Finding inspiration for a writer is not necessarily found while sitting in front of a screen with one’s fingers on a keyboard. If one searched through the lives of famous writers, inspiration has been found in almost as many ways as there are writers. On Twitter, and on Facebook, I hear the question of where one finds inspiration from the newbie or novice writers. Naturally, the advice is plentiful and free from a host of others. The problem is, many of those offering advice are either newbies, novice writers, or perhaps a larger group, those who simply have answers for anyone’s question regardless of real knowledge or experience.
As for experienced writers, there is a real hesitancy to offer any advice. Why? Well, for the most part, despite years of writing experience, even by those who have published many books, the authors don’t know the answer. What works one day, is a bust the next time inspiration is wanted.
Personally, I have a lot of experience in writer’s block and the elusive hunt for inspiration. Of all of my strategies, there is one that sometimes works better than others. When I go free-hiking – walking/hiking while nude in wilderness areas – there is a release of tensions and anxieties. The longer the walk while clothing free, the more my head clears. I call it walking meditation. What is happening at the time isn’t so much an invitation for inspiration to appear, as there is an opening of a portal that otherwise prevents inspiration from paying a visit.
Ego is the biggest enemy, the dominant force that discourages the appearance of inspiration. Ego wants control. Giving up control is anathema to one’s ego. It is precisely this need for control that results in inspiration disappearing. The truth is, inspiration doesn’t disappear at all. It sits there, within us, waiting for the iron fist of control to relax. I wonder if the easily giving up of control that I have managed after decades of structured meditation, thousands of kilometres of hiking which is an almost daily activity, is responsible for my writing by the seat of my pants?
I have tried to plot out a story or two. I know all the rules, having taught them to young writers in writing courses for a few decades. Yet when I lay out the plan, it doesn’t work for me. When I used the same process for writing out online learning modules, it worked exactly the way I needed it to work. However, with a novel, even I can spot the lack of dimension and a sense that the reader will be as bored with the story as I am.
Writing without a script is a journey of discovery. I follow inspiration with a high level of trust. Is this a recommendation for other writers? No, not in the least. This is my experience which is tailored to “fit” me as a writer.