body. You know this to be true if you’ve ever pushed yourself athletically. When you just know you can’t go any further something inside of you pulls it out. Whether you’re feeding off of stored energy reserves or some kind of mind over matter process really doesn’t matter, what does matter is this is a real thing you can use in other areas.
Like the creative pursuit.
If you’re waiting for inspiration, energy, flow or a muse … wait on, they show up after you begin. They really get going when you reach down inside and pull out the reserves, the afterburners, that reservoir of energy we all have but seldom believe in.
Believe in it, make it show up by expecting it through what you do, not what you wait for.
Grab that blank sheet of paper or canvas and put something on it, the end result doesn’t get started by any other method. Every great thing began with a thought, some uncertainty, and a blank canvas – now go fire it up.
“The brain is the weapon, your body is just a tool.”
Before you click off thinking martial arts and writing don’t go together, think about this: the above quote applies to:
Everything in life.
You sit at your computer and play with a sentence structure or invent a character or pull a side plot out of your head that fixes an earlier problem – you are using a tool, but the impetus, the gun, the weapon…is your mind. The typewriter, the pen, the keyboard…they are merely following instructions as they come spinning from your imaginative brain.
Take this into whatever part of your life you want to, and think about how similar it is to what I recently heard a Navy seal say on a podcast, “The brain is ready to give up way before the body is.” It’s reverse, but it’s the same, it’s all in your head mate – now go use it.
Need more? Go read “Living with a Seal” by Jesse Itzler. https://amzn.com/B00U6DNZB2
the real problem is in the 1st act.” Billy Wilder
Why did he say this and how can we use it? My take is you need to have some idea where you’re going. Not saying you need to outline, as that topic has been tackled by all of the best articles on this. What I am saying is you need at least a road map.
If you start your story without a guideline of some sort, then all you’re really doing is writing a long, painful outline that you’re calling a first draft. Trust me on this, I’ve done it.
A great book on this idea is “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks.
So however you plan it out, an outline, a few sentences on a notepad, a spreadsheet or Scrivener…get something in front of you to show you where you’re headed, it will save you time, heartache and pain.
You don’t even need to stick with the plan, just put the car in drive, head down the road, and the rest … well, that’s why they call it writing.
Now go fire it up.
is not writing.” James Baldwin
This quote was originally intended to convey the idea that the writing shouldn’t look like writing, to write a sentence so well that it doesn’t look like writing. The reader isn’t distracted by a writer showing off, he’s just pulled into the story.
I see the above quote in another light. You as a writer have a job description that can be easily manipulated into other seemingly valuable activities which end up as non essential paths down an endless slide of distraction and procrastination.
Your job is simple: write.
Trying to find the time, the inspiration, the muse or the means is a waste…and in the end is much more frustrating than just getting in the chair and putting words on paper.
So go fire it up, and just write.