Friday, October 2, 2009

Inspiration as Writing Partner

Some people, when they learn I write fiction, say they’d love to do the same thing but they just don’t have a great imagination.

Until October 2008, I said the very same thing. I had been a non-fiction writer for more than 20 years; it felt comfortable and it paid the bills. Truthfully, I didn’t think I had a story in me so fiction held no allure.

When I started the first book almost exactly a year ago, I had NO CHOICE in the matter. I’m not going to get too woo-woo here but the inspiration and many times the words themselves came from somewhere outside of me. Pressed into service, I dutifully took dictation, sometime hours at a time.

Where the hell did THAT come from, I’d ask in disbelief. My characters would do and say the most extraordinary things, all of their own accord.

I’m not saying I don’t bring talent to the table. I just know I’m not writing alone and I’m more than okay with that. I don’t call my inspiration a muse. I believe I have a team of guides with me, especially for the writing. (Woo-woo Alert!) Sometimes, I welcome them with burning sage. I definitely say thank-you after a productive day of writing.

From time to time, I feel an intense pressure and burning sensation at the back of my head during fervent writing sessions – maybe just a friendly nudge from the team.

I’m fully connected to the characters in my books but I don’t try to force the story on them. Sometimes, they’ll say, “Mandy, I really wouldn’t say that. Try again.” I sigh and rewrite. When I get it right, I feel it in my gut.

The Artist’s Way says that creativity is an expression of the divine at work. I think it’s connectivity with our universe and all the creative energy we share, past and present.

Do you feel inspiration from outside yourself? How would you describe it?


  1. Yes, Description to follow: The inspiration from outside myself I would describe as: Yes an expression of the Divine at work...,

    I am many times at best having had heard the words 'made a pact with the devil' or 'sold his soul to the Devil' and I wonder why are there not as many stories glamorized of having had made a pact with the Lord.

    I challenge the Lord on a daily basis(that would be a lie), to come to terms with me over a bet. Why would that be a bad thing the Lord takes a bet. Is betting really that bad?

    On the occasion that I do place a bet with the Lord, the reward is overly awesome, if I win(rarely, I'm weaker than I bet on), I always get what I bet on as reward, and If I lose more often than not, I learn something so extraordinary about myself that there is reward and my belief in the right and wrong is stronger.

    I could go into details about my gambling, which you would find very interesting and typical of the male species. Lets just say, as DK responded with carrots with a little something is so much more interesting than just the stick. And..., I thought typical female response, because a common male would think how much more interesting is the contrivance of the stick, and so many more things we could do with it, gamble on Tennis, gamble on Baseball, gamble on Polo.

    So I challenge you place a bet with the Lord, believe in the bet, live up tp your side of the bet, and reap the reward.

    Here are the rules, at first make it something simple, think about what you would like to see. Say for instance as a reward, you say I would like to see, the next time I see a balloon, I see a Red balloon. What are the odds, fairly simple 1:1. What you have to do is test your faith, give up soemthing to the Lord you have been carrying with you as a vice that you need help in giving up. Ask the Lord if he(or She)helps you give up your vice, because you are strong and you can do it yourself, you win the bet and the Lord will offer up the visual of the balloon as confirmation you have won the bet.

    Divine Inspiration, footsteps in the sand, don't lose the bet, you will only let yourself down.

    Let me know if you need more to go on with Life On The Surface.

  2. I'm in awe that you can actually say that you're not writing alone! I think that's great...and sometimes I wish I had that push. Maybe it will come. Right now...I'm doing an ok job of disciplining myself to write every day. It's not easy...
    I'm reading a book about writing by Heather Sellers called Page After Page. She equates the writing life to having a lover - a constant, almost obsessive 'thing' in your mind all the time. And so that's what I've been trying to do. It feels good, when it's right...when I WANT to write all the time, when the stuff just comes to me....when I can't stop writing!! It IS almost an obsession!!
    There is a trade off, though. It's a very solitary obsession. I have to practically turn my back on everything and everyone else in order to have that writing 'muse'...or whatever you want to call it....come to me and stay.

    I really never thought I'd achieve that point in my writing. But it was great...and I am striving to get there again...each day. My novel is also benefiting from this state of mind. I can think about it, and put every day things I see into the story...

    I'm thinking THAT is how a writer's life should be!!

    Thanks for your input.