Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Cure for Lack of Inspiration

There are often times when there is nothing to write about and the thought of putting down nothing or some nonsensical stream of consciousness doesn't sit right with the writer, and so they don't write, waiting for inspiration to strike or a job to come along that will foce them to write. What they should have done was just write. A writer's slogan should be the same as Nike's: Just Do It.

Inspiration may not strike. The muse must be coaxed and cajoled, forced out of hiding by the sheer weight of what may seem like nonsensical verbiage, like this. I have nothing, except for two novels to finish and a deadline on a recap of Mike & Molly, a Monday night television show I agreed to write about for The Celebrity Cafe. It's nothing special, just a retelling in words of what is seen on the screen, a sort of reverse engineering of a television show that began as words before it was filmed and is now to be rendered back into words. All writing begins with -- words. Not brain surgery that, just words and more words.

One way to Just Do It is to join NaNoWriMo and begin the quest for words that make sense, even if it means writing words that don't make sense to arrive at the end of the month with 50,000 words and a novel, a rough beginning of a novel most of the time, but a novel all the same. I've used NaNo a few times in the past to work through writer's block, writer's stasis, and writer's fear of writing stupid and it has worked. I've retooled one novel that became a sort-of romance, Past Imperfect, and worked through a few other novels that didn't quite work and need much more work to be novels, and will work through my writing balking on two more novels -- or at least one of them. I need to get them back on track and out of my head so I can move on to other works, like the sequel to Among Women, which is Among Men. (Seemed like a fitting title to the sequel to Pearl Caldwell's wrongful incarceration and journey of the soul.)

In the end, when writing isn't coming and the muse stubbornly refuses to answer the call to inspire, NaNoWriMo is a good way to put things back on track and write. Deadlines are good, and not just when they go whizzing past.

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