Dear Publication Advisors

When To Wait For Inspiration

Dear Publication Advisors,

I started writing in high school and am now 38 years old.  In my teens, I used to write everything from poetry to short stories.  Whenever the creative itch hit me, I had to find a notebook immediately.  It was as if the inspiration could not wait.

Now the inspiration never hits.  Every now and again I will look online for writing prompts, but even then – what I write is lifeless.  Sometimes I will think of elaborate plots for books, but even with a good idea, that feeling I used to feel isn’t there.  How do I get my inspiration back?

– Waiting impatiently



Dear Waiting Impatiently,

Stop waiting.  As a teenager, you probably experienced many new feelings and because they were new, they were intense.  Intensity is always a good motivator for the creative process.  As we age, the intensity of new situations becomes less frequent.  Waiting for the inspiration to hit will most-likely, no longer work.

Whether you are feeling creative or not, a writing schedule is key.  Set aside a small amount of time (maybe ten minutes) to write every day.  You may find prompts to use the night before or you might just see what comes out of your pen.  Either way, choose the same time every day and stick to it.

This approach is similar to the one used for people struggling with mild depression.  If you study the good aspects of the day, you will learn to focus on the positive rather than the negative.  In this case, if you focus on writing every day, even the small ideas may balloon into inspiration you didn’t know you had.

Have a question for us? Email: [email protected] 

Rebecca Lee