Inspiration is key to writing success. I can have willpower and all the tools I need, but still feel lost when the muse refuses to cooperate. Yes, it’s important to sit your butt in the chair and focus on writing, but that alone doesn’t guarantee story.
Before ROW80, I was an isolated writer. I didn’t even share my writing with friends, afraid of what they would think or say. Even more terrifying was the idea of joining a writing critique group. I just wasn’t ready.
I knew I needed a community of writers by my side, people who would understand the ups and downs of the writing life and commiserate. But just as importantly, I needed a well of inspiration when the muse refused to grace my presence.
I searched for writer blogs. I rarely participated or commented, preferring the anonymity of watching. Then I found ROW80.
Why am I so inspired now? I’ll explain.
Imagination – A writer must access their imagination constantly. Sometimes mine shuts down, the muse playing with it in a far off land. I’m left staring at a blank screen. Now when that happens, I simply visit some of the writers in ROW80. Their posts often put me right back on track.
Network – I went from solitude to magnitude. Never underestimate the value of surrounding yourself with fellow writers. I know there is a group of people wanting me to succeed, who not only give but value what I have to offer as well.
Support – Whenever I’m struggling or doubting my muse, I write a check in post and magic happens… comments start pouring in with support and suggestions. I don’t have to wait for my next critique group meeting or push writing aside until the fog clears. At most, I wait a few days for a Wednesday or Sunday to come by. If I can’t wait that long, I have a few ROW80 friends I know I can go to. And I’ve only been in this writing community since Round 3 last year!
Passion – Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is a fact well observed that men have written good verses under the inspiration of passion, who cannot write under other circumstances.” The passion for writing within this community is awe inspiring. If mine ever falters, I know where to find more.
Ideas – There’s always a writer brainstorming and offering writing prompts. Even the questions writers pose about their own dilemmas can spark an entire post or new story idea from me.
Reading – Every good writer reads, and reads a lot. Now, I’m exposed to more books than ever before. My imagination mine is overflowing with gems.
Entertainment –Few things inspire me as much as an entertaining post from another writer. I’m always amazed how a writer can spin a tale in a 200 word post. Even taking a break to enjoy another writer’s work can be just what I need to reboot.
Dedication – If ROW80 has taught me nothing else, it’s taught me the value of dedication. Writing isn’t always easy. The trick is to stay with it, write when you don’t feel like writing. Even one good sentence can give you the confidence you need to write another. But, when you don’t write, there’s not even a chance for inspiration to hit.
I struck gold when I found the ROW80 writing community. I’m surrounded by writers, and my word count totals have soared. My first novel took me ten years to write. In the last six months, I’ve written almost half of my next one.
I now have resources, support, and community. Don’t feel like you have to be alone. Reach out to other writers. You never know where it may lead you or your story.