Skip to main content

Spiritual Writing: Inciting Inspiration

How To Avoid Inspiration Killers

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.

1. ENVY

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.

2. FEAR

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.

3. OVERCOMMITMENT

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.

4. PERFECTIONISM

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.

5. SELF-DOUBT

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.

How a Book Distributor Ended Up Selling Her Own Book

How a Book Distributor Ended Up Selling Her Own Book

Davida G. Breier’s publishing story is certainly one for the books. Here she discusses how, as a books distributor, she ended up selling her debut novel.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Submitting Your Work

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Submitting Your Work

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not submitting your work.

Making Your Fiction a Place You Want To Be

Making Your Fiction a Place You Want To Be

Author Janet Key shares the feeling of not wanting to revisit the world she was creating and the tools she used to help make her fiction a place she wanted to be.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Backstory Change

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Backstory Change

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character's backstory change.

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: Portrait of a Thief

Writer’s Digest Official Book Club Selection: Portrait of a Thief

The editors of Writer’s Digest are proud to bring you the first book club pick, Portrait of a Thief, to read along with us.

6 Ways To Fight Your Inner Critics

6 Ways To Fight Your Inner Critics

For many writers, self-critique gets in the way of making much progress. Here, author Julia Crouch shares 6 ways to fight your inner critics.

Writing Allegory: A Convenient Place to Hide

Writing Allegory: A Convenient Place to Hide

Where realistic fiction felt both too restrictive and too revealing for author Susan Speranza’s transition from poetry to fiction, she turned to allegory. Here, she shares examples of famous allegories throughout history and how allegorical writing helped shape her novel, Ice Out.

Instagram: An Underutilized Tool for the Freelance Writer

Instagram: An Underutilized Tool for the Freelance Writer

In this post, author C. Hope Clark shares tips on how freelance writers can use Instagram as a tool to find more freelance writing connections, assignments, and overall success.

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

Jane Porter: On the Joy of Writing Mature Characters

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Porter discusses celebrating the nature of getting older in her new romance novel, Flirting With Fifty.