Publish date:

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.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Imayo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the imayo.

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Print or Online Article First Place Winner: "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora"

Congratulations to Elaine Howley, first place winner in the Print or Online Article category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning article, "Surfacing an Aquatic Diaspora."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) First Place Winner: "Jaguar Woman"

Congratulations to Olga El, first place winner in the Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning TV Pilot script, "Jaguar Woman."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Non-Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "won't you celebrate with me"

Congratulations to Nicole Adabunu, first place winner in the Non-Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning poem, "won't you celebrate with me."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Congratulations to MF Slattery, first place winner in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's the winning poem, "She Lives in Underbridge World"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Mainstream/Literary Short Story First Place Winner: "Tracks"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Mainstream/Literary Short Story First Place Winner: "Tracks"

Congratulations to Elizabeth Rosen, first place winner in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning story, "Tracks."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Genre Short Story First Place Winner: "A Brief Cameo"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Genre Short Story First Place Winner: "A Brief Cameo"

Congratulations to D. M. Ullrich, first place winner in the Genre Short Story category of the 89th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's his winning story, "A Brief Cameo."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Children’s/Young Adult Fiction First Place Winner: "Upside Down Man"

90th Annual Competition Children’s/Young Adult Fiction First Place Winner: "Upside Down Man"

Congratulations to Sara Karnoscak, first place winner in the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning story, "Upside Down Man."

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Inspirational/Spiritual Essay First Place Winner: "Pop"

90th Annual Competition Inspirational/Spiritual Essay First Place Winner: "Pop"

Congratulations to Henry Hack, first place winner in the Inspirational/Spiritual Essay category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's his winning essay, "Pop."