This post is going to be more about writing inspiration, rather than story inspiration.
I’m about to start the rework on “Sirens’ Call.” I’ve received comments from three first readers. There are things that all three of them agreed needed fixing. They disagreed about other things, and I need to make some decisions.
This part of the process is my least favorite. I’ve already moved on, written a new novel.
But I will do this work, because I want to make “Siren’s Call” the best I can.
So I’ve come up with a list of things that inspire me to get my butt in the chair and write.
1. A deadline. I have to send this novel to the copyeditor on September 16th. That’s a hard deadline that I can’t miss. Deadlines are very motivating for me.
2. A plan. I don’t have to go through every single page (though I know that in reality, I’ll end up looking at/touching every page.) Instead, I can focus on just this scene, layering in that detail, etc.
3. Working every day. I have three hours of time set aside, every single day, to do this work. Staying in the world, immersing myself in the details, will help make the work easier. There’s a certain rhythm to fixing things, and once I find that, not breaking that rhythm helps.
4. This one is more difficult to define, as well as explain, and I think it’s different for everyone.
I call it grit.
It’s that stick-to-it-ness. It’s why one of my friends labels me as “ferociously disciplined.” It’s that “I will finish this. I don’t care what anyone thinks, what else is happening” attitude. It’s “the writing is first. Always. Everything else is secondary.” It’s also, “This is important and I will not fail myself.”
Items one through three will inspire me to work, to get my butt into the chair, to make the process easier.
Number four, though, that’s what will keep me there.
So what inspires you to keep going, keep pushing ahead, when the road’s dark and the wind’s cold? When you’re tired and discouraged by the mountain ahead? What keeps you focused and inspired?