Tag Archives: inspiration

A Fountain of Inspiration

When I was in middle school, I dreamed of writing an amazing fantasy novel.  It had everything:  teenagers on the verge of discovering something new, dragons, and even a secret society complete with hooded robes. But when I sat down in front of the computer to write it, I never even got through the first chapter.

Twenty years later, I finally know what the problem was.  I was typing it instead of writing it.

Don’t get me wrong.  Typing is the most efficient way of doing things.  As a freelance writer, I type anywhere from 5-10,000 words per day.  I could never do that by hand.

But the inspiration for all those keyboard clicks comes from writing by hand.  When I need a new plot or character details and I sit down with a notebook, I tap into something that is completely inaccessible when I’m on the computer.  I’ve read articles before about how the process of writing by hand works well because your brain has time to keep up with your fingers.  Maybe that’s it, or maybe it’s some sort of magic voodoo that can only be cast by the spilling of ink.  I don’t know, but it works.

Of course, this all means that I am a total sucker for a good pen and a nice notebook.  Since I’m ridiculously cheap and living on an artist’s budget anyway, I settle for decent pens.  The truly nice ones are only the ones that are given to me for birthday or Christmas presents.  I like a pen that feels good in the hand and flows well, so that’s pretty much either ball point or gel.

All of that changed when I got my first iPen subscription box.  Each box includes a fountain pen (and a lot of other cool stuff, too).  While I was crazy excited to get this box, the fountain pen was the part I was seriously doubting.  Who writes with a fountain pen?  It can’t flow as nicely as a gel pen or a smoothly as a ball point, and the results are going to be impossible to read since I’m not a calligrapher.

I’m still not a calligrapher, but I was so wrong about the fountain pen.  The Wing Sung Demonstrator that came in my box doesn’t look like much, but it writes like a dream!  I had other typey-typey work I should have been doing, but instead I messed around with learning how to fill this pen so I could use it for some character creation.

The Demonstrator came with a very fine nib (that’s the pointy part where the ink comes out) and it is so amazing!  The ink flows freely and evenly, without any big splotches to make it look like some historical document.  The case of the pen is just plastic, but it’s molded nicely at the grip.  I had never filled a fountain pen before, so it took a few minutes and I got a little ink on my hands, but I’m in love.

 

*This post was in no way sponsored or endorsed by the iPenStore.

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A Reminder for Writers

Just a quick reminder that you should be writing. (And so should I!)

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NaNoWriMo Word Count: Zero

Hello and Happy NaNoWriMo!

Last year was the first time I attempted this great feat.  I achieved a whopping 17,000 words.  I was pretty disappointed in myself, to be honest.  I really thought I could do this.  I had a good idea for a book, and I was excited about it.  So where did I falter?  You know what?  I don’t even remember.  I just know I didn’t get it done.  I finished the book much, much later.

So I’ve had some qualms about signing up this year.  Do I really want to make this commitment and then let myself down?  Haven’t I been just so completely busy already without piling another 50k words on top?  But then again, I have another great idea for a book.  Shouldn’t I just do it?  But on the other hand, it’s already getting late in the evening and I haven’t had a chance to write a single word.  That big zero at the top of the NaNoWriMo page is not just taunting me, but making outright fun of me.

Hulu has the old Bob Ross shows now.  (Don’t worry, this is going somewhere.)  I used to absolutely ADORE this show.  I watched it all the time as a little kid.  It turns out that Bob is just as hypnotic as he was back then.  His soft, even voice makes it seem like even I could pick up a brush and a gigantic paint palette and create a beautiful scene of trees on the water.  It’s just a bunch of simple little paint techniques that don’t seem like much of anything when you look at them individually, but when you stand back and put them together they make something beautiful.

Hmmm.  That sounds like something familiar.

And Bob starts with a certain type of canvas, but he tells me I can use any kind of canvas I want.  And I don’t have to paint the happy little trees right where he puts them; that’s completely up to me.  And sometimes, he says we’re going to get a little crazy and put a few extra plants over here in the corner, and just see how they look.  It’s all just whatever I want; no big deal.

Okay, Bob.  I get it.  I can paint my own beautiful scene with my words.  They might not seem like much by themselves.  I have to stand back and look at them all together.  And it’s okay if I don’t have all of my decisions made ahead of time.  I can throw in an extra scene here or there and just see where it takes me.  No pressure.  It’s all just whatever I want; no big deal.

Time to start writing!

written on an old typewriter

 

 

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Sandwich Thoughts

Sometimes when I sit down for my writing time, it’s an amazing thing.  A couple cups of coffee and an hour later I’ve cranked out over 1,000 words and I’m deliriously excited.  Other times, the cursor just blinks blankly at me, mocking me for my lack of inspiration.

I wouldn’t be the first person to notice that great ideas come in the shower.  I’ve noticed they also come while driving, grocery shopping, or even making a sandwich.  I just wish I could get the words to flow as well during writing time as they do during anything else time.  For instance, when I’m making lunch, the little obnoxious narrator in my head will say something along the lines of, “She stacked the lunch meat atop the smattering of mayonnaise in a delicious architecture.”  The narrator jumps ship when I sit down at my computer, and when my character needs to have lunch, “She makes a sandwich.”  Great.

Where’s your favorite place to have great thoughts?

Sandwich

 

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