Monday, November 15, 2010

Negative Inspiration

What is negative inspiration?

It's what I'm feeling right now.

The hour has come to be productive, to wake my imagination, to stare at the blank page and create a picture, tell a story, delve into the heart of a fictional human being.

But I can't do it. My heart isn't in it at the moment.

I doubt there are any among us who have never faced a day of work without disliking the demands of our job. Yet, despite our occasional aversion to our avocation, we must man-up or woman-up and engage in our responsibilities.

We need to fight our "negative inspiration" and do our job. It is our duty, the work we owe to others and to ourselves.

When a writer is "uninspired" I suggest she take a few minutes to look at her favorite work of literature. Reading a passage from a friendly old book can be extraordinarily inspirational. Once she's read the beautiful prose, she should copy them.


No! not literally copy them. I'm NOT suggesting plagiarism. I'm suggesting the writer take the conflict of the scene, the motivation of the characters or some other aspect of what she's just read and create something new.

Taking time out to work on a "practice scene" will often lead the writer to having the ability to return to the blank page of the story in progress and get some real work completed. This session of "practice" can be inspiring.

No matter what occupation we might face with "negative inspiration" gnawing at our resolve, turning to something satisfying and uplifting and taking a few minutes to indulge in this activity can drive away the negative and replace it with the positive.

Take a moment, smile and remind yourself that you are good at what you do, and you're going to get even better at it. Know too that what you do is important to you, to those you love and even to others whom you may never meet.

That's positively inspiring, isn't it?


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author

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