After I posted my Goals for Round 2 of the ROW80, I had intended to be a bit more prompt with my posts. Didn’t happen. I also really wanted to get involved this month in the ISWG ( I love the question of the month: When you’re working on a story, what inspires you? since inspiration is one of my beloved playgrounds). I also didn’t really want to miss another First Friday Photo signup post.
So this is a post of many things, a hodge-podge, if you will, though perhaps not in the Discordian sense as pictured on the right. Or… perhaps, it is in that vague sense of being and unbeing, of order and chaos.
First, a quick ROW80 update:
I’ve accomplished nothing in any of my stated goals unless typing in notes made for critiques and beta reads I’ve done for others counts toward my three pages a week in Goal #1 and all those handwritten notes count a new words for Goal #2. I did accomplish finishing a beta read, doing critiques for others in my local writing group (and submitting my own work to the same ), as well as maintaining the ROW80 blog.
It’s progress. Not the progress I’d intended, but real forward momentum at a point where I felt without energy or purpose. So a good thing.
When working on a story, what inspires me?
Oh, the thinks I could think (to paraphrase Ted Giesel)… It’s rarely a situation of what inspires me but more of a “what doesn’t inspire a subplot or a new character or tangent in a story?” situation. Ideas and possibilities seem limitless (I truly never understood the people who guarded their ideas as if they were rare treasures that could be lost of stolen at any moment); the discipline and focus to put those ideas and inspirations into words that not only make some kind of logistical sense but also appeal to others is the challenge.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. A simple Google Search for “Is it harder to focus these days” brings up a multitude of responses that agree, “Yes, it is harder”.
Harder isn’t impossible, but it is… well, harder. And when too many things get hard, it’s easy to let things slide in favor of dealing with emergencies and basic necessities. I don’t know how many of us would actually count our writing (or other creative endeavors) as things we need to do more than manage to survive no matter how much we tell ourselves that these are priorities in our lives. (Once in my more ignorant youth, I thought I might tell my employers that writing was life and I had to prioritize it over the posted schedule… that word vomit from the original NaNos didn’t pay the rent nor serve up anything for the tummy. When my newborn wanted to be nursed, changed, held… the fact that I really needed to write and create live with the characters talking in my head didn’t matter to him in the least. Yep… The characters were told they needed to wait their turn.)
So again, harder isn’t impossible, but it does mean that inspiration might not be the thing that “inspires” me when working on a story.
If I wish to probe a bit closer, it’s possible to identify certain points where I seek out inspiring elements to get past blocks or to refine my focus (somewhat), I may use songs (I have a certain set that I overplay either to suit a mood or a perception of a character that I want to explore). Sometimes I go for a walk (I love to go to the beach or walk through woods… especially woods where I might find old stone walls and foundations of long abandoned buildings. Taking a moment to see what came before me and wonder what inspired those creators…. that is inspiring.
Which brings me to my last intention for this post….
Signup for the First Friday Photo
For the last few years I’ve played with this bloghop. I really would like it to become something regular (even if I’m a bit inconsistent myself). I call it the First Friday Photo because the posts should go live the first Friday of each month and they should include a photo. Anything else, such as explanations about the image or even other images, are to the poster’s preference. I tend to write detailed posts, but they aren’t required of anyone. I just love talking about my pictures.
So if you’d like to join me in sharing a bit of inspiration and a picture or two, please share your link at the blue froggie below (technically you can post the links to go live on Friday or before):