Inspiration is a necessity

I do believe that inspiration will not

Writing while dry is not productive.

I have tried many times to sit down at my keyboard when I’m completely devoid of inspiration. I do believe that inspiration will not just come to you. Sometimes you have to seek it out, and that often comes from simply doing the work.

However, I have noticed that when I let life get the best of me, when I let the day-to-day suck the joy and the energy from me, I have nothing to give. I sit and stare blankly at the blinking cursor, eventually slamming the laptop shut. I give up. Feeling like a failure doesn’t feel good, and it begins a downward spiral. It’s incredibly hard to get out.

I cannot expect to put out inspiration if I’m not taking it in.

I decided that I needed to be intentional about inspiration. I need it to fill my life, showering me with courage and joy. Only then can I put out the words of hope and conviction that I feel called to write. At the start of 2015, I added a new line item to my budget: INSPIRATION.

I am super cheap, and hate to spend too much money on things that aren’t necessity. I have to give myself permission to spend money on “frivolous” things, on the extras in life. I’m trying to retrain my brain, to realize that inspiration is actually a necessity.

Each month, I will have money set aside to buy something that will fill up my soul. It will likely be books or music, as words and melodies are what speak to me the most. But I plan to be creative and look at other inspiration. Painting supplies, cross-stitch patterns, maybe a book of photography. The amount may vary from month to month depending on the budget. But even if its only 99 cents for an MP3 of a song that makes my soul ache, it will be money well spent.

QUESTION: How do you inspire yourself to keep writing?

  • Thanks for this timely article, Jamie!

    I know for myself that inspiration is a necessity and it can come from many different places, whether that’s from people, books, blogs, pictures…or even a fresh cup of coffee. LOL

  • Momi

    Inspiration is definitely important. My writing ministry is very new, and it
    seems like I just stopped at having heard God’s call, and not actually
    sat down to write much.

    But like you, music and books seem to
    really get the juices flowing. When I am sitting at my laptop, half
    brain-dead, all it takes is a prayer, and listening to some beautiful
    worship music, and next thing I know, my fingers are working hard trying
    to keep up with my thoughts.

    • I wish you blessings in your writing ministry!

    • You’ll do great, Momi, just keep typing away. God bless!

      • Thank you to both of you. With God’s guidance, i will keep chugging along.

  • Becky Villareal

    Bravo! I believe the Lord’s timing is perfect. When I have spent time with Him and praying for others, then I am ready to be the vessel where His words can pour out. I can’t be an inspiration by myself, He has to be at the center of my writing or I can’t write at all.

  • Eric Pulsifer

    I do believe in the whole saw-sharpening aspect of it. Getting out and hanging with people, listening to good music, a long walk with my dog, some good reading, strong coffee and an active prayer life are some of the ways I keep the tools maintained. Just living a life.

    With the saw now at hair-cutting sharpness I can stand up at the typewriter and go. Even if it’s rough going at first, I push on. Maybe it’s a struggle to get the first 250 words or so out, then something happens and it just flows. Can’t explain it but I won’t knock it either.

  • I had to check to make sure this wasn’t an old article of mine. This sounds like something I would say if I were to write about “inspiration”. I have been going through a lot in my family-emotionally and financially-and it has left this normally overflowing well of prose dry and empty. I have a painter stepson telling me to, “harness my pain,” and a math-minded husband telling me to, “just write something.”

    I have been reading a plethora of religious texts from various denominations and watching the news trying to garner some ideas for Christian non-fiction articles to pitch. Time after time, when I sit down to write, I find myself getting up and finding housework to do or a television show to watch.

    I am living in faith believing the Lord is letting me experience an off-season to prepare me for something down the road. Feeling uninspired also leaves me feeling empty and directionless. I am holding to my course, however, and waiting on the Lord’s will in my writing career.

    Thanks for this article. It’s nice to know someone can commiserate with my dry spell.

    • I just saw your comment. Thanks so much for your words. I can relate to the dry spell. I too have struggled greatly to find energy to write anything lately. Sometimes we do need a bit of rest. I know there are times when the words are just too much. In the dry spells, I try to pick up my journal and write through the gunk. The words I write are usually not so great, but that’s okay. It helps me process and keeps me in the practice of writing.

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