On Don Massenzio’s blog, I found an extended and very interesting post about inspiration. I’m generally fascinated to hear where experienced writers like Don Massenzio, author of the Frank Rozzani-series, got their inspiration from. In this article, Don informs us about different ways inspiration came to him. Thank you very much, Don!
2020 – The Year Without Writing Inspiration
2021 is a year full of possibilities. I keep telling myself this over and over.
The pandemic caused me to pause my creative writing for a number of months. The reasons for the lull in my literary creativity are many, but I’d like to believe that most of them are under control or behind me at this point.
As I look for inspiration to jumpstart my writing and to ignite the fire to finish my next book, I decided to go back to those things that inspired me in the past.
I thought I would share these inspirational elements with you to help you find inspiration and invite you to share those things that inspire you to write when you have a lull in your creativity.
When I was looking for inspirational quotes for writers, I did not start searching for ‘Stephen King’ quotes in the first place. Of course, he is an amazing writer. I love some of his books. Later on in my life, I quit reading horror books. I loved each book of him that I read. But I admit, looking for a calm, inspirational ‘soft’ quote, and finding one that is almost ‘romantic’ from Stephen King, made me realize I ‘horribly’ underestimated him, pun intended.
And here it was, ‘speaking’ to me! You can, You should, and if You’re brave enough to start, You will. Writing is Magic.
I know I’m a wimp, but these three words almost made me cry. Yes, writing is magic! Or at least it is for me! I’m not necessarily talking about the fact that I write fantasy. I’m talking about the process of writing. When I take my pen and set it on the paper to watch the words flowing out of it, watch the ink forming the words that become a story, then I feel like I’m in a magical land, where I can hide. And yes, there is a lot to hide from. The current times, the situation, certain problems… whatever is happening… when I write, it is forgotten, for a certain time. When I write, I drink the water of life, as King describes it… and I’m happy.
Writing is art, writing is creative, writing is a place I can go where the magic happens. And the result is characters, places, stories, and books. That’s the place I want to be.
Thank you, Stephen King, for this wonderful emotional inspiration!
I don’t think Stephen King needs much of an introduction on a writer’s blog. He is, who he is, an inspiration to many of us! I, therefore, just picked a short description of who he is. Please click the ‘source’ link below if you would like to read more about him.
Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, and many have been adapted into films, television series, miniseries, and comic books. King has published 61 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. He has also written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.
When I read this quote, I felt a little sting inside of me. So far, writing, to me, was something I love doing, but still, it is hard work. Therefore, I considered myself a ‘hard worker’, with some natural creativity, and, hopefully, some God-given talent.
I did not, whatsoever, combine my writing and the world ‘artist’ in the same sentence. And to me, a painter is clearly defined as an artist.
The moment I read that, I tried to find out who said it, and when I read ‘Voltaire’, I was surprised, and a tiny bit proud, too.
Voltaire is considered one of the best writers ever, busy as a bee, and in many ways controversial for the past times. His entire thinking was far ahead of his time. The fact that it was Voltaire, telling me that what I do is ‘painting’, just with words, instead of brushes, made me, for the first time, feel like being an artist.
Yes, I write, yes, I paint, I just paint with words… I paint wonderful pictures for the ones who take the time to stand still and ‘look’ at these pictures; take them in, enjoy them… read them, and imagine them… take my tools and use them to show your own picture in your head, in your dreams, in your imagination.
At this moment I consider this a wonderful Christmas present.
Thank you, Voltaire.
Author of the satirical novella ‘Candide,’ Voltaire is widely considered one of France’s greatest Enlightenment writers.
Who Was Voltaire?
Voltaire established himself as one of the leading writers of the Enlightenment. His famed works include the tragic play Zaïre, the historical study The Age of Louis XIV, and the satirical novella Candide. Often at odds with French authorities over his politically and religiously charged works, he was twice imprisoned and spent many years in exile. He died shortly after returning to Paris in 1778.
Voltaire was born François-Marie Arouet to a prosperous family on November 21, 1694, in Paris, France. He was the youngest of five children born to François Arouet and Marie Marguerite d’Aumart. When Voltaire was just seven years old, his mother passed away. Following her death, he grew closer to his free-thinking godfather.
In 1704, Voltaire was enrolled at the Collége Louis-le-Grand, a Jesuit secondary school in Paris, where he received a classical education and began showing promise as a writer.
Beliefs and Philosophy
Embracing Enlightenment philosophers such as Isaac Newton, John Locke and Francis Bacon, Voltaire found inspiration in their ideals of a free and liberal society, along with freedom of religion and free commerce.
As a vegetarian and an advocate of animal rights, however, Voltaire praised Hinduism, stating Hindus were “[a] peaceful and innocent people, equally incapable of hurting others or of defending themselves.”
Voltaire wrote poetry and plays, as well as historical and philosophical works. His most well-known poetry includes The Henriade (1723) and The Maid of Orleans, which he started writing in 1730 but never fully completed.
Among the earliest of Voltaire’s best-known plays is his adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus, which was first performed in 1718. Voltaire followed with a string of dramatic tragedies, including Mariamne (1724). His Zaïre (1732), written in verse, was something of a departure from previous works: Until that point, Voltaire’s tragedies had centered on a fatal flaw in the protagonist’s character; however, the tragedy in Zaïre was the result of circumstance. Following Zaïre, Voltaire continued to write tragic plays, including Mahomet (1736) and Nanine (1749).
When I saw this quote, I immediately felt affected. It was like Neil Gaiman ‘read my mind.’ There are times I have a hard time thinking about something else than my current story. I write in the morning, in the afternoon, and sometimes at night… means, shortly, before I go to sleep. In such a case, I may dream of my story…
Don’t expect too much of my dreams, please. I don’t remember I ever was ‘part’ of my story or found myself to be one of the protagonists. It was more like I watched a scene that I wrote before. I admit, the one or other time I had to correct some view after I woke up – but if I dream of my story (and that doesn’t happen every night), mostly, things might be a bit hazy.
My dreams are not generally the place where I get my ideas from. I think they’re more a reflection of my writing than anything else. But they also inspire me and softly ‘push’ me forward to go to my story and continue writing because that is, what I do, and that is what I want to do.
Of course, I know that Neil Gaiman did not talk about literal dreams… but the book that is in my head, is a story I’m responsible for, a story I can build, a book that can come true, that others can read; a book that may bring joy and smiles to people… and all this is in my hands. I am responsible for.
I love that thought, and that’s why I picked this quote. I think it is a unique, positive thought I would like to hold on and share with you, with readers, with other authors, with friends.
What are your thoughts about this quote? Please share them in the comments.
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman, (born Neil Richard Gaiman 10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films.
His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals.
He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards. (Source: Wikipedia)
‘There is no such thing as a new idea’, Mark Twain once wrote. Which is bad news for anyone trying to be original! But as he goes on to say, we can create new and endless numbers of new combinations. Still, what if you find that you keep coming up with ideas that have already been done? I’m reading a charming little book at the moment, ‘How To Fall In Love With A Man Who Lives In A Bush’, (quite easily, it seems, apparently Austrian men aren’t up to much) where the protagonist dreams of becoming an author. The only problem is that every story she comes up with has already been written …. by Charlotte Bronte or Stephen King!
It’s something of an occupational hazard for storytellers – even when it comes to choosing a title for your book. A quick search on Google will reveal that your…
When I read this quote, I thought back to my life and was surprised I found nearly everything I thought “happened to me” that was painful, devastating, hard to take or heartbreaking (at least when it came to relationships) I had to go through all this to walk on a different path.
Most situations I was in, which I thought made me happy, were only a short illusion and neither one of them was good.
Now, each one of us, I think, has a different way to think “who” did change my/his/her situation. Some might think, it was ‘Karma,’ some may think it was, what it was, some may think, our life follows a certain path, and some others, including me, might think, God decided to show me a better direction.
One of my best friends once told me several times already: “God might have other plans with you.” And I think she’s right. However, it seems He’s quite busy keeping me on the path He has designed for me. My sense of orientation must be extremely lousy when He had to lead me back to the road ever so often.
I’m curious when I need to be saved the next time. But how do I know I’m going in the wrong direction, or I’m walking off the path that was created for me? Is this the ‘sense of life’ everybody speaks about? To know when to walk in the right direction, the one that takes you where you need to go? The one path that takes you directly to the Stairway to Heaven?
I sometimes wonder, what the future holds for me. But then: If we knew it ahead: Wouldn’t life be boring?
Charles Rozell “Chuck” Swindoll (born October 18, 1934) is an evangelical Christian pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher. He founded Insight for Living, headquartered in Frisco, Texas, which airs a radio program of the same name on more than 2,000 stations around the world in 15 languages. He is currently senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church, in Frisco, Texas. (source: Wikipedia.com)
Reading the above quote, I was immediately thinking about how disciplined I am; and how disciplined I would like to be.
Me working in a full-time job, of course, I would love to have more time to write. Not that I never take time to. It often seems to me that I barely do anything else in my time outside the office, except working on one of my books. Either I write, or I type one of my drafts into the computer, or I edit, or I work on a copyright, a cover, or anything else that has to do with either writing or blogging.
There were so many days (and nights) I found myself in front of my computer at 2 am and realizing that I should have gone to bed three hours ago considering I have to get up and go to work sometime between 7 and 8 am.
Of course, when I get home, I have to provide myself and the cats with dinner, play with them, maybe have to clean at home, do laundry or get something else done that needs to be done in my daily life.
Occasionally there is just simply no time to do any writing or blogging. On a day like this, I find myself in bed, feeling guilty about neglecting my writing, pushing my passion and obsession to the very end of my ‘to-do’-list.
These are the days I feel I’m not disciplined enough to follow up and do whatever I can to reach my goal.
To this day I have no idea what more I can do to be more disciplined. A plan? A different ‘to-do’-list? I’ve tried it all. In the end, I just had to see: my priorities are set right. But once in a while, daily life needs more attention than expected. And no matter how much I love being a writer. I still need to have a home, pay my bills and get food on the table.
Sometimes I’m asking myself, what more can I do? And I wish I’d be wiser…
When I lately read this quote, I expected this quote to root in the wisdom of a successful and experienced man. And I was right. That’s why I tried to find out more about this man’s life.
Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn (September 17, 1930 – December 5, 2009) was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn was born in Yakima, Washington, to Emanuel and Clara Rohn. The Rohns owned and worked a farm in Caldwell, Idaho, where Jim grew up as an only child.
Rohn left college after just one year and started his professional life by working as a human resource manager for department store Sears. From there he worked through different industries until the early 1960s when Rohn was invited to speak at a meeting of his Rotary Club. He accepted and, soon, others began asking him to speak at various luncheons and other events. In 1963 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, he gave his first public seminar. He then began presenting seminars all over the country, telling his story and teaching his personal development philosophy.
He presented seminars worldwide for more than 40 years. Rohn also coauthored the novel Twelve Pillars with Chris Widener.
Rohn was the recipient of the 1985 National Speakers Association CPAE Award for excellence in speaking. He is also the author of 17 different written, audio, and video media.
Jim Rohn died of pulmonary fibrosis on December 5, 2009. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. (Source: Wikipedia.com)
When I start developing a character sometimes, I construct the person in my head; then I start writing down how she/he is going to be. First the ‘shell,’ then the inside. I very rarely ‘use’ someone I already know… someone I have met or is familiar to me.
It’s more that sometimes I recognize later, after the first draft, when I’m typing the book into the computer, that I find similarities with people I know.
This one time it’s a bit different.
A couple of months back I met a new co-worker of mine. She’s simply beautiful with her shiny black hair, blue ocean deep eyes, and her open, symmetrical heart-shaped face.
We talked about her descants and found out; she’s Irish. After talking to her and listening to her wonderful Irish accent, I decided I would love to use her as one of my main characters in one of…
Ethel has written a post. It’s a great post and it’s receiving lots of positive feedback. Janey wants lots of positive feedback too. Janey copies the post, changes a few words around, adds in a few extra ideas and publishes it as her ‘brand new, completely original post’ in all of the 232 Facebook groups that she’s a member of. Nobody will notice, right?
In the last week I’ve read two articles that I immediately connected with. The first, a completely fabulous post by Kate Toon – 19 Things NOT to Do in a Facebook Group – which hilariously highlighted just some of the silliness that I witness daily, and the second by Elena Peters – What’s Up With the Fast Blogging? – a short set of thoughts on the misconceptions of overnight blogging success and the desperation of bloggers to achieve it. They’re both completely different posts, but they…
A new year always begins with the same pattern in the blogging world. My emails, reader and social media feeds become filled with targets for the next twelve months and an influx of New Year’s Resolution bloggers will start to appear in the comment section on my blog or across various Facebook groups.
The next few weeks will be filled with an overwhelming amount of conflicting information and I can pretty much guarantee that most will disappear as quickly as they arrived. For some, the novelty of having a blog wears off pretty quickly. For others, there’s a disappointing realisation that thousands of views can’t be achieved simply by pressing the publish button.
However, for the ones that stick it out, it can become a minefield of self-doubt and, at times, a huge knock to their confidence in their writing abilities.