Inspiration and the Habit

Whenever I listen to writers who have more experience than me, writers who are farther than I am down their own publishing/creating/business journey, they usually say that they’ve “been writing stories for as long as they can remember”.

Well I’ve been reading stories for as long as I can remember. My family is definitely a book family. All of us have some wall or another devoted to the collection of our favorite texts. And these are stories that get passed on.

I started writing when I hit puberty. I remember when I realized that it was more than just writing that made an author.

I used to think that when I read a book, the writer had sat down and just pulled the story out of their head like they were unwinding a skein of yarn and just laid a perfect coil of fiber on the page, mailed it to a printer and that was the end of it. It was David Edding’s book “The Rivan Codex” that burst my illusions about the publishing industry.

In the book, Eddings is candid about what he had to do to publish and polish his many fantasy epics. Eddings stated that he didn’t feel like any fantasy writer would ever be able to write a good fantasy without a degree in medieval history, which I think now, is very much a reflection of his time period. We live in a constant changing and ever fluctuating world and while the formulaic books by Eddings did form the backbone of my childhood expectation of what a story was.

The one thing he didn’t talk about what the habits and methods to getting one’s story out of your head and onto the page.

It was a DragonCon, I’m not sure if it was 2008 or 2009, where my Author SuperHero-Idol Mercedes Lackey was at a Women of Sci/Fi and Fantasy panel that the key to getting a book finished was summed up by, “Get your ass into the chair.”

Floored.

I had all these moments where I’d relied on inspiration, on that ‘IDEA’ spark. Then I’d pour out my work in a flurry of excitement, throwing out hundreds and sometimes thousands of words on a page, before running out of steam and happily filing that story to a file.

But then I’d go pick up that brilliant story only to find I had no idea where I was going from there.

It can happen where a writer throws out a fully formed story on the first try, sort of like a potter throwing a pot on the first try, but every potter would point out that’s rare. It was a lesson I badly needed.

Inspiration is a part of writing. You can’t tell a story if you don’t have the creative idea to pull from. But it doesn’t get TOLD that way. It gets told by getting into a routine and putting work into it every day.

For 2016 I’m going to tell stories. Every day. Whether its days like today where I am a bit parched from the New Year’s festivities or days where I’ve had plenty of sleep and can slam out entire chapters.

Thank you for joining me on this road towards publication, this road towards sharing good stories with the world. Thank you for watching one more traveler plinking out the words to make the chapter to make the book that I hope will entertain someone. Happy 2016.

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