January 10, 2017

No inspiration, no story

This year, I’m very serious about sticking to my New Year's resolutions. They’re very simple: read every day, write every day, exercise (or just go for a walk) every day.

So far, I’m doing well. Finding 20 or 30 minutes for reading every day is a breeze, and since I read very fast, this has already allowed me to finish two books. Moreover, I haven’t missed a day of writing yet. I really want to develop a consistent writing habit! I’ve temporarily banished my writing block demon by writing blog posts in the old-school way, with a pen and paper rather than a computer. I’ve also managed to finish writing the first draft of a novelette (9570 words) in Polish that had been lying in pieces on my laptop since well before Christmas. Since January 1, I’ve missed two days of exercising due to a cold, but other than that, I’m staying on track.

Things aren’t perfect, though. A week ago, feeling ambitious, I set a goal for myself to write a short story in English. A 1200-word story can be written in one or two afternoons. It’s no big deal. There’s a catch, though: you need a good idea. A neat and compact one. An idea that can be contained in just 1200 words, not 5000 or 10 000. Lots of great ideas are simply too big and broad and colorful to stuff them into such a small frame. 

And I haven’t had that blessed spark of inspiration all week. I’ve outlined a story in English and sketched out parts of it, but I’m not that enthusiastic about finishing. I’ve also written a couple of brief scenes in English just for practice.

However, I didn’t write a complete short story. I didn’t hit my goal.

Along the way, I also read countless writing prompts published online and got discouraged because none of them resonated with me. Although many people seem to downplay the role of inspiration these days, and say things like “just sit down to write and inspiration will come”, guess what? At the end of the day, no inspiration = no decent ideas, and no decent ideas = no story. At least in my case!

Hans the troll is telling me not to worry, though, and to just keep on reading every day, writing every day, and exercising every day. And sooner or later, that pesky little story will get written!

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