How important is inspiration? Round one.

In his ‘An Autobiography,’ Anthony Trollope – one of my writing heroes – says: “I have never found myself thinking much about the work that I had to do till I was doing it. I have indeed for many years almost abandoned the effort to think, trusting myself, with the narrowest thread of a plot, to work the matter out when the pen is in my hand.”

In ’13 Ways of Looking at the Novel,’ Jane Smiley says: “Practiced and prolific novelists have to be adept at short-circuiting the cautious and reasonable areas of the brain that get in the way of the process while making use of the logical faculties that organize, support, and oversee the composition of the story itself. Every novelist has to withdraw from a state of inspiration at least once in a while to work out the logical steps of plot, character, structure, theme, and style.”

In ‘The Tao of Pooh,’ Benjamin Hoff says, “And when you try too hard, it doesn’t work. Try grabbing something quickly and precisely with a tensed-up arm; then relax and try it again. Try doing something with a tense mind. The surest way to become Tense, Awkward, and Confused is to develop a mind that tries too hard – one that thinks too much.”

Think with your pen.
Process precedes logistics.
Don’t try too hard.

Ding! Round over.

2 thoughts on “How important is inspiration? Round one.

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