Just Thinkin'

Here is a few interesting ideas from Writing Is A Verb by Bill O'Hanlon.

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury wrote, in Zen in the Art of Writing, “... [if I were] asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, to see his gusto.”

How do you find or connect with the gusto and zest—also known as the juice—that will fuel your writing through the book creation and publishing process? By identifying and connecting with one or more writing energies.

Writing Energies

Positive Energies. Writers can be blissed (excited or passionate about their subjects or the writing process itself) or blessed (encouraged by someone who believes in them or their writing abilities, or just in the right place at the right time).

When these positive energies are released, they can fuel a book or a lifetime of writing. Blissed is the excited, passionate love or fascination for some activity or subject. Some writers just love to write.

Others are fascinated with the subject of their writing. Some are obsessed with or taken over by characters or the research they do for the book. Blessed is the energy released when someone encourages you in your writing life or believes in your promise as a writer.

Another way to be blessed is to be in the right place at the right time. Blessed is meeting an editor or an agent unexpectedly. You might see something, read something, or hear something that gives you inspiration for a book project.

Of course, you can do some things to make your own luck (as the saying goes, “I’m a great believer in luck. I find that the harder I work, the luckier I get”).
Call it serendipity or being blessed or working hard to get luckier. When it happens, it can sometimes release the writer in you.

Negative Energies. Writing can be like photography: You can use the negative to develop. For many writers, the energies that drive their work come from a negative motivation—they are so upset, angry, or unhappy that they feel compelled to express those emotions through writing. Or they want to prove someone wrong, or right some injustice in the world through their writing.

So what do you think about Bill's ideas?
How do you find your own writing energy?



Shelley Munro said...

Interesting post, Kaye. Some days it is hard to keep going. Funnily enough, rejections always spur me on, but a new sale or a great review does the same thing. I like being a writer on the whole. There's nothing like being your own boss.

Debs said...

Great post. It depends on my mood as to what I feel like writing, although most of the time that doesn't matter, as I simply have to write the next part of the book regardless of how I feel.

Linda Banche said...

I can see where both positive and negative events can influence you. But, I'm also a great believer in hard work. As Einstein said of his work, it was "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". A great idea means nothing without the effort to see it to completion.

Suzanne said...

Great post, Kaye. And great quote, Linda.

I have to be in a happy place before I can work effectively.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Kaye,
With knockbacks, I take a few days off, then my gut instinct kicks in and I have to get back to my writing with an even greater determination than ever. I guess writers/authors all have ups and downs. :)

Christina Phillips said...

That's a very interesting post, Kaye. I write because when I don't I become very edgy. I liken it to an addiction - even on bad writing days I still need to sit at the computer and try and write something, anything, because even if it's rubbish it's better (for me) than doing anything else!

Most of the time rejections spur me on too, although occasionally one will really bite and I go into the doldrums for an hour or so. But bottom line is, I want to be a successful writer and to do that I must write no matter how down I might feel!

Kaye Manro said...

Great comments as usual everyone! I like, "rejections always spur me on..." from Shelley and echoed again from Christina. That's certainly the mark of a good writer, in my opinion. And Linda, hard work is the key I believe. Wonderful comments Debs, Suzanne and Suzanne B. Thanks for being here all!