Archives: Writing Inspiration

Mozart in the Jungle

Image result for mozart in the jungle

What a bloody brilliant show this is. I binge-watched all four seasons in like, six days, and then I learned that AMAZON HAS CANCELLED IT. According to the Hollywood Reporter “the move is…in line with the [new chief]’s directive to shift away from niche indie projects and deliver broader, big-budget swings in an attempt to land the next Game of Thrones”.

Well fuck that. God, instead of trying to replicate the last, inimitable big hit, why not do something bloody interesting and new and different – something like Mozart in the bloody Jungle.

I’m mad. And sad. And just…ugh. 

(And this new wordpress editor is still the most ridiculous, convoluted piece of crap.)

But, despite my rage, I’m also feeling inspired. I want to make good art. I want to make my own, unique art. And in this new age of publishing, there’s room now for niche indie projects. 

So I’m off to write. 

Season 4 Dancing GIF by Mozart In The Jungle

What Is Going On?

Urgh. WordPress have forced this new, unnecessarily complicated editor on me and I’m all confused. (I’m easily confused. I’m technologically stunted.)

But apart from that, something even stranger has happened. 

stephen colbert omg GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

On Saturday I was listening to Wolf Totem, by James Horner, and an idea hit me out of the blue: a complete story idea, with characters, world, and a general gist of the character arcs. Like, the kind of vivid idea I had when I cooked up The Night Mage. 

And this new idea…it was for Beauty and the Beast. 

(Cue me gasping in disbelief.)

Beauty and the Beast? Seriously? I thought I’d beaten that thing to a pulp. But no…it seems there’s a determined wee bugger in my brain that wants to write that story after all.

So, I’m not abandoning Midnight Shrine. No way. But I am going to play with this Beauty and the Beast idea on the side, and see what happens.   

Tomorrow is Mine

Okay. Another day, another day of figuring stuff out. Today, I realised that I need to get back to the keyboard. If I rest for much longer, I’ll allow this bloody Block to grow into a monster. I can’t give it that power. I have to pick up my sword and keep hacking. 

Saying that, I needed a break. It was honestly my first one in years (except five days I spent in New York where I’d written 30k the previous week). I mean, I’ve not written every day all this time, but I’ve always been attempting to write a novel. Always. My brain has not once switched to the off position. And for that reason, I believe this break of two-three weeks has been necessary. It’s also something I need to incorporate into my schedule on a regular basis. 

HOWEVER, I think I’ve been guilty of giving up too easily on projects, especially in the last year. In the past, I’ve had ideas that have walked into my head and then onto the page, resulting in completed books (The Night Mage was one of them). I’ve also had many ideas that have stuttered and failed, mostly resulting in half-finished manuscripts. Because of this, I think I’ve come to believe that I can only finish a book if the original idea dances into my brain on top of a glittery unicorn.

If I believe this, I’m not going to have a long-term career writing fiction. That’s the brutal truth. Funny thing is, I know that writing is a grind – and I’ve been capable of great grinding, believe me – but it’s like I’ve forgotten it. Maybe months and months and months of Failure and feeling like UTTER SHIT has slowly morphed my thought process. Well, this break has given me perspective. Just because some books have been glorious, doesn’t mean they all will be. And if I wait around for the glorious ones, I’m not going to produce enough content to earn a living. #hardfacts

So, I’m getting back in the saddle.  Today I’m going to go to a coffee shop with my notepad, and think. No pressure – simply think. Perhaps one of my previous ideas can be resuscitated, or perhaps I’ll find the spark of something new. 

I’m also making some general changes, to stop myself falling so far down the hole again.

  1. I’m adding more activity into my life. Maybe some people can write all day every day, but I’m not one of them. As I said in my previous post, my Muse is a vampire. It needs rest and darkness, and my well of ideas needs refilling. I also need to do something about the horrible loneliness I feel throughout the day, so hopefully a wee volunteering gig will help.
  2. I’ve found a little pocket of the internet where I like to engage with writers. I’ve been searching for a space for so long and think I’ve found it at last. This should make the daily slog a little less gruelling.
  3. I’ve acknowledged that I’m way too hard on myself, and that needs to change. Hopefully, with the help of a counsellor, I can learn to be kind to myself while maintaining my ambition. 
  4. I’ve given up caffeine and refined sugar (for the most part) because they make me ill/mess with my mood. Hopefully this will alleviate the dreaded afternoon slump. 
  5. I’ve accepted that books take a loooooong time. I can’t write a book a month or anything like it. I think my range will be one-three books a year, depending on the project(s). 

Lastly, I’m reminding myself that I’m not a failure. I am a fighter (wooyeah! I’m blasting the Bayonetta soundtrack as I write this) and I AM COMING FOR YOU, BOOK. 

Filling the Void

I woke up this morning and wondered how to keep myself busy today. How can I write when I don’t have a book? How do I force myself to rest, to take a much-needed break from novels? How do I stop working towards the thing that needs to be done?

So I remembered Chuck Wendig has prompts on his site. His latest was ‘strange photos’, which led me to this:

And then, because I needed ideas to ferment in my head, I kept reading more articles and generally mucking around on the internet, and this post struck a chord, and it led to some more interesting facts. And then I had to look up a new word, and I added it to my vocab list and realised I’d forgotten a few other words already (I keep a note in my diary of all the words I have to look up), and then I thought, hey, why don’t I write a couple of sentences using these words to help me remember their meaning? And before I knew it, the day had filled itself.

Right now, I feel like I’m free to follow the rabbit down the hole, to just chill and have some fun with my writing. I pray to the gods this feeling continues.

(I bought the book about glowing elephants.)