Breathe In

“I have ideas, but I don’t have the time to turn them into stories. Then, when I finally have time, my mind is a blank.” This was me complaining to another writer about my lack of progress. “What do you do when you’re not inspired to write?”

Her reply took me by surprise: “Inspiration is only a small part of writing. Time multiplied by Focus equals manuscript. If you’ve got a little time, you need a lot of focus. If you don’t have much focus, you’re going to need a lot of time to produce something. So which do you have more of — time or focus?”

My math brain thought about this for a long time, but this equation did little to get my book written. I knew I didn’t have many hours to write, and apparently I had little focus, either. Women are naturally better at multi-tasking, I decided. I have no talent for it.

My own experiences finally taught me the truth in her advice. My first novel took me only a few months because a) I had a lot of time to work on it; and b) it sucked when I was finished. I’ve written two more since then, have three more in various stages of incompletion, and more failed attempts than I care to count.

So, how do I manufacture inspiration? Here’s my list: More


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