Don’t Wait for Genius to Burn

by Ann Marie Williams © 2021

It’s not uncommon to see depictions of writers furiously typing away at their computer, pummeling out line after line of their story as inspiration and genius flows from their thoughts to their fingers.

But the reality is, that only happens about 10% of the time (and that’s being generous).

“Genius” only strikes a few times for each story. And that genius only strikes unaided even less often.

Writing is Work

Most progress in writing comes from good, old-fashioned, hard work. Putting in the time. Going over the story again, and again, and again. Looking at the problems from every possible angle. Reorganizing scenes until the pacing and flow is just right. Honing dialogue over, and over, and over.

And yes, in the midst of all that, “genius will strike”. But often it’s not something that came out of the blue. It’s something that came out of your hard work. The genius solution only comes after trying every other possibility.

So, yes, it’s tough to sit down and write when you’re not feeling inspired. And sometimes we all need to take a day off from writing when it gets too overwhelming or we really can’t find the groove. But don’t think that you have to be totally inspired to write. Don’t be daunted if you’re not hastily writing down ideas from sun up to sun down. That’s exciting. But it’s pretty much a fiction.

Because writing requires us to do the hard work whether we feel inspired or not. And in that hard work, we hone the story and find the genius.

Because 90% of the time, inspiration is actually just perspiration in disguise.

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