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Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Author Insight: Wait on the muse or kidnap her...

Do you write when you're inspired or do you write to get inspired?

"A combination of both. Sometimes you just can’t force it, but you can’t have too many of those days in a row or they become a pattern." - Leah Clifford, author of A Touch Mortal.

Writing is like exercise. I try to do it every day. And I believe the inspiration comes from the habit, the act, the daily discipline of writing." - Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds.

"Both. I always write down stuff when inspiration strikes – there’s a pile of those scribbled notes next to my keyboard and they often become the best passages or key connections in a novel. But I also force myself to write when it doesn’t come easily. The discipline is important and eventually – sometimes over many days – the words start to come." - Jen Nadol, author of The Mark.

"Both. I write a lot." - Jon Skovron, author of Struts & Frets.

"When I’m in first-draft mode, I write M-F with a very strict word count (it’s either 500 or 1000 words a day, depending on looming deadline). With a stretch of five uninterrupted days of writing, I find I sustain the thread of my story. And it’s no coincidence that inspiration and perspiration share so many letters of the alphabet. For me, they’re closely linked." - Wendy Delsol, author of Stork. 

"I think it's a mix. Sometimes I find that I have to write, something is gnawing at me and I have to sit down and get it out. It might be a phrase or a certain sentence but the writing is the inspiration. When I find it hard to be inspired to write I listen to music, work out or go for a walk. Get the body moving, it can uncover some burrowed ideas or characters." - Rebecca Maizel, author of Infinite Days.

"I think some of both happens. Most of the time, I sit down to write with one nugget of inspiration and, as soon as I get that onto paper, it either changes into a better, shiner nugget, or it leads to yet another nugget. On a good day, it becomes a snowball effect." - Kelly Creagh, author of Nevermore.

 "When I'm inspired. Anything can do the inspiring - a song, a movie, TV, a turn of phrase . . . and then I just HAVE to write! Sometimes I'm inspired daily, other times it takes me a week or two of no inspiration. But I always hunt for new sources of inspirations to keep me going." - Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF.

"I can’t wait around for inspiration to show up! I have to hunt inspiration down – even if that means slaving away at words I know I might delete later, until everything falls together in a confluence of motivation, vision, and the time and space to pull it all together." - Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead.

"I do both. I write when my kids are asleep so sometimes I'm not feeling very inspired but I have to park myself in the chair anyway because naptime waits for no man/woman. Other times, I'm bursting with inspiration and can't wait to put something on paper. I have notebooks everywhere in case this happens." - Ally Condie, author of Matched.

"Writing when you’re inspired is a beautiful thing. Sentences, scenes, and chapters just flow, and you can feel it’s working. I reach that nearly point every day that I write, but often it takes typing a thousand words of junk to get there. " - Phoebe Kitanidis, author of Whisper.

"I write when I'm inspired - I just let it come." - Lia Habel, author of Dearly, Departed.

"Sometimes I'm inspired to write, and other times I'm not. When I'm inspired, I can write for hours and hours at a time. The words pour out of me, and I just try to get out of my way and let it happen. But there are also times when I'm stuck. The ideas aren't there, and I have to find a way to keep going. Usually I skip the scene or chapter I'm having trouble with, and I move on to one I'm more interested in writing -- the one I feel inspired to write. Writing isn't a a magical thing that happens to you. Inspiration doesn't float down from the heavens. You have to work to find it." - Kami Garcia, co-author of Beautiful Creatures.

"I write every day, inspired or not. I don’t always find inspiration, but my brain has been programmed pretty well now I think, and I often do. On those days when I give it a good shot and I’m still muse-less, I tend to work on things like line-editing. But I’m determined to make my writing better, in some way, every single day." - Denise Jaden, author of Losing Faith.

"If I only wrote when I was inspired I would never finish anything. I have set writing times that are my dates with Lord Inspiration. He only stands me up, oh, three-quarters of the time. On the other hand, I have been known to bolt out of the bathtub and write something down without even grabbing a towel. " - Erin Bow, author of Plain Kate.


"Both. I write regularly. It's easier when a new story is coming and pushes out on its own steam, but revision requires more patience than inspiration." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year.


Come back Tuesday to find out which of our authors wait for inspiration and which ones create it!
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