Even the best writers experience seasons when they wander in a writing wilderness, uninspired and unmotivated. Especially for those writing on spiritual topics, lack of inspiration can be a frustrating experience because inspirational drought may imply we’ve gotten in the way of divine guidance. Perhaps the stream of ideas is clogged with emotions and issues we’ve unknowingly set in place.
In most cases, these are the five components that combine to thwart inspiration.
Often, we praise successful writers with our mouths, while loathing them in our hearts. Looking at other writers’ accomplishments can inspire and challenge, but conversely, envy can sprout and mushroom to a detrimental level. Envy can prove to be our worst writing enemy because it causes us to waste time and energy coveting other writers’ successes.
Rather than falling into the envy trap, learn from successful writers. Study their style and see why it works. Read anything they’ve written about how they approach the writing process, their sources of inspiration and the mechanics of writing. Then use the information you’ve garnered by incorporating those elements in your writing, while infusing your own personal style. Believe that with knowledge and persistence, you, too, will enjoy writing success.
Most of us struggle with fear in some area of our lives. For many writers, procrastination is one of the most detrimental byproducts of fear. Some put off writing and submitting because they fear rejection. Others fear success. But fear just stifles the creative process. Discover how and when divine inspiration speaks to you. Perhaps it’s in quiet moments of meditation just before sunrise, or while you travel or perform routine tasks. Keep a pad and pen or recorder handy and chronicle ideas.
Failure to say no creates an impossible schedule that leaves little room for reflection and writing time. Writing on a spiritual level requires contemplative thought and uninterrupted periods of prayer. Spiritual writing also stirs from a study of scripture. If you’re too busy to read, pray and ponder, your writing suffers. Don’t allow the urgency of life to rob you of inspirational moments.
Have you ever known someone who tweaks their writing until it loses the spark that inspired it in the first place? Perfectionism slows the inspirational flow. To calm writing perfectionism, start an idea journal, penning the first thing that comes to mind each morning. It could be related to a dream or an idea that dawns with first light.
Realize no one else will ever see your words; therefore, they don’t have to be perfect. Turn off your internal editor. Lay aside your finely honed list of do’s and don’ts and just write.
All of us deal with some measure of doubt regarding our abilities as writers. Can we actually accomplish what we intend? Will our work be acceptable? We often remember the negative comments about our writing, rather than positive. Change self-doubt into action by remembering you’re not writing in your own strength.
By recognizing and dealing with these inspiration killers, you clear away the debris that hinders creativity and get the writing stream flowing again. Expect inspiration. And when it comes, seize it, and enjoy the creative process and its outcome.