Forced Words vs. Inspired Words

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There’s an excellent image that keeps cycling on my Facebook feed:

(I found this courtesy of Writers Write)

I’m one of those writers who has always been guilty of writing only when inspired or when everything is just right. Because life is life, I’m not inspired nearly often enough and things rarely come together so that I feel like writing. I’ve talked about this before and how it has negatively affected my output for years.

Which is why this year one of my goals is to get words no matter what. I don’t care if it’s a small amount of words, progress is progress at this point. And sometimes being forced to make my three days of writing per week means I hit decent milestones and overcome obstacles that would have kept me from writing completely.

Lately, I haven’t been doing very well making my goal. I’m averaging about 25 words per day which is roughly 75 words a week. Obviously, I’m not making much headway, but considering all the things I’m juggling outside of work, it’s not that bad. At the very least I’m producing.

However, yesterday, as I was standing at work pondering just what the heck I was going to blog about today and realizing I also needed to get my fiction words in for this week, I remembered one of my side projects. A scene popped into my head, a scene I had already written and determined wasn’t right. Thinking about the new one that formed and the old one that didn’t fit, I had to decide exactly why it didn’t fit. Which caused another scene form—I really love when the hard work is done for me.

Finally, at the end of my day, I opened my draft and read what I had already written since I needed quite a refresher given the months it’ been since I even thought about my story, let alone added to it. I typed for roughly a half hour and produced 1207 words before I had to call it a night.

I didn’t even write the scene I want to rewrite or the totally new scene that thought of. The difference between being inspired and forcing myself to write is as different as black to white. The words were flowing easily and I was actually enjoying the process. That’s the writing I love to do. Pulling my teeth sucks.

But I know that I’m not always going to be inspired and anything worth doing should be moderately difficult. I really needed to feel that joy to reinforce why I write. This is also why I have side projects—you never know when you’ll need them.

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