Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Writers' Corner

November 28, 2011

Writers' Corner: Finding the inspiration to write

By Gerald Warfield | Special to the Index

Writers need inspiration.  Inspiration is not the same thing as a good idea.  Inspiration is more like a frame of mind where it’s possible to come up with good ideas—and then having the motivation to follow through on them.

Jack London, the great American writer of the early twentieth century, said “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”  What he meant was that you have to actively put yourself in a situation where inspiration is possible.  In fact, inspiration is a by-product of that situation, be it within nature, contemplation, a dream, whatever.

The out-of-doors brings inspiration to many.  Chris Hunnewell, a new member of the Brazos Writers’ Group, says “I take a walk around my neighborhood, making sure to swing my arms. Usually by the time I get back I’m recharged to jump the hump.”

I, too, find that nature helps.  The duck pond in Woodland Park Cemetery is one of my favorite places.  The flat, placid water in contrast to the trees yields a kind of perspective that is conducive to writing.  But last time I went, I found four boys fishing.  Their presence was so distracting that I thought I couldn’t write until I realized that my poem was to be about them.  Nature’s inspiration can have the added bonus of surprise.

Others can find inspiration in mundane activities.  Lauri Mays, another member of the Brazos Writers Group, says “Ideas come to me when I’m engaged in a mindless activity or on auto pilot… Driving, vacuuming, or running water while I’m washing dishes sends my mind chasing after my characters.”

Troy Stone, a local writer who writes a poem a day (that’s a lot of poems), takes the broad view.  “Inspiration comes from reflection on a day’s happenings, events, even dreams.”   For him, it is quiet time that elicits the desire to write.

So what’s the answer on getting inspiration?  James Chartrand, who blogs extensively about writing, says “Achieving inspiration means forgetting about it completely.  Instead of seeking it out, we need to disconnect from the quest… Take a break.  Go for a walk.  Read a book.  Play music.  Give your brain something else to do… Let inspiration sneak up on its own until it leaps out in a sudden burst of idea.”

I agree.   Inspiration, just like happiness, is the byproduct of something else.  It’s peculiarly resistant to a frontal attack but loves to catch you unaware.

If you write and want to improve your craft, consider joining the Brazos Writers Group that meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Boyce Ditto Public Library.  For more information, call the library or Gerald Warfield at (940) 327-8789.

Gerald is an award-winning writer of fantasy and science fiction. See his website at www.geraldwarfield.com.

Text Only
Writers' Corner
  • DorothyLeeHansen_in_Mineral_Wells_2003.jpg Writer’s Corner

    More poets have lived in Palo Pinto County than you might suppose. Chief among them was Dorothy Lee Hansen whose great-great-uncle was the fam ed cattleman Charlie Goodnight. She published three books of poetry and eventually became poet Laureate of Napa Valley, CA. Her house, just off North Oak in Mineral Wells, was called “Hill Cove.” Dorothy passed away in February of 2010.

    January 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • What If We Stop Reading?

    Are people reading less, and does it matter? The National Endowment for the Arts said that readership among young people in 2002 had fallen 20 percent since 1982 causing great concern among educators. But in 2008 they reported that readership among the same group had risen a healthy 21 percent.

    January 13, 2013

  • NeilGaiman.jpg You’ve gotta know how to read out loud

    If you’re like most of us, there’ll come a time when you’ll be asked to read something you’ve written. That’s right, read aloud to an audience.

    November 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 9-30 writers corner.jpg The secret of writers’ conferences

    If you’ve written a story or a few poems or have a novel sitting in a drawer, you might want to consider going to a writers’ conference. They can provide inspiration, motivation, and lots of information.

    September 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • Warfield, Gerald.jpg Perhaps you should write a memoir

    Have you ever wished you had known your grandparents better, a favorite aunt, or even your parents? Wouldn’t it be nice to sit down and have them speak to you? Tell it to you like it really was?

    August 26, 2012 1 Photo

  • Warfield book signing.jpg Book signings: big money – sometimes

    You would think that a book signed by a writer would not hold up in value to one signed by a celebrity.

    August 12, 2012 1 Photo

  • Emily_Dickinson_daguerreotype.jpg Do you think you might be a writer?

    Do you like to write?

    May 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • Warfield, Gerald.jpg Warfield to receive worldwide writing contest award

    HOLLYWOOD — Twelve winning writers and 12 illustrators from around the globe – including Gerald Warfield of Mineral Wells—will be honored during Sunday’s 28th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards at the famed Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

    April 13, 2012 1 Photo

  • Is science fiction preparing us for the future?

    Remember Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radio?

    April 5, 2012

  • MaxwellPerkins.jpg The Writers’ Corner: The value of critiquing

    Criticizing someone’s writing is called critiquing.

    March 5, 2012 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index

Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Weather Underground Radar
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Must Read
Seasonal Content

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide