My thoughts today concern inspiration and writing. Does a person’s surroundings affect their creativity? I have always struggled to write when I wasn’t in the mood or when the weather wasn’t to my preferred writing-worthy conditions. So does the quality of writing depend on whether or not the writer is inspired?
Here is my view today as I sit writing. The beach. What more inspiration could one get to write? I’m staring at the edge of mystery–at the veil of another world I cannot see. If I woke up to this view every morning, I just might be able to finish writing a book in a month or two. The problem is that I don’t. I wake up to the grand view of a street with houses. Not the best inspiration, unless I were a writer infatuated with neighborhoods. But the fact still stands that I do write there. Not with the same inspiration as sitting on the beach, but writing still happens.
My ideal writing atmosphere would be a stormy night. Bundled in blankets next to the open window and sipping hot chocolate. A bar of chocolate would be waiting on the side for when the hot chocolate ran out. And by the light of a couple lamps, stories would flow from my mind onto the page. I blame movies for this. Dramatic scenes typically occur in the rain even if it wasn’t raining in the book. Every time I watched a rainy movie, I’d feel compelled to write. Two of my favorite books/movies are Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Both have perfect rainy scenes in them. Mr. Darcy declaring his love for Elizabeth. Marianne brokenhearted from losing Willoughby. I can’t help but wonder if perhaps movies have caused me to link great scenes to rain and thereby tricking my mind into thinking that’s the only time a great scene can be written. In the middle of a rain storm. But at the end of the day it’s still the mind that creates the story, not the rain. So why can’t that same mind produce the same content if it’s located in an empty room versus looking at a beautiful view or a rain storm? Or does it?
After reading through my work, I have come to the conclusion that regardless of inspiration’s presence, quality work can still be produced. A few nights ago I couldn’t have been less inspired to write, but I knew I needed to get something done. So I pulled out my laptop and started writing. Five hours later, I had lost track of time and accomplished so much more than I could have hoped. Writing is like my experience with running. The first few minutes of running are exhausting, but if I can make it past the first five minutes, I can run for fifteen minutes or more. With writing, I have to stick with it for at least a half hour when I’m not in the mood. After that half hour, my story pulls me in and I can’t tear myself away from it.
So stop waiting for that perfect, ideal moment to write. Even of it isn’t your “creative hours” of the day, you can still create good work. And if not, that’s okay. That’s what the editing process is for. The important thing is that you make progress to be edited later.
What does your ideal writing time look like? Comment below, so we can see how similar or different writers or even readers are. My writing time is the same as my reading time. Rainy and snuggly 🙂 Also if you’ve had similar thoughts regarding inspiration and productivity, tell us about your experience. Your story just might be the one that inspires another writer into action!