I have this weird little thing happen to me as a writer that I simply can’t explain. I suppose most writer’s go through dry-spells and writer’s block, when creativity is at a minimum. I have my own, sometimes lasting months, and I’m never too sure when they’ll end.
However, the fact, is when inspiration strikes, it hits hard. And often at really inconvenient times.
I never seem to be inspired to write when I’m sitting around with nothing to do. No, it’s during midterms, or when final projects are stacking up, or when my computer is in the shop because it is failing to work properly as always.
And most importantly, I almost always get my inspiration strikes at night.
Sure, my blog posts get put up midday, but often, I’m writing them in the evening and put them up later to get better readership.
When I say night, yes I do sometimes mean normal times like eight or nine. But other times I am referring to my owl-like tendencies where I can’t start getting a good bit of writing done until midnight or later.
Don’t believe me?
Friday night/Saturday morning. I had been having three weeks with absolutely no motivation to even touch my keyboard or pen and paper. I wanted to delete/burn current projects but couldn’t find a new one I liked better. Then at 12:30 AM it struck me like a bolt of lightening, effectively pulling me from the slumber I’d been attempting to take up.
Words echoed within my mind, somehow finding me by unknown forces. “There was a distinct probability that she was insane.” Those were the words that echoed there. I stumbled blearily from bed and grabbed the nearest notebook paper before scribbling it down before it left me. If there is one thing I know, it’s that I’ll forget if I don’t get it down right away.
Thus began more than an hour of scratching out my thoughts on paper. A quick first draft of a story idea that came from a mere line etched in my sleep-deprived brain. I wrote by candlelight at the kitchen table, unable to bear turning the lights on and effectively waking myself up.
I wrote three pages front and back before retiring for the evening, satisfied. I jotted notes for myself in the margines, scribbled a few sketches of images down to inspire. And left it.
The truth is that many of my best projects have strange roots. I think some people have the mistaken idea that I just slowly develop a story idea over time. Maybe. But more often it’s just a strange glimpse that I follow along as best I can and attempt to construct a story around. My first major novel that I worked on began with an image I had in the shower, of a boy running in the rain with a bloodhound chasing him. My second novel I finished writing began with an image of a blond angelic looking boy dressed all in leather. A third project was a collection of random pinterest images that created interest in mapping out a story between them.
Needless to say not every project inspired this way is finished. But I find a real beauty in the random inspiration, the flash of clarity at what I need to put on paper whether I truly understand it or not.
I don’t know that this storyline will go far. But I know I will always remember how it started, and the joy of waking early in the morning to scrawl my nasty handwriting across a page by candlelight.
How do you find inspiration? Where/when do you like to write?