Showing posts with label the writing blues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the writing blues. Show all posts

Do Not Give Up: Seek Inspiration

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another
with no loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill
All writers experience it: low times. A low time can rear its ugly head after a particularly painful rejection, a bad case of writer's block, or in my current challenge, a serious case of lack of writing time. At times like these there is only one thing to do: Seek inspiration.

So before you make those New Year's resolutions, spend a little time filling your well with inspiration. Jot down inspirational sayings and thoughts that speak to you—tack them onto your bulletin board and read them periodically throughout the New Year.

Read the Tea Leaves

During a recent visit with one of my daughters, I delighted in sharing a quiet moment with her sipping a cup of tea at the end of the day. Our favorite? Yogi Bedtime Tea (Yogi tea in its many varieties is sold at most major grocery and natural food stores). My daughter would read her saying to me and ask me what mine said, and we would revel in the simple yet profound sayings before taking our first sip.

I keep an envelope with some of my favorite inspirational sayings, many snipped from the strings on my teabags, and am considering using one of the Yogi sayings in the front pages of my WIP book. Enjoy a few from my collection:
  • “Oneness is achieved by recognizing your self.”
  • "Happiness comes from contentment.”
  • “Your intuition is your best friend.”
  • “Love, compassion and kindness are the anchors of life.”
  • “Let things come to you.”
  • “Live from your heart, you will be most effective.”
  • “I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings. “ - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) A saying from a Good Earth teabag.
Inspirational sayings Tacked onto My Bulletin Board
  • “I began to wonder if this was why I’m not afraid of the work it takes to write a novel. For me, writing isn’t work. It’s fun. It’s a creative exploration into my characters, their world, the possible points of view the story could be written in, or the possible scenes that could exist. It’s about exploring how wide and deep and wonderful a story can be, rather than seeing it as a straight shot from beginning to end. It’s not time to work on this revision. It’s time to play with this revision. I’m going to open my manuscript and not work, but play.” -  Ingrid’s Notes
  • A note about Ingrid Sundberg:  I’ve been following Ingrid Sundberg’s blog for years and gain a great deal of inspiration from her. She is the author of the YA novel all we left behind, critiques manuscripts, and has recently begun teaching high school. If you don’t know her, I recommend visiting her blog. I think you’ll be glad you did.
  • “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -  Anton Chekhov, known to be one of the greatest short fiction writers in history.
  • “Art can heal anything and everything. Go and give and give and give. And when you give it all, it comes back to you.” -  Ben Vereen  
  • A note about Ben Vereen: Ben Vereen, an “accomplished and versatile” entertainer has appeared on Broadway, performed many one-man shows in the US and abroad, played Chicken George in Roots and Louis Armstrong in Louis Armstrong, has had many appearances on TV and has accomplished much more. Vereen holds a special place in my heart because of his courage in keeping his terrific attitude after losing his 16-year-old daughter in an auto accident, and suffering critical injuries from three accidents in one day.
  • “You’re dealt a hand of cards. You can choose to play it out—or not. I think the game is worthwhile, I really do.”  Christopher Reeve, the actor who suffered a spinal cord injury after being thrown from a  horse. 
  • Do the work. Do the work. Do the work. Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame. I’m an audiobook fan and became inspired by Cranston’s story and advice in his autobiography audiobook, read by him,:A Life in Parts.
  • "Learning never exhausts the mind," Leonardo daVinci, heard on CNN Fareed Zakaria's GPS show on Sunday morning.
Benefit from Other Writers’ Wisdom
  • “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while, the muse shows up too.” - Isabel Allende, the Chilean-American author of The House of the Spirits.
  • “Kill your darlings. Even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” Stephen King. One of the main inspirations I draw from Stephen King, and there are many, is how he gave up on his first book, Carrie, and threw it in the trash. His wife found it and advised him that it was good—keep going. When he finally finished it, it was rejected 30 times!
  • “Start telling the stories that only you can tell.” - Neil Gaiman, celebrated English author of American Gods, Coraline, and Sandman comics.
  • "Be daring, take on anything. Don't labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind." - Joyce Carol Oates, author of over 40 novels, plays and novellas, and many volumes of poetry, short stories, and nonfiction.
As you begin the New Year, take heart. Inspiration can be found in likely places, and hidden in places you might least expect. You will feel renewed and ready to best any battle that should come along.

    Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 100 articles for adults and children, and six short stories for children. Recently, she has completed her first book, a mystery/ghost story for children 7-11 years old, and is hard at work on Book Two in the series.  Follow Linda at

    The Energy of Busy

    clip art by Holohololand at
    Nothing like doing more to cheer yourself up when you're feeling overwhelmed :-)

    The writing blues hit us all at some time--usually after a spurt of great energy leaves us exhausted. Banish them by learning a new skill, trying something different.

    Write non fiction if you find yourself stuck with a novel. Alternatively write fiction if you're finding it hard to get enthused over your usual content writing tasks.

    Bite the bullet and start using the PLR (private label rights) articles you bought for a rainy day. It's never advisable to use them as is, but they act as a plan to follow and get you going again.

    Treat yourself to a new piece of software.

    Worn out trying to think up titles for your blog posts? Make life easier by using the Ideator .
    You type in your desired keyword and the search produces a selection of titles using that word.
    For this blog post, I typed in energy and in double quick time the Ideator produced  25 pages of suggested content titles. I'd never in a month of Sundays have thought up The Energy of Busy  myself but I think it's exactly right for what I want to say. Oh and I forgot to say--it's free.

    And how about Keyword Kiwi? Again free, it finds long tail keywords based on what people are searching for on Google. You can set it for Google in any area, set it to produce questions or list titles.

    Read and learn

    My book of the month has to be Danny Iny's Teach and Grow Rich. It's short but packed with information about the state of marketing and publishing today. It is already at the top of the best sellers for business education on . But be sure to read the one star as well as the five star reviews to make up your own mind first before you buy. It resonated with me. He's not promising "rich" in the sense of making millions before Christmas but in the sense of making a comfortable living while having a happy and fulfilling career. That's good news for a start. 

    Joanna Penn's How to Make a Living With Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More is a much longer read, packed full of useful links and information. It seems still to be free in the Kindle store and worth grabbing if you don't have it already.

       What have you found to boost your energy and re-inspire you this month? I'd love to know. Share your ideas, please, in the comments below.

    Anne Duguid
    Anne Duguid Knol

    A local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at Author Support :

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