Inspiration or Willpower?

snow monkey“Finding Inspiration is Really a Matter of Willpower”

I had originally intended to write this update about some of the various new sites available to help you self-publish your books. I was quite far along in the draft when it occurred to me.

This sounds very familiar.

So, I checked and, sure enough, I had covered this ground before in the post More Confessions of an Indie Writer, not that long ago. That was a resonably good post. I see no reason to belabor it again now. Nothing has changed all that much … yet.

Once that was scratched off the list, I went to my second topic choice, inspiration. More specifically, where do you find it? Is it found in stimulating conversation, deep research or – like my furry friend above – while relaxing alone in a hot tub?

You guessed, didn’t you?

I’ve written about that already, too.

Now what was I to do? Seems I’ve been to all these topics before. The sense of déjà vu was suddenly strong. And that reminded me of one of own personal favorite posts … Déjà Vu.

This was becoming a problem. I couldn’t come up with an idea. Could I really be suffering again from writers block?

Yes … I said to myself … you can.

When I think about it long and hard, I suppose I’ve had writers block ever since that first story I wrote as a teenager (at least the first one I remember writing). Not continuously, of course.

But there have been some really long stretches when the muse simply wouldn’t come. Most of the time, that wasn’t a problem. I didn’t make my living by writing, after all.

You still don’t, I told myself.

You’re not helping, I answered.

Whoa! Talking to myself was bad enough. My wife always thinks I’m muttering at her under my breath, when all I’m really doing is thinking out loud. But answering those mutterings? This could be serious.

Cold Hard Truth
Then the harsh reality dawned on me (I hate that cliche, but that’s exactly how it felt … like a the sudden intrusion of the sun into a long night). I don’t have writers block. I have blog writer’s block.

I have it because I should be diligently writing the sequel to my novel REICHOLD STREET right now, instead of trying to create a blog post; or Tweeting and Facebooking (is that even a word?) things that don’t really seem to be adding anything, that I can see, to my book sales.

At the same time all this is going on, to compound the problem, I’m researching other ideas on producing book covers that hook a reader, writing effective book descriptions, converting copy into ePub and mobi formats, and generally getting the word out on my marketing.

All this instead of writing my next book.

The funny thing is (or maybe it’s really a sad thing … I haven’t quite decided yet), I actually don’t need to wait for my muse where my next book is concerned. I have lots of ideas for that novel. I’m on Chapter Four right now.

At least I would be … if I was writing.

The Answer
There are two parts to our brain: the reactive part and the creative part (and I’ll just skip the whole left brain-right brain discussion).

Creating words takes concentration, and I’ve trained myself not to react to anything that makes ‘noise.’ These days I’ve abandoned the office upstairs in favor of the laptop on the kitchen table.

Everyday distractions have become part of my default setting for ‘normal.’ But sometimes, and this seems to be one of those times, the reactive part and the creative part get a little mixed up.

I’ve been so concerned with writing a blog that’s helpful to other indie-writers that I forgot something important: I’m an indie writer … and I’m in the process of creating something I hope will be spectacular.

My next novel.

Not only that, I set myself a pretty tight deadline: to be finished with it by later this summer.

Now What?
I realize I’ve allowed my creative brain to be distracted by my reactive brain and I now need to exercise more than a little willpower to get things back on track.

So this is it, reactive brain. I’m putting a limit on your activities, right now. I will allow you some control when I’m paying bills, or chauffeuring my bride around for shopping, or running necessary household errands. But when it comes to writing … I’m going back to my tried-and-true 1000 words a day minimum.

But I’m also going to limit the time I allow my creative brain, too.

My wife needs some attention. Other parts of the family might like to hear something from me other than a grunt once-in-a-while, too. It’s wet and cold and snowy outside, but our friends are not bears and don’t hibernate in the winter, so I need to see a few of them.

They’re all part of my inspiration, after all … and I really need to get back to writing.

What do you think? Leave a comment. I’d really like to know.

Do me a favor, if you don’t mind: Watch this short book trailer. Thanks!


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6 Responses to “Inspiration or Willpower?”

  1. Rosalie Squires Says:

    Hmm… Not sure I feel I ever win arguments with myself.
    I notice you talk a lot anout what you SHOULD be doing. Should in conjunction with writing, I find, is an invitation for writers block – mostly of a rather specific variety. I f I should be writing something else, it suddenly become very attractive to leave long comments all over someone elses blog.
    The best way to get writing is to line up other things you should be doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      Good point, Rosalie…I dealt with writers block in my post

      But these blog posts are meant to be helpful to indie writers (or any writer, for that matter), and I get a lot of questions about these things. I try to point out things that will help, but I also try not to overdo it. I’d much rather be working on my next novel. That’s why you will seldom find me blogging on successive days.

      Perhaps I should think about another “sample” post, to get some feedback on things I’m writing.


  2. lisa evola Says:

    Yes, blogs can definitely suck your attention away from what you should really be doing…I know mine has. I read an interesting article on blogging your book. Of course you would have to have extra content to add to the purchased edition…..not sure what I really think about this yet. I can see value in it (like testing out an idea) The point was that while you are blogging it….you are actually writing it. …adding content without sitting down for that specific purpose…..hmmmmmm, interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      Not sure I follow you, Lisa. Maybe it’s just late … going on 2 a.m. here. When I blog, I’m not usually doing anything that adds content to the book itself. There have been occasions when I write a small sample and ask for opinions … and that DOES help.

      But actually writing my story while blogging? It hasn’t really happened for me yet. It’s an interesting premise, and my ‘reactive’ brain is saying, YES! Another blog idea! But my creative brain is going, “Huh?”

      I wish I could see the article you’re referring to. Perhaps a link?

      Might help if I wasn’t so silly tired, too. Thanks for the thought, however. Don’t be surprised if I make my next blog out of it (and I’ll be sure to give you your propers for the idea, if I do).

      G’nite. 😉


  3. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    One positive thing about those arguments with yourself… You always win.

    ‘Course the other side of you always loses, but hey, you have to take the good where you can get it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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