or could this be, plain and simple, just a dream?

dream or not. first person or not. you see, i have a hard time getting to know my characters. it seems unfair to pluck one character trait out of my imagination and force it onto someone. yet, that’s kind of what (i feel like) i have to do because (so far) i’ve never been one who “has the characters speak to me”. it’s never like i’m “channeling the story that the character had to tell”. i have to think and process and plot every sentence that i write, whether it’s dialogue, narrative, or something in between.

maybe it’s a sign i need more work as a writer. maybe it’s a sign i’m a one and done-r. maybe it’s a sign my fountain of inspiration is drying up. or, it might be that my map leading me to the next well is outdated and the path has grown over with weeds. since i’m dehydrated and without a weed wacker, it makes sense i’d feel a bit timid.

(ok, terrified.)

how come words can flow out of one person, while numbers can inspire another? how come i seem to be nowhere on that bell curve, that graph, that chart? how can i claw my way there? better yet, how can i find a new muse?

10 thoughts on “fountain of inspiration?”

  1. Hi

    Writers block and the question of where ideas will come from are classic challenges on the hero’s journey to become a full fledged writer. The trick is to find ways to face the writer’s block and over come it.

    Because writer’s block is only an uphill climb, not an impenetrable wall.

    It can’t stop you forever, unless you let it.

    A couple of helpful books “A Whack on the Side of the Head” and “No Plot, No Problem” have a lot of ways to bust your block loose. And, long range, the NaNoWriMo event online in November will build writing muscles 12 ways and teach you things about writing and yourself that may have seemed impossible

    Good luck


  2. I’ve read the No Plot? No Problem! book, it’s awesome! It does have some very helpful advice, but it’s also just a really fun read!

    The only other thing I can say, because sometimes it works for me with poetry, is continue to read other people’s books/blogs/poems and “borrow” a line, a name, a situation — anything that speaks to you — and then try to rewrite it until it becomes your own…

    Good luck!

    1. 2 strong recommendations? looks like i’m going to add the NO PLOT NO PROBLEM book to my library list.

      and, you’re right, you never know where the inspiration is going to come, so i need to keep my eyes and ears open. i think your advice is true across all fronts, poetry, short stories, novels….it has to start somewhere, a line or a scene.

      thanks for taking the time to read and comment. i know how busy you are.

  3. one other suggestion is toleave enough time open in your life to listen- because a crowded schedule drowns out inspiration.

    Contrariwise, if you’re straining for ideas that aren’t coming, it’s a good idea to get up and do something else, as that often shakes ideas loose


    1. thanks again for your continued suggestions, Catherine. everything you say is true. it just slipped my mind….

      1. lol

        As a professional psychic, I find part of the job is “seeing:/telling folks things they don’t know.

        The other psrt is reminding them of/confirming things they do know

        Happy creating


    1. chocolate does solve everything. that and wine. it sounds like you’re trying to get me to SEDUCE my muse. challenge accepted.

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