That Thing You’ve Wanted to Write for a Long Time? Start It Now.

Do it. DO IT.

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Do it.

You already know what it is. It’s the first thing that came to mind when you read the title of this post. It’s the one thing – the most intriguing thing – you want to do, but that you’ve been putting off. Why have you been putting it off? You probably already know the answer to that, too.

The most common underlying reason for writers never writing what they want to write is doubt. It’s not about money or time or exhaustion – not really. If doubt wasn’t there lurking in the background, you’d take the financial risk, the time, give up that extra hour of sleep or that Netflix binge. If you think you cannot do it, chances are, you won’t. It’s sad, it sounds mean, but it’s nothing more than honest. You want to do something, but you haven’t yet. If you truly believed you could, you already would have.

That doesn’t mean it’s too late. Doubt is only a symptom of a much bigger psychological challenge. “Now” is an excellent treatment to ease the pain, numbness, anxiety – whatever it is you feel when you wonder why you still haven’t done it yet. Whatever ‘it’ is for you.

Doubt is such a powerful force that it can stop you from succeeding before you even try. Without anyone ever actually saying to you, or implying that you cannot do something, doubt can convince you it’s impossible. That’s your fault, but it doesn’t make you a bad person or an epic failure. It makes you human. Imposter syndrome is not rare. Its symptoms can be treated. Whether or not it can ever be fully cured has yet to be determined. The symptoms are what stops you on the road toward the finish line.

And the best treatment option available to you is to sit down, take a deep breath and write. Write neither the easy thing nor the fun thing – write the thing that scares you, that makes you doubt yourself. The thing you’ve been avoiding is the thing you’re supposed to do. So do it. Start it. Continue it. Finish it.

There are a million reasons to never start, to stop, to never finish. Doubt, fear, past experiences, finances, time, energy, motivation. These are called excuses. We all have them, and very few of us dare to step past them and keep moving forward. But you can. It’s all about doing. Not dreaming, not hoping, not planning – doing. Dreaming and hoping and planning are easy. Doing is a struggle. But you can do. You don’t think you can, but you can.

Doing, now, is the only thing that matters. Worrying about the final product, about distribution, about whether or not people are going to like it – that all comes later. If you get that far. Because if you never ‘do,’ there won’t be a ‘later.’ There will be a ‘never,’ and no one likes that word.

Do it. You already know what ‘it’ is. Outline it, research it, write it, edit it, rewrite it, any of it, all of it. Now. The only thing you should ever avoid in creating something out of nothing is the concept of never. Now, not never. Now. Today. Go. Don’t wait. Don’t look back. Always forward.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

4 YouTube Videos to Watch When You Desperately Need Writing Inspiration

Sometimes you really do need a little writing inspiration.

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There is only one circumstance in which I will purposefully avoid writing when I lack the inspiration to do so, and that’s when I’m heading over to YouTube to watch a specific set of videos I have saved for this exact purpose.

Three of the four are short, they are effective, and I wanted to share them with you, in case you are feeling stuck but want (or need) to get some writing done this morning.


1. People opening John Green’s new book (2012)

I first watched this video during my first (and at this point only) binge-watch of eight years’ worth of Vlogbrothers videos from start to current. Part of the reason I’d decided to do something that reckless was because I was in a writing slump. I don’t know exactly why this video inspired me so much. The many squeals of excitement? Hank almost telling John he loved him, even though it wasn’t August 3rd? I just remember stopping in the middle of my workout because I need to go write, RIGHT THEN. I’ve always said I won’t be disappointed if I never traditionally publish a book, but that doesn’t mean seeing other people excited about a new book doesn’t writespire me.


2. Grace’s New York Times bestseller

(Skip to around 12:50 for “the moment.”) Once again, I just happen to follow a lot of people who happen to write things, and sometimes their hard work and success just stirs up (sometimes a little too much) inspiration inside me. I think what really hits home for me is her emphasis on how much learning her book is an NYT bestseller means to her personally. As she mentions in the video, a lot of YouTubers publish books, and a lot of those books make it onto this bestseller list. That doesn’t mean it’s of any less value to her. This video is the reminder I often need whenever I’m feeling like my words don’t matter. If they matter to you, they’re important – regardless of how many people have already done what you’re doing.


3. A reminder that inspiration doesn’t exist

I return tot his video whenever I need to pump myself up, especially because it’s short. The idea that inspiration does not exist pokes fun at the misconception that we need to go looking for inspiration before we can write … which just isn’t the case. (And yes, this post is about that very thing … we’ll get to that.) My favorite line: “I make videos when I’m tired, sick, hungover, sad, happy, dying, sailing, rabid, buried, busy, neutered …” The point is, regardless of how we’re feeling, we just need to sit down and write anyway. Or do what we need to do to get into the right mindset, e.g., watch a four minute video.


4. On being afraid that everything we create is going to suck

“Don’t be afraid to suck.” Online creator Anna Akana points out in her VidCon keynote that the majority of what we create is going to be ‘just okay’ and not amazing. But if we never allow ourselves to create anything because we’re afraid it isn’t going to be good enough, we’re never going to get any better at it. Giving ourselves permission to write terribly is the only way to learn to write less terribly. I’ve been blogging for almost eight years, and I still have days where I don’t want to publish a post I’ve just written. But I do it anyway. You have to get into the mindset of just ‘doing it anyway.’ You might not like it, and at first, you might not be proud of it. But you did it – and can, and should, continue to do it. That’s what counts.


I treat ‘writespiration’ the same way I treat chocolate ice cream. I only indulge every once in awhile, when I have exhausted every other attempt at feeling okay enough to get some words out of my head and onto paper (or whatever I happen to think ice cream will cure at the time).

I’m certainly not advocating the idea that we need to be inspired in order to write. But some days – like Monday mornings, after you’ve overslept, and skipped your workout, and everything is just wrong – you really do need a little boost. I hope these videos won’t distract you for too long, and will get you in the right mindset to get back to writing ASAP.


This post was written as part of the Problogger: 7 Days to Getting Back Your Blogging Groove challenge. If you have been struggling to write the engaging, well-thought-out posts your blog is known for, or have abandoned your blog completely but are ready to get back into posting more regularly, consider joining the challenge today.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

[DISCUSSION] Do You Want to Write … Or Do You NEED to?

Why? Why do you write – because you want to, or because you need to?

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When I hear writers, especially newer writers, summarize their aspirations, answers usually seem to have one thing in common: the word want.

I want to inspire others. I want to publish a novel. I want to start a blog.

Very rarely do I hear other writers describe the role of writing in their personal and/or professional lives as a need. I need to tell this story. I need to add my voice to the discussion. I need to write this down.

The problem, I believe, revolves around a completely different word: passion. You have a passion for writing; you have a passion for creating things.

I don’t think our definition of passion always matches up with what it actually means to be passionate about something. Passion is emotional; using it in a sentence generally implies we have a very strong desire for something. But at what point does passion give way to something else entirely: necessity?

I have not wanted to “be a writer” for a very long time. For much of my life, I have tried to turn away from that want. Wanting to write has always seemed so expected, so common, to me. I tried to go months at a time without writing anything once – no journal entries, no fiction, no blog posts; nothing. I tried, because I truly didn’t want it anymore. And it literally almost destroyed me. Because I don’t really want writing to be part of my life at all. It turns out, as I’ve learned the hard way, I personally need to.

I don’t need to write for a living or publish a book or have a successful blog or two; those are merely products of a much deeper need, for me, to create. To tell stories. It’s very hard to explain to non-writers why I’m still doing so much writing for free. It’s because not being able to get paid to do what I do, for the most part, doesn’t mean I can stop. Even if I wanted to stop, I’m not sure I could.

At some point, my passion for storytelling, my love of playing with words, became something more than that. One day, I just stopped defining writing as something I wanted to do. It’s very frustrating, as someone with a degree in writing, with many years of experience in writing, to accept the fact that no one wants to pay writers to do what they do. I cannot help it. Much of the time, I wish I were trained to do something else, because I chose a path and profession in which everyone wants to do the exact same thing I do. And separating the want from the need is not something that usually happens.

I don’t need recognition to do what I do, I don’t need praise, I don’t need most of what many others seem to so desperately want. What I need is to write – whatever, wherever, whenever. That doesn’t make me unique. It just makes me stubborn, productive and happy.

Writing, storytelling, to me, is not something you want. It’s either something you do, or you don’t do. Want implies that it might happen eventually; it might not. Need implies that it’s going to happen to matter what. I’m going to write this novel, I’m going to publish this blog post, I’m going to comment on this article – because, somewhere deep down, I know I just need to.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m too invested. But I’m far too committed to back out now.

Why do you write? Be honest! Is it your hobby? Your job? Does publishing stuff on the internet just make you happy for whatever reason? When did you figure out writing was something you wanted to pursue on your own time, instead of just to fulfill a school or work requirement?

This post was written as part of the Problogger: 7 Days to Getting Back Your Blogging Groove challenge. If you have been struggling to write the engaging, well-thought-out posts your blog is known for, or have abandoned your blog completely but are ready to get back into posting more regularly, consider joining the challenge today.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

I Want to Go Back and Read Books I Read As a Kid

Just for a day, I want to travel back to my own personal literary era of American Girl books and innocent mystery chapter books.

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I turned a year older last week. One year closer to an acceptable quarter-life crisis, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve already had three in the last six months. I’m not one of those people who minds getting older. Growing further and further away from my past, in some cases, is a very good thing.

Except when it comes to reading books.

I’m like many other writers in that books were what inspired me to start writing my own fiction. I don’t remember a time when I read something and didn’t feel curious about how the author came up with a story so amazing. I write a lot more often than I read now, and am struggling to keep up with my 2016 goal of reading 50 books, but I still read a little bit every day. Every once in awhile, I’ll read a book that changes my life. When I was younger, that used to happen with pretty much every single book I ever read.

Where did that go? And can I have that feeling back please?

This is not to say books have gotten any better or worse as time goes on; there’s no way anyone could make a reasonable comparison between literature of different time periods. Add to that the fact that I really haven’t had a reason to stay up to date on children’s literature since I read books in that genre on the regular, and it’s safe to say I’m no expert. I just miss the books I used to read; rather, I want to remember, to feel, things I experienced while reading them for the first time.

I remember only bits and pieces of Ramona’s life, and things that happened in Narnia, and random titles of books I wish I still had on my shelves. Just for a day, I want to travel back to my own personal literary era of American Girl books and innocent mystery chapter books and Goosebumps stories, the ones where you got to pick what happened next. I want to go back to my middle school library and read all those books I returned without ever finishing. But more than anything, I want to travel back to that point in my life where reading was my escape and my pleasure and not just something I feel obligated to do, because I’m a writer and I’m supposed to read.

Call me sappy or whatever, but I want to fall in love with reading again. I’ve been reading a book for almost 2 months that I was supposed to read in college but never did. It’s annoying and I don’t like it. If you have any suggestions for good page-turners or books that have inspired you to sit down and write your own stuff, send them my way (comment below!). Also, favorite children’s book series – GO!

Reading inspires me to write, and I’m really in need of some inspiration right now. And ’90s cartoons. And Ramona.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Image courtesy of pexels.com.

Here’s Some Writing Inspiration for You This Weekend

There’s a big difference between wanting to be a writer and being an aspiring writer.

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Do you know what this is?

As you might remember from a few weeks ago, I’ve caught the minimalist bug and have started going through everything I own, trying to get rid of as many things I don’t use as I possibly can. I’ve started with my closet, which you can imagine, is basically where everything I forgot I had lives. That includes very old notebooks (yes, we still used those back in 2009).

What I found on the first page of one of those notebooks was something I never expected to find: the original “plotting” points for a book called Lost and Found, which I would later write, edit and (almost) self-publish.

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Sure, I don’t own that stock photo of a Starbucks cup, and it’s not the best book ever written, and I don’t plan on ever actually showing it to the world (this was only the third novel I ever wrote, I was still in high school, I’ve gotten a lot better at writing since then, at least I hope so). But I never expected to find this “outline.” I didn’t even remember I’d written it out.

I’ve been having an extremely productive week, writing-wise. I’m working on two novellas, one for The Novella Concept and one I’m ghostwriting for a client; the novel I started back in November is still making slow but steady progress, and article writing is going full-speed forward as always. I didn’t really need an inspiration boost this week. But maybe you do.

There’s a big difference between wanting to be a writer and being an aspiring writer, at least in my opinion. To me, wanting to be a writer means you someday plan to write for a living. You have a running list of your favorite authors and stories, and you have a few ideas for stories of your own. But beyond that, you don’t have much to show for your want.

Being an aspiring writer, I think, is different, in the sense that aspiring means you’re actually working toward your goal. You’re writing. Maybe you keep trying, and never quite get to the finish line, or you write something but it never gets published. That doesn’t matter. As long as you’re making an effort, as long as you’re saying, “I’m writing this story, it might not be the best but I’m trying,” that’s what sets you apart.

You can get from start to finish. It isn’t impossible. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s the best novel ever written. Worry about whether or not you’re working toward your ambition, and get back to writing.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Meg Dowell.

5 Things to Remember When Writing All the Time Starts Seeming Pointless

Establishing yourself as a writer is just about building your brand and getting your name out there. Everyone has to start out in that lonely place where they aren’t heard.

 

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We all reach points where we just want to quit writing. Not because we don’t enjoy it or because we don’t want to do it anymore, but because, after doing the same thing over and over and trying to “make things happen,” it all starts to seem pointless.

The good news is, it’s not pointless. The bad news is, coming to terms with this also means we have to be a little more patient and a little more confident – not easy things to do. So here’s a list of things to keep in mind when this whole writing thing is starting to lose its appeal.

1. You have to start somewhere

You write because you enjoy it. Right? Not every writer starts off in a position where everything they have to say will reach the people who would be most interested in hearing it. But if you never write anything, because you’re sure it won’t reach anyone, you’ll NEVER reach anyone.

Establishing yourself as a writer is just about building your brand and getting your name out there. Everyone has to start out in that lonely place where they aren’t heard. You got this.

2. Your thoughts and opinions matter

Hey you, with the voice! Yes, you! You have important things on your mind and even more important things to say about them. Yes, you’re tired of not being heard, but that doesn’t mean your thoughts and opinions are any less valuable.

You should never feel like you’re not allowed to express how you feel through writing just because it doesn’t get some kind of viral response. Sometimes, we right more for ourselves and our own well-being than for other people, and there is absolutely no shame in that. Do what you feel you need to do. Say what you need to say. Seriously. It DOES matter.

3. Negative feedback is still feedback

One of a writer’s many fears is putting something out into the world only to have it torn apart and stepped on. And it does happen. There’s no way to please every single person in your intended audience, and unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who will not hesitate to launch negative criticisms your way.

Getting negative feedback from people you know and people you don’t can hurt. A lot. But at least you’re getting some feedback, right? It’s a little better than getting no feedback at all, as long as you don’t take the negativity too personally. Do your best to use it to learn and grow from, and definitely don’t let fear of being criticized stand in your way of writing something amazing.

4. You might be helping someone and don’t even know it

Something you write today might really resonate with someone, somewhere, tomorrow. You never know. And you may never hear about it. But that doesn’t mean the things you are writing are not effective or do not make people think or feel things.

Always write with the mindset that there is someone out there who needs to hear this, and the pointlessness of it all will begin to fade away.

5. It will get better, eventually

It takes time to find where you truly excel as a writer. Everyone has their niche and their own unique methodology for sending powerful messages to people who will respond to and learn from them. You’ll find it. And you’ll fit right in.

Just keep doing what you’re doing, and never convince yourself you’re too experienced to learn new things. Successful writers, the ones who make a real difference in the world, never stop growing. They are okay with being good, but not necessarily the best. There is always room to improve.

KEEP GOING. Write that thing. GO! GO! GO!

Image courtesy of smallbiztrends.com.

To the Writer Tired of Her Voice Never Being Heard

There is no scientific law that says you will never be successful unless you touch the exact point where they are standing.

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You’ve been doing this a long time.

Saving your thoughts for the moment you can sit down and put them to paper, knowing they’ll never sound the same way out loud as they will when the world reads them in their own heads.

Staring at a blank screen just long enough to lose a little sanity, and then somehow, transforming that empty space into a masterpiece.

Finding yourself thinking you’ll never stop feeling a certain way, then changing your mind the moment you finish writing it all out.

Believing words can change a life. That your words are important enough to make a difference.

You’ve been at it forever. Writing. Hoping. Dreaming. Writing some more.

Yet no matter how hard you work, no matter how deeply you dive into the stories you create, it never seems to be good enough.

No matter how many projects you take on, no matter how many people you connect with, you’re still just another name on a very long list of aspiring writers hoping for the same outcomes you are.

Whenever something moves you – sometimes, even when nothing does – you sit down and you write about it. You paint pictures with your words, sculpt and shape messages in ways you’re sure no one else ever has before.

You just want all that hard work, all that passion, all that determination, to mean something. To matter.

You just want to be heard.

You have a voice, powerful and refined and passionate. But no one seems to notice.

Nobody seems to care.

We have all been here. Every single one of us. Because here’s the thing about going after a goal: no one can say, for sure, if you’re ever going to achieve it.

It isn’t that you’re not good enough or strong enough or determined enough. It’s just … success, sometimes, doesn’t happen the way we think it will, or think it should.

You read your favorite authors’ books and you follow them on Twitter and you can picture in your mind the day when you will be as successful, as widely read, as well-known as they are.

But their degree of success, the level they have reached, is not a standard. There is no scientific law that says you will never be successful unless you touch the exact point where they are standing.

Your voice, your words, may never reach hundreds of thousands of people.

It may only ever reach one, or two, or 20.

But does that make all your hard work, your passion, your drive, any less worthy of praise?

Perhaps only one, or two, or 20, 0r 200, or 2,000 people will read your words. Out of a population of billions and billions of people, that number seems so small.

But you are still being heard. Someone out there is listening to you.

Don’t go silent just because the whole world has yet to recognize that you have things to say and points to make and hearts to mend and lives to change.

Because that one person, those two, 20, 200, 2,000 people, might be counting on you.

They are listening to you.

They think your words are amazing.

Never forget that you are doing this because you love it. Never forget that you are a writer because you cannot live without the relief of spilling ideas out onto a page and arranging them into stories that make sense, even if they only make sense to you.

Remember, in these moments when you feel lonely and discouraged and unheard, how writing makes you feel. How it makes you come alive inside, in a way you’re not sure anyone or anything else can.

Remember that without your words, the world would not make very much sense to you.

Keep writing them. Even if it seems like no one is listening.

You cannot see what the future holds. You cannot predict where this will lead.

Hold on. Write on. Because tomorrow, everything could change.

Image courtesy of Eva Peris/flickr.com.

Dear John: Finding Fulfillment in Our Ideas

Sometimes I write letters to John Green because it’s his fault I do all this writing stuff and have yet to give up on any of it.

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At some point, we all have that moment. That moment when we finally look at our list of goals or dreams or things we want to do before we die and say, “Now. I’m going to make this happen right now.” No more waiting. No more procrastinating.

I was a junior in high school when I took my writing “career” into my own hands. Near the end of 2008 I somehow discovered YouTube, which has not much to do with writing unless you factor in the minor detail of simultaneously discovering the Vlogbrothers.

The first video I ever saw, I’m pretty sure, was this writer I’d never heard of before named John Green sitting in front of a camera, talking to someone named Hank about NaNoWriMo (which I also was not aware existed in the universe).

Naturally, as a sixteen-year-old convinced I was going to be a writer no matter what it took (stubbornness or passion, I’m not really sure which), I decided I needed to read all of this stranger’s books because he seemed successful and down-to-earth. I also signed up for my very first NaNo that October (because why not?).

Well John, I spent all Christmas (sorry – “winter”) break that year reading the then three books you’d published (Katherines, Alaska and Paper Towns). And that January, I started my first blog, what would six years later morph into what is now known as Novelty Revisions.

I’m not sure if this is your fault, but I’m giving you credit anyway.

I published my first essay that year too. I wrote my first book. I finally figured out that if my ideas were worth anything at all, I needed to find that out for myself.

This, I have since come to find out, is a lesson we are reminded of on more than a single occasion.

I learned it again in college, when I realized I wasn’t doing any writing outside of school and felt as though I was falling behind.

And again, when I got my first full-time job, applied to graduate school, basically stopped blogging for two months and almost convinced myself I could afford to put “writing for fun” on hold for awhile. You know. Until I had my life figured out.

Then I forgot why I ever wanted to be a writer in the first place, and my heart was sad, and to fill the void I watched every single Vlogbrothers video ever made, in chronological order, on my way to and from work, in the evenings, long after the rest of the world slept.

Again, there you were, unknowingly screaming at me, “YOUR IDEAS MATTER. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WRITE THEM.”

Novelty Revisions happened. And then I started writing. I started writing a lot.

Why? Because my ideas, sharing those ideas, allowing myself to be proud of those ideas, gave me a sense of fulfillment I never knew I’d been missing.

You told Adam Grant recently: “You have to find pleasure and fulfillment in [your] work […] find fulfillment inside the work itself.” I first stumbled upon the original video where this quote came from at the beginning of this week, which also happens to be the week I published my first work of fiction.

How do you always somehow manage to reappear in my social media feeds when I’m in need of reassurance the most?

Everyone has their senpai these days (sorry not sorry) and I know every other fan, follower and/or nerdfighter hopes and prays you will acknowledge their existence someday. I don’t need that (not that I would deliberately avoid you in a crowded elevator if we ever happened to both be on one at the same time or anything). I have enough fulfillment knowing that what I am doing with my life – writing, because it makes me happy, not because I want to be famous or financially privileged or anything like that – is what I’ve always been supposed to do.

It has taken me so long to figure this out. Why?

I don’t know. But I wanted to thank you. For somehow always showing up to remind me I can use my words for good and that they matter and that if I’m not happy, my stories will never reach their full potential.

I am happy. It’s been far too long since I could say that and actually mean it.

DFTBA.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of HuffPost Arts & Culture.

Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

How to Make Inspiration Last Longer

When inspiration hits, train yourself to make it last as long as possible.

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We’ve all had that moment. Just going about business as usual, going through the motions. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an idea hits. The drive to drop everything and turn that idea into something tangible immediately is a craving almost impossible to curb.

To a writer, acting on inspiration and carrying out an idea can be compared to any necessary human function of our existence. You can’t usually say no. Yet inspiration does come and go, and we can’t always stop what we’re doing in the moment just because we’re feeling inspired to do something else.

Here’s how to make that inspiration last, so you can get more done – writing and otherwise – and feel good about what you’ve managed to accomplish.

Jot down your idea

The problem with brain rush is it can be difficult to manage if you’re out of practice. It takes time to train yourself to let an idea unfold and blossom in your mind without allowing it to distract you from other, more pressing tasks. Writing down that idea, giving yourself a few key words or phrases to picture in your mind until you can get back to it later, is a good way to practice stretching your inspiration out for hours, sometimes even days at a time.

There’s a big difference between jotting down your idea in the margins of a notepad and trying to implement it right away. Most good ideas sit in your head for awhile before they’re ready to enter the real world. Stay inspired by letting your idea grow and change slowly while it’s still just an idea.

Formulate an incentive

So it’s the middle of the day, and you still have a few hours of “real” work to do before you can put it aside and engage in your own personal brainstorming session. How in the world are you supposed to concentrate when your mind won’t shut off, or at least turn away from the idea distracting you long enough for you to actually be able to finish what’s more important?

Give yourself an incentive. Tell yourself you can work on outlining your new idea, just for fun, for the rest of the evening as long as you finish these three deadlines first.

Leave the best thing for last

You don’t have to limit that feeling of being inspired to just the original idea that inspired you in the first place. If you let it, that feeling will carry you through just about any task.

It’s that natural high all creative minds know, love and hunger for without even realizing it. And if you leave your original idea for last, your inspiration can and will help you push through every task that comes before it until you finally reach the one you’ve been waiting for.

Feeling inspired? Let that attitude take over your whole life for the time being and see where it takes you. Sure, you might suddenly feel inspired to work on that novel you’ve been neglecting for a month. But if you stop and think about it, you actually might also suddenly feel pretty inspired to write that paper for class, and apply for that job you really want, and go run three miles like you always say you will but haven’t yet.

Take advantage of this feeling. Make it last. Make it count.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.