Jack London said “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” And I’m sure it felt like that for him at times. Jack was one of the founders of the California Writers Club, but I don’t believe he was referring to that kind of club, even though the company of writers can provide a degree of inspiration. I like what Jack London says about not waiting for inspiration. Developing the ability to write in a variety of moods is a huge asset for a writer – including when you’re bored, listless, confused, uncertain, blank, tired, scattered, hungover, angry, depressed, or terrified. Material has a way of coming forth when we pick up the pen, even if we’re not feeling confident or full of ideas. We have to trust in that. Feeling a lack of inspiration can be a convincing excuse not to write. Do we need to be absorbed in a special inner state of inspired passion to create? No. We might feel ‘inspired’, or any number of other things as we prepare to write, and both the quality and quantity of what we put down on the page might not be clearly linked to how inspired we felt. We just have to do it. We could be like Jack London and chase inspiration with a club, or we could just quietly work at our writing day to day. Rain or shine.
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