Writing Skills: Writing and the Pursuit of Inspiration

Lesson 1: Writing and the Pursuit of Inspiration

Writing and the pursuit of inspiration

So you want to write, but you don’t feel inspired. Does that mean you should give up before you even start? Of course not! 

Inspiration is more than just a sudden burst of good ideas. It’s a state of mind where ideas and possibilities seem to flow with ease, and you’re unafraid of trying something new. It’s the ideal head space that writers love to be in. But getting into that head space often requires time and effort.

Watch the video below to learn more about pursuing inspiration.

Hunting inspiration down

Inspiration isn’t always easy to find. For starters, it can be tricky to get in that inspired state of mind. You also can’t wait for random bursts of ideas if you want to write on a consistent basis. Otherwise, you may spend hours staring at a blank page, afraid to make a move.

A man sitting in a dark room, staring blankly at a laptop screen.

The solution is to hunt inspiration down yourself. Whether it’s a business email, an essay for school, or that novel you’ve always had in the back of your head, follow the words of author Louis L’Amour: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

So start writing! Write whether you have an idea already in mind or just a vague feeling that you want to explore. Get down every thought and possibility that comes to mind, then ask questions to develop them further. Follow every creative impulse that comes your way.

A woman writing a blog post on her computer.

Write now, edit later

Follow the principle of write now, edit later. That means you don’t worry about mistakes or saying too much or not having every detail ready at this point. Instead, concentrate on getting your writing brain active and finding the heart of your message.

Remember that your first draft does not have to be amazing. In fact, it’s the place to try any idea you want. Try to ignore the fear of writing something bad or boring, because it doesn't matter at this stage. You can dive into the editing process later when the first draft is done, and you have a better understanding of what you want to say.

The first draft of a speech, filled with handwritten edits and ideas.

The habits of pursuit

The more you pursue inspiration, the more often you’ll find it, even when you’re not writing. If you ever get stuck, get up and do something easy, like going for a walk. This will give your writing brain a chance to think over the problem in the background, which could lead to new perspectives and ideas.

Another great way to pursue inspiration is to establish a writing routine. Whether it’s writing 500 words a day, writing early in the morning, or scribbling on a legal pad, use whatever method helps your words flow. If you stay consistent, you should hopefully notice results in time. 

When you make writing a regular part of your life, your chances of finding inspiration will increase. Much like how exercising regularly will get you physically fit, writing on a consistent basis will train your brain to seek out inspiration, and to crash through the fear of a blank page.

Writing is hard work

No matter how much you love it, writing is still hard work. It’ll take time and effort to make something worthwhile, and you may sit there wondering what to do next for a while.

But don’t give up. Keep pushing, keep experimenting, and keep writing, and go after inspiration with all your might.