Where do you find inspiration to write? While there are multiple sources of inspiration, perhaps the most reliable and accessible is simply reading. Ever notice how reading inspires a new article idea or generates a fresh slant to an old idea? Reading sets the imagination free.
For the last two or three years my schedule has been absolutely slammed! I’ve mentioned this here before. I can barely squeak out extra time to read, much less write. Which brings me to the essential question; how then will I ever write everything I’ve dreamed of writing?
This is a common writer’s dilemma most eloquently expressed by poet and essayist Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., father of the Supreme Court justice of the same name. “Many people die with their music still in them,” he said.
His words struck me to the core. Listen again and drink it in: “Many people die with their music still in them.” It got me thinking about the great composers and how fortunate we are that, in most cases, they finished the music inside them and released it—to us. Every note set free to bless the ears of a waiting world.
My goal used to be to write as much as possible every time I sat down to write until Dave, a friend of mine, suggested that I might actually get more done if I wrote less every day.
“What?” I responded.
“You might get more done if you write less each day, yet, support your writing every day,” Dave said. “Instead of trying to write an entire article after work when you’re tired and less productive, try this.
“On Monday after work, select the topic of your article or blog. That’s it. On Tuesday, conduct your research and list three main points you want to make. Stop there. On Wednesday, find your supporting art or photo. Nothing more. Thursday let your subconscious go to work piecing it together in your mind. Friday, jot down a brief outline. On Saturday morning, when you’re fresh, pull all the elements together and the piece may write itself because you’ve thought about it all week and you now have the most energy to write.”
“Worth a try,” I agreed.
“By the end of each week you will have a finished rough draft. Let it cool, then edit.”
Dave is right. Use small chunks of time to brainstorm, research, find photos, write, edit and finally release your music to the world.
And after all, figuratively speaking, who wants to die with their music still in them?