Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sadly Lacking in Inspiration

by Deborah Nielsen

What do you do when inspiration is not readily forthcoming?

I started out with an idea to write about for this week, but it’s stuck in neutral, going nowhere, which is not okay when you’re up against a deadline. And nothing else is coming to mind, which is not okay, either.

I thought I’d read through my little notebook of quotes. Enjoyable but no ideas sprang forth.

I went looking for inspiration by surfing the net. Bad idea. I went down so many bunny trails I forgot what I was supposed to be doing. Anyone else do this?

I did find inspiration but for an entirely different blog. In the motorcycle world, this is the season for EICMA, an international motorcycle show held annually in Italy where all the manufacturers trot out the latest upcoming models and concepts. 

Oh, what eye candy! Good things are coming. Um, where was I?

I turned instead to writerly quotes. Posters, mugs, t-shirts, you name it we can find a writer's quote on it. 



Hey, these would make great stocking stuffers for your favorite writer person. The season smacked me in the face when I walked into Walmart the day after Halloween and Christmas attacked.  What happened to Thanksgiving? It is a little difficult to put glitter and lights on turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie. And what self-respecting Barbie would willingly dress up like a Pilgrim? But I digress.

I looked at my current reads in progress for a little inspiration: the November issue of Smithsonian magazine, The Whistler by John Grisham, and the latest issue of AutoWeek. The only inspiration I had was to sit down and read. The Whistler is superb. So now I’d rather be reading instead of writing.

When all else fails, I can usually get some inspiration from the dogs. But it’s late, and they’re all sacked out. I should be as well, but I’m still trying to come up with something meaningful for this post. Since that’s not going so well, I’m falling back on another quote.

May the holidays treat you well. May the story ideas swarm your brain. May you be free from hand cramps while your fingers fly.


Susan Kane said...

You were riding around Portugal on a Triumph Bonneville Bobber with a big smile on your face.

Deborah Nielsen said...

Oh, if only that were the case. :)

Laura Mahal said...

Oh, Deborah, this happens to all of us!

For my next post, I struggled with the opposite problem. I kept writing one version after another, because with the shifting emotions of the electoral season, none of the topics I had come up with seemed appropriate: either too upbeat (nobody feels upbeat right now), or too writing-focused (what about the holidays? Shouldn't we be thinking about those?), or too comical (which may come across inadvertently as sarcasm).

As a fellow writer, I think we intuitively understand that other writers are doing their best in a world that sometimes seems stacked against the unimpeded flow of creativity.

A motorcycle ride through strands of fall foliage with views of snow-capped peaks seems just the thing... :-)

Deborah Nielsen said...


The past election and the mood afterwards is what put the article I was working on on hold. I was too caught up in the emotion and decided to back off and let things simmer for awhile and revisit it later. Then what to do? My mind just wouldn't get it together. So . . . .

Laura Mahal said...

Agreed. A collective grief swamped many of us - especially those of us who feel most strongly about bringing beauty, kindness and goodness into the world.

We must lean on one another and Drive On, but never put up or shut up.

We writers have the ability to advocate for those who don't have a voice, or are frightened to use their words, in case those will in turn be used against them. This is a powerful brotherhood and sisterhood and I'm glad to be a part of it with you.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I have been seriously delinquent on my blog due to idea-drought. Thank goodness for my guest authors who fill the well.

JC Lynne said...

Pat, I missed my blog post for that exact reason, both on TWB and my own blog. The writing retreat sucked all of the words out of me and I could barely comments from the peanut gallery.

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