I have a cold. I’m miserable, achy, stuffy, and completely unmotivated. As a result of this, I have started working on my next book. That seems to be the one activity I can do with enthusiasm even though everything else is too much effort.
Me, the dog, and the laptop…it’s bliss. Fortunately, it is also the one thing I can motivate myself to do when the weather is nasty (snowing, freezing, or blisteringly hot). It’s my go-to thing when I can’t fall asleep – I’ve spent many a sleepless night crafting the characters and plot of books yet to be written. It’s my mini-break when life is too hectic and I feel like I can’t get anything done; I can get a paragraph done, or a quick outline – then everything else seems much easier. I can write myself out of bad moods, and when I can’t? Well, I just have a particularly dark scene that I can later polish up and make work in any number of stories.
That’s what makes us writers. Someone cuts you off in traffic? Incorporate that into a story and stop giving them rude hand gestures. Have a million Holiday parties to attend? Have your character go instead…it’s great fun for me to look around at the room full of people and imagine Coyote baiting them and stirring up chaos. News got you down? Twist the plot of the latest political scandal into your next book.
The more you write, the more you incorporate realistic things into your work, like a miserable cold. Today, I know what it feels like to have every muscle ache and have zero ambition. One of my poor characters will experience something similar in the near future.
Next time you’re reading a new novel, try to pick out the scenes that seem most authentic – those are the ones that with a twist of the imagination, the author has turned truth into fiction. Keep a log of things that happen and might make good fodder for a story. When I wrote Destructive Magic, I actually combined two separate stories in the plot. If it weren’t for those days where it was just me, the dog, and the laptop, I’d still be writing it.
Hope you find some inspiration out there!