Inspiration and Flow in Memoir Writing
Writers, and all creative people, have a range of ease for the output of their creative art—from freeflowing river to arid desert—and for many years, creative coaches have tried to explain why and how we achieve the desired state, and how to avoid the desert.
You know about this—you have an idea, or you don’t but you sit down and the writing bubbles out of the ends of your fingers and onto the page. You experience the joy of this flow, feeling that you’re simply a conduit for something erupting from you. It is a state of flow, a state of being that is pleasurable, natural, and rather exciting. The problem is that no one can sustain it. Many modes of persuasion have been tried to stimulate this state, from drugs and alcohol to meditation and visualization. Clearly there are healthy ways to stimulate creativity, but still it is an elusive jewel, and we are left with the fact that we have to work with the state of the human mind which is ever fluctuating.
The root of inspiration, is spirare, which means to breathe. We breathe in this special state of creative flow. We need to approach our creative state with respect and with a sense of appreciation for its fragility. One of my favorite authors Brenda Ueland writes about inspiration in her book If You Want to Write. Think about and spend time with these inspirational suggestions, and better yet, read her book!
Inspiration comes slowly and quietly.…imagination needs moodling—long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.
If [you have] an idleness when you walk alone for a long, long time, or take a long dreamy time dressing, or lie in bed at night and thoughts come and go, or dig in a garden or drive a car for many hours alone; or an idleness where you sit with pencil and paper or before a typewriter quietly putting down what you happen to be thinking—that is creative idleness.
…thoughts come so slowly. For what we write today slipped into our souls some other day when we were alone and doing nothing.
I love the last quote the most! What slips into your soul when you’re not looking?
Journal about these questions.
What are your creative techniques? How do you get started writing?
What kind of environment do you need? What feeds your creative soul?
Want more inspiration? Join the National Association of Memoir Writers Friday, March 30 for the Free Memoir Writing Telesummit Memoir Writing in the Digital Age. Learn from Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, Lynn Serafinn, the author of the 7 Graces of Marketing, , Dan Blank, Social Media guru and founder of WeGrowMedia.com, Tessa Smith McGovern founder of echook.com, Brooke Warner, Executive Editor at Seal Press and expert coach at Warnercoaching.com. Sign up to get the free audios for the day!