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Write When You Are Inspired
by Mary Jesse   

Last edited: Friday, January 30, 2004
Posted: Friday, January 30, 2004

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An article for those serious about pursuing a writing career.

Write When You Are Inspired.
By Mary Jesse

Writers are artists. Some of them are starving, but unlike actors, shedding that extra ten pounds won’t help land your next gig. Writing does have its advantages, however. One advantage writing has over other professions is flexibility. You can write almost anytime or anywhere. You don’t need an audience. You don’t need a good hair day. You simply need a means to record your thoughts: pen & paper, computer, recorder, etc. Voila! You can write.

If you are like me, ideas brew in your mind like storms build over the ocean, just offshore. Ideas come and go in waves. To be a successful writer, you need to learn to harness them before they dissipate. Write when you are inspired. You can retain a vision by jotting down just a few words. Come back to your notes when you have more time to flush out your ideas. If you can, let the words flow from your mind to media when they are first swirling around and building momentum. Capture them. I am always writing in my mind and cannot record all my ideas, especially the ones I have while driving or when I’m in the shower. But, whenever possible, I have trained myself to prioritize “idea capture” over things uninspired like reading email or writing out bills. When I feel inspired, I stop and write. This is more efficient, too, because I can write feverishly when inspired.

Don’t limit your field of writing. Allow yourself to experiment. If you feel like writing about anything, then do so. Just as your audible voice can be trained to make different sounds, your literary voice can be trained to cover different genres. You can refine your voice with practice. You may also find areas of interest and passion you didn’t know existed for you. It is always better to write about something you love or hate than something about which you feel indifferent.

You must know that as a writer you are vulnerable. You expose your thoughts and ideas to the world when your words are published. You become open to criticism and rejection. This is true for all artists. When the rejection and criticism comes, and it will come, learn and grow, but do not become discouraged. Appreciation of writing is like appreciation of music. Different music appeals to different people. Few pieces are universally accepted. Finding the appropriate audience is necessary for success.

Sometimes, actors do commercials or take small roles to build their careers and earn much needed money. Similarly, you might need to write about topics that don’t wake you from sleep. In fact, they put you to sleep. Most artists pay their dues before they enjoy the luxury of earning their living doing something they love. A positive attitude makes any task more enjoyable and the results more valuable. Persistence and determination separate the people who want to write for a living from those who do.

Successful writers have deadlines. What if you are not inspired before your deadline? Cultivate inspiration. Brainstorm ideas alone or with others, research topics on the web, at the library or a bookstore, read a book or the newspaper, take a walk or even take a break. Clearing your mind may allow room for new ideas. If all else fails, simply sit down and start writing. If you are such an artist, words will flow. Some may need to be erased permanently, else they ever become published. There will probably be a few keepers.

About the Author

Mary Jesse, a wife and mother of three sons, resides in the Seattle area and holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Electrical Engineering. During her extensive career in wireless communications, she was granted several patents and held the executive positions of Vice President of Strategic Technology at AT&T Wireless and Founding Chief Technology Officer at RadioFrame Networks. She is the author of “Real World Guide™ to Happiness” (ISBN 0972995811, Hexagon Blue) and “Abbey & Friends™ M is for Manners” (ISBN 0972995803, Hexagon Blue). Visit for more information.

Web Site: Hexagon Blue

Reader Reviews for "Write When You Are Inspired"

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Reviewed by Debra Conklin 1/31/2004
What you say is true. Many times, while driving, I have had to stop my car b/c something hits me that I want to write about and I have to write it down immediately, lest I forget. I have written entire poems while sitting parked on the side of the road, b/c the words just started flowing. My poem, madness, was an inspiration from an actual movie starring Robin Williams. Inspiration comes from everywhere and like you said, we should try and harnass it when it comes, before it slips away. I carry a pen and pad with me, everywhere, b/c I never know when I'm gonna get hit.

Nice article, Mary.
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