I don't believe in waiting for inspiration in order to write. I believe that a writer has to write all the time, as much as possible, even when it feels as though there's no inspiration to be had. Sure, I might generate stuff that I end up sticking in a drawer, but I might also generate just what I need, and I will definitely move ahead on projects. And the thing to remember is, even if I write what I think is awful, I can go back and work on it, revise it, edit it, and make it into what I want. For as all writers know (or should know), writing is rewriting.
This all said, I do believe that a writer can find inspiration as an impetus to get moving. I often find inspiration in the weather. Today in central New York, for example, it's pouring out, and not only are raindrops falling, but colorful leaves are falling as well. It's truly a beautiful day. It makes me want to write because it feels so cozy inside, and I almost feel as though I'm "curled up" with my laptop the way one curls up with a good book. It's a day for tea or hot cocoa, perhaps soup, a warm cat or two beside me, pillows and blankets surrounding me as I write while sitting on my couch.
And then there's winter, the season loathed and dreaded by so many central New Yorkers. It's long and very snowy (except for the strange winter we had last year), but it's cozy to me, much like fall. I happen to love winter. It demands tea, hot cocoa, and soup, and curling up warmly with my laptop. I love a day in winter when I have nothing else to do but write. I love when it's as silent inside as it is outside--the only sound being the clicking of my keyboard.
So waiting for inspiration is not something I recommend, but looking for inspiration... definitely! And look for it in the weather. It's not only a perfect day when it's 80 degrees and sunny... it might be a perfect day today.
- Emily Glossner Johnson
- Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have a poem in The Poeming Pigeon, essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. My story "Santa Lucia" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which are as yet unpublished. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!