writing

Fighting for Inspiration

Over a year ago, on one of my very first blog posts, I let you all in on one of my greatest and grandest bucket list items, which is to create a novel of my very own. However, since this seems more like a daydream than an achievable goal (hence the post’s title Daydream Bucket List), I wish to introduce to you a similar bucket list item which I actually plan to take steps toward achieving.

But first a quick note–It’s not that I can’t write a novel. With enough time, effort, and patience, I could at least finish a rough draft. I’m not doubting my writing ability, but I have had doubts about my ability to write a novel I would actually want to read. I’ve scratched out some short stories–serious ones, with all sorts of drama and conflict. And I was proud of myself for completing these stories. But the sad fact is that if these stories were written by someone else, and I just happened to pick them up and peruse their contents, then I know for a fact that I that would not enjoy them whatsoever–not the writing style, the story line, not even the characters. Nothing.

Before you start crying at the realization of the premature failure of my writing career, I have some good news. For a long while now, I’ve been thinking of a writing genre which would complement my personality, my imagination, as well as my writing style. Before I say it straight out, below is a little hint. It’s the cover of a homemade story collection I put together for my sister a few years back:

Bedtime Stories

Children’s stories! That’s what I want to write! This particular collection contains seven children’s stories and poems which I made up as bedtime stories over the years. Unfortunately, most of these are un-publishable in the their current state. Several of them I would need to tone down a lot because I went a bit overboard with my imagination. I won’t tell you the content of these stories, just in case I one day decide to improve and publish them. However, I will let you in on some of the titles:

  • Flambert and his Magical Pants
  • The Sunflower Boy
  • The Balrog’s Point of View (Lord of the Rings fans should easily be able to imagine the plot of this story.)
  • Bluebonnet’s Dream
  • The Reddest Cardinal

Yes, I left off two titles because they were just plain strange. They hopped on the imagination ferry and then fell overboard, down the waterfall of pure madness.

Now that my dreams have been realized, what now? Well, surprising even myself, I have a plan. A co-worker, who actually has a blog herself, convinced me to join her as she participates in National Novel Writing Month in November. And I said “yes.” Though I will not be working on a novel, I will be writing. By the end of November, I plan to have a complete collection of rough draft children’s stories–which I will afterwards revise into 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and–perhaps–15th drafts.

Today, I took a first step toward my new goal. I made a list of some of the story ideas that have popped into my head over the past few months. Reading Katrina’s blog post titled “Tell Me a Story,” inspired me to write this list, and writing this list has made me realize that I have enough story ideas to create an entire collection! (By the way, Katrina is the co-worker who trapped me into participating in NaNoWriMo. Check out her blog HERE! It’s wonderful!)

Another reason I’m determined to start writing is because of something Paul Angone wrote about in his book All Groan Up. The main reason I haven’t written much is because I haven’t felt inspired or motivated. Paul Angone addresses just this in his wonderful book:

“I have to keep reminding myself that motivation and creativity are rarely things that just happen. The inspiration we need to find our dreams and grow our dreams is not something mythical; it’s methodic.

“Sometimes the most inspired thing you can do is to just keep showing up when inspiration is out on a Caribbean cruise and not returning any of your phone calls. You can only find inspiration by continuing to move forward when you’re completely uninspired. The act of doing can often be the only thing that can dislodge the motivation that has been stuck.

“You don’t wait for inspiration; you fight for it.”

By the way, if you’re a twentysomething-year-old and you haven’t read All Groan Up, go get it right now and start reading. It’s both inspiring and hilarious. I was laughing all the way through! You can also check out allgroanup.com and get the first chapters for free!

Now I depart with a plan in place. Let’s hope it stays put. 🙂

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