Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From Head to Hand: Inspiration and Perspiration

I know a lot of people never thought they'd hear me say this but......MY BOOK IS NEARLY DONE! Yes, I'm at the climax of the story but I can't give too much away because I want you all to read it. However, when I tell people I'm nearly at the end of my epic adventure, many of them say, "Is that the book you started years ago?" or "About time."

Unless you've written a book, it's hard to understand the hard slog involved in getting a story from head to hand. There are moments of writer's block, distractions, busyness, tiredness and laziness to contend with. Writing a book is a bit like study; it requires self-discipline and motivation. Some people, who are not writers assume that only an inpsirational idea is needed to write a bestseller and that all I need to do is regurgitate my idea onto my computer. I wish! It's more like 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. It's easy to have an idea and fine-tune it in your head. It's much harder to stick at it when the going gets tough.

Some writers are 'inspiration writers' who have an idea and then rush off to their computer to record their thoughts. This can happen at any time, even in the middle of the night.....basically whenever they get their 'inspiration'. I find it frustrating when I go to bed and immediately think up some great dialogue for my book....but I'm supposed to be sleeping. I COULD get up and immediately get it down on paper, but I have another job and I need to be disciplined. It wouldn't look good turning up to work with bags under my eyes and struggling to stay awake but some writers don't worry about that.

I'm more of a 'disciplined writer'. I set aside a designated period of time to write and I stay there until the inspiration flows (and it usually does eventually). I figure that I can't rely on mindblowing 'inspirational moments' because they might not come or might come at inopportune times. Some hard yakka is required.

If you've got a book in the pipeline, please don't give up. If it was worth thinking up, then it's worth getting down. The actual writing part may not be as fun as refining your plot and characters in your head, but it's all part of the journey. Don't listen to people who tell you how long you're taking. Keep going! I'm going to have a massive party to celebrate when my book's finished and prove all the doubters wrong.


Iris Flavia said...

Yay for Party when you´ve mastered that milestone! :-)
Wow, a real book sure is something not anyone achieves!

Michael Hunt said...

Tim Winton has on average taken 7 years to produce each of his novels. So plodding in novel writing is both a common occurrence and I reckon and all-round good virtue to have in life.

Well done Sarah :-)

Sarah said...

Thanks guys :) It's nice to know Tim Winton takes his time. I've been looking at the publishing dates for books by the same author and it seems they are commonly about two years apart. I suppose if I had a deadline, I'd write faster but it's hard setting one for myself and being disciplined enough to stick to it.