Wednesday, April 01, 2015

IWSG: Inspiration or Perspiration?

Agatha Christie said about her career, "There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well."

One of the things that first attracted me to writing was reaching the flow state, where you know the material so well, where high demand meets high skill, that your words flow effortlessly. Most of my writing sessions, however, are not like that. I get distracted, I have to figure out what come next in the scene and if the scene is leading me toward the climax, and I tend to edit as I write. But eventually, if I keep writing, I move closer to the flow state.

Don't be afraid of the perspiration. It might lead you to the inspiration.

7 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Most of my writing sessions don't hit the flow stage because I simply can't type fast enough. (Thirty words a minute. If I'm lucky.)

Sandra Almazan said...

Even thirty words a minute adds up if you keep at it, Alex!

Andrew Leon said...

I tell my students that all the time. Inspiration comes from doing the work. If you wait for the inspiration, you'll never do the work.

Sandra Almazan said...

Exactly, Andrew!

Fundy Blue said...

What an inspiring post, Sandra! I loved the Agatha Christie quote, and it means a lot to me because I went through a major Christie phase years ago. I, too, long for that flow state in writing. It happens to me periodically, and it keeps me hooked. I usually don't flow along; I'm a niggler, and I write slowly. And I learned later in life that I'm actually coping with ADHD, so I am easily side tracked. Funny realization for someone who taught for 25 years, eh? Good luck with your A to Z challenge this year!

Sandra Almazan said...

My son was recently diagnosed with ADHD, but sometimes I think it's because he's so focused on his game or video that he doesn't pay any attention to us.

Lauren W said...

This is exactly what I've been struggling with-- I want the words to pour out of me! It's always a relief to see quotes from important authors who have wrestled the same challenges. Thanks for that!

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