Monday 3 February 2020

Inspiration: How Does It Work? - The Creative Process


I wrote a piece about inspiration, but it was a very long time ago, I think like 2013, (piece found here) and I felt like it was a good idea to revisit the subject. I know that it's something that I get asked a lot when I do questions from readers, though I usually direct them to my blog because as I said, I've talked about it before. But every writer works differently, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to explain how inspiration works for me, what steps I go through and how I get a finished draft at the end of the process.

Usually this will be something that hits me right at the wrong time. I'll be mid-draft of another book, and then get hit with something that I really want to write right now. If that's the case I'll thought dump into a document and leave it to brew for a while. If I'm super passionate about the idea, then it'll get moved up the list for what I write next. At the moment I have about six projects that are vying for my attention and I've not yet decided what two to work on next.


As I've talked about before, I don't do much planning. I will write a chapter plan and on it has very few points that I'm planning to include. My chapter plan is more to keep track of words, the timeline, and the pages the chapters take up. I will also do character cards for the main characters and some secondary ones that I'm already aware of. This doesn't take me long, usually a few hours and from there I can move onto the next step!


This obviously takes the most time, several months actually, and during this time the inspiration waxes and wanes. I will usually write in blocks of four days, a chapter a day and work myself through both of my current projects. I don't write every day simply because I can't push myself to write all day every day. Sure it'd be nice to get more done, but I also have a life outside of writing. I have things to do for my author platform, and they all take time.

On top of that, I do love the drafting phase of a project (piece found here) and it's something that I very much enjoy, so I will take my time through the process, editing as I go to make sure the draft is as clean as it can be once I'm done.

I included this step simply because in a piece about inspiration, you need to include the fact that sometimes, that inspiration flitters away and there's really not much you can do about it. So what do I do when I lose inspiration for a project? I keep going, which sounds like a glib, but it's a hard lesson to learn whether you're a new writer or an older one, there will be some projects that you find you don't want to continue once that inspiration goes, but there will be others that spark joy and you want to continue even without that illustrious inspiration, and what you have to do is keep going, finding new and different ways to keep writing the story that you're wanting to write. I did a piece recently about writer's block which you can find here.


The end of all these steps is that I finally reach the end of the draft. When I do that, I'll put it to one side before I start editing. I've talked about my editing process before, but it might be something that I revisit this year. I have an older piece here. I do celebrate writing the final words, usually a nice treat!

So how do you deal with inspiration? Do you find it influences what you write? Lemme know down in the comments below.

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