The Battle Cry of the Writer

Sep 19, 2013


We all stand today united on separate battlefields, determined fire in our eyes and blisters upon our fingers. We bear the scars of rejection. We wear the medals of completed novels, or novels in progress, or novels barely begun.

Our foes are many. They come in uniforms of Exhaustion, Screaming Children, Day Jobs, Plot Holes, and Flat Characters, and Writer's Block. They bear the weapons of discouragement and lack of confidence and fear. But we bear the might of words! The power of the ideas and people and stories in our minds that will not be silenced!

The fight is fierce. We gain a territory of 500 or 2,000 words a day, only to have to retreat and erase many of those words. We scratch out our stories in the dead of night and early morning hours, with nothing but chocolate to sustain us. And each word we write, or change, or even erase only puts us closer to our goal of a completed novel. It is a joy, and it is a challenge many never dare to face, but we come to the fight day after day.

My brothers and sisters. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of writers fails, when we forsake our words and break all bonds of creativity, but it is not this day! This day we FIGHT!*


Okay. So maybe that was a little melodramatic. But writing can be a battlefield. Writing is HARD. Like so many things in life, it's full of contradictions of joy and anguish and fun and exhaustion and lots and lots of work. More than talent, maybe even more than that oft-mentioned perseverance, it takes COURAGE to face the page yet another day and keep pouring our souls onto it.

So, really, I wrote this battle speech for myself, I think. So that on the days when the pain and work of writing out-weigh the joy and fun of it, I can bolster my courage and determination to work hard.

And you know, my friends, I think we should have a battle cry, too. So here. I made this one for a friend, and for you. And for me. Feel free to spread it to the writers of the internet so we can scream it upon the battlefields of our novels and have the courage to win!

*Yes, I totally massacred Aragorn's great battle speech. I regret nothing.

Finding Inspiration-- Filling Yourself so Your Writing Can Fill Others

Sep 4, 2013

I love writing. I love creating. I love finding a story that inspires me, that I want to tell so it inspires others. But lately, in addition to my blog silence, I've had trouble putting words on paper (or computer screen).

I don't know why. I've been fighting with it. I've rearranged my schedule. I've forced my butt into that chair. I've commanded my fingers to type and get those stupid little letters to form words to form sentences to form a story. And I haven't enjoyed it much, and that kills me.

Writing is an act of creation. Creating something takes energy-- a special type of creative energy from inside you. Of course, the act of creating often gives some of that very energy back. But lately, I've had a particular dearth of that energy. Things in my life have been hectic, with some unexpected changes that will be for the better, but at the moment tend to drain my energy, creative or otherwise.

Luckily for me, Labor Day weekend gave me an opportunity to fill my tank. In a place called Duck Creek exists the most perfect woodlands known to man (or at least known to me). I spent time circling lakes, wandering the forest, roasting marshmallows around the fire, and laying in hammocks watching the clouds. I was immersed in Someone Else's creation, and it filled me and inspired me.

I always find inspiration and creative energy in the creations of someone else. Books, movies, nature, music, good food-- all these things took creative energy to make, and they're still brimming with it. I can fill myself up with it, and then turn around and create something that will fill up another person down the road. It's what I love about creating-- knowing that some day, someone else might benefit from my creative works.

I'm ready to go again. Excited and happy to think about channeling that energy I found into something new and wonderful. And if that energy starts draining again, I'm glad I remembered where to find it.

So, my friends, where do you find inspiration? How do you fill your own creative coffers? How was your weekend?

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