On Inspiration: Apathetic Procrastinator and Literary Perfectionist

Hey, Mind Flayers, Zombies, and Ghouls, as well as Elves, Paladins, Death Knights, Dragons, Santa Clause, Elvis and the Tooth Fairy.  I have felt a bit inspirational lately.  However, procrastination aside, school, and family life are keeping me from pounding out every little thought that comes to my mind (and, o-yeah, I do not procrastinate and I don’t believe in writer’s block).   Inspiration is all around us; you and me that is, and if you fell to believe me you are being apathetic. 

 Why do I say this?  Because either you have to agree, that inspiration is always seeping into your brain.  That simple conversation you had with store clerk or that creaking sound coming from underneath your floorboard can be a story in the making.  Now, can I promise you that it will be a great story?  Hell no!  That depends on the elements of craft and your level of skill. 

However, I am going to say that if you disagree with me, you’re still being inspired.  You have been inspired to form an idea or opinion about my own opinions.  Would that make a good story?  Probably to a bunch of old school literary fiction lovers.

If you are felling to see my point, ask yourself this.  Am I the apathetic procrastinator of the written word or a literary perfectionist?   Both of these stereotypes have a couple of things in common.  One, they both are endlessly searching for the perfect story.  Two, neither can put a thought down on paper for differing reasons.  The apathetic procrastinator gets nothing done because his idea is not going to become a major motion picture.  The literary perfectionist gets something down on paper, but fails to finish because he is using too many adjectives or his or her story isn’t, well, perfect from beginning to end as he or she places their thoughts into substance. 

I believe there is no such thing as the perfect story, there is only good writing and bad writing.  The qualifiers of these principles will be a different blog.  Point being, take your idea and put it to paper, finish it, and lock it away and move on to the next idea.  You can come back to it later and make it sound all pretty.

Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”  Good old Jack fails to mention you don’t have to go far to beat your inspiration into something someone, somewhere, will read and enjoy. 

Inspiration is all around us.  It’s in the news, in the sky, on your way to work, in the little quirks your kids say, under your house, and in the walls.  All you need do is be willing to accept it with open eyes and ears and use some imaginative manipulation.

Posted on November 10, 2010, in Learn to Write, The Writing Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is so true! It made me feel a little guilty at first cos I’m always saying I have “writers’ block”. But I know full well that it’s not a “Block” of anything. I’m constantly inspired. That’s why I tend to forget basic things like changing my clothes or putting the wash in the dryer. Because I’m living in my head, making plots and taking a second as far as it will go, exploring exactly -why- that simple moment of opening the fridge is beautiful. XD The “block” is just because of a SEVERE lack of confidence as I’m sure I fall under the category of “literary perfectionist”. lol I always think my writing is crap, and if it’s going to be crap no matter what, why write it? Of course I know that’s not true, but when I -feel- like I’m putting an epic feeling to horrid shame with my failiture I don’t bother. >.>
    But I’m trying to do exactly what you said, write it down no matter what. Sometimes it’s refreshing to stumble upon a scrap of paper with hastily scribbled notes and try to recapture that moment and finally be able to do something with it. :3
    Thanks for motivating me!

    • You’re welcome Aimee. We as writers cannot expect everything to be great, or even good. In fact, bad practice, or horrid writing is still better practice than no writing at all. You are not a horrid writer. You are one of the very few poets I like to read, and I am even inspired by. You have the ability to cross the gothic with modern mundane and make even the tiniest verse interesting. I still pop in Writer’s Cafe and read your work, though I may not comment.

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