A Word about Inspiration from the Greats


Jack London

I have heard lots of would-be writers say that they would write more if they had more inspiration. They just don’t seem to know that inspiration can be as easy as breathing. Matter of fact, the word inspiration comes from a word meaning to breathe. Inspiration is life breathed creative ability.
Recently, I read that Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”

This is what he actually said, “Don’t dash off a six-thousand-word story before breakfast. Don’t write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen. Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it. Set yourself a “stint,” and see that you do that “stint” each day; you will have more words to your credit at the end of the year.”

Basically what Jack London is telling us is that we need to focus on what we are doing daily. He is saying that we shouldn’t wait for our muse but rouse that muse out of her bed chambers every morning and put her to work. (Same as we should do with an adult child who is living in our basement.)
How else can we gain inspiration or in other words breathe life into our created beings?

Jack London went on to say, “Study the tricks of the writers who have arrived. They have mastered the tools with which you are cutting your fingers. They are doing things, and their work bears the internal evidence of how it is done. Don’t wait for some Good Samaritan to tell you, but dig it out for yourself.”

An exceptional source to find these great writers is through the online website Great Writer’s Inspire by the University of Oxford at http://www.writersinspire.org/themes/
Here we have access to all the greats throughout history. As a historical romance novelist, I am able to read from the perspective of the writers of the period. If you have read any of my books, you see that I mention various works of literature and writers who were contemporaries of the characters.
As an author of this current age, however, I cannot copy the styles of the greats. In order to become a great in my own time, I must develop my own style based on contemporary novel disciplines. I learn this from more contemporary authors. More on this in next Tuesday’s post.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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2 comments
  1. I’m struggling to find the time to write right now. Lots of inspiration but very little time…..sigh. Well, all things change, so I’ll be ready for the next mini-chapter of my life.

  2. inspiration is like money, isn’t it? When you have lots of it, you don’t have time to use it!

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