At the Starting Line.

jogging track in the park

I wish I felt more inspired with my writing.

I’ve been ready for an absolute age to write a nice thick juicy novel, but the inspiration just hasn’t come to me. It’s as if my Muse is avoiding me on purpose no matter how much I call out to her. I’ve had a few stuttering attempts at getting writing happening, periods when I have sat determinedly at the open page, willing the words to come to me, but nothing has flowered into something I can truly work on.

It’s most frustrating, especially when a writer friend tells me that they are 40,000 words into their newest novel; a novel that I helped them brainstorm and was a sounding board for. Now they are 40,000 words in and I’m still at the starting line, jumping around determinedly like some second rate athlete, trying to get my muscles to warm up and ideas to flow, looking with longing at the finish line. “Come on,” I think to myself, “let’s get this race started,” as I flex my fingers and twist my neck to get any cricks out of the system. I have my fingers poised over the keyboard, tension building as they wait to fly over the keys in an outpouring of sentences …. and nothing.

Oh I wouldn’t recommend to anyone to have the aspiration to be a writer, it’s an awful lot of practise and not a lot of glory. It’s almost tiresome to want to write and have nothing to write about. But the calling to write is one that I cannot ignore. I can imagine the cheering crowds when I cross the finish line. I can feel the weight of the book when I’ve finished writing it. I see future book clubs chatting about the characters I’ve created in my mind. But the doubt that I can call myself a writer is really a tedious mental battle every day when nothing gets written. Can you still call yourself a writer when you don’t get any new writing done?

Maybe it’s time to crack open a website that has daily writing prompts and use one just to get the wheels turning again, no matter how loud the squeaking and shuddering is as they start to move. Yes. I think I will attempt that and see what happens. They say that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step and writing a novel can feel like an expedition in and of itself. I’m going to pretend that I’ve heard the starter’s gun and I’m going to take the first step. I’m going to will myself into action and I’m going to run the race before me with all my heart.

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