Inspiration: A renewable resource?

17 Nov

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day about finishing the first book in a series, which I did about a week ago (yay!). I’ve moved from drafting at top speed to the much more sedate process of editing and critical review. It’s a shift, but a welcome one, because let me tell you, after all that writing at top speed, I am exhausted.

The conversation turned to the second book in the series, and just the thought of starting a new project right away left me feeling tired and intimidated. I’m not sure why – I absolutely love the way the first came out, and I have had ideas and plans for the second floating around in my head for several weeks now. The best way I can explain it is that I feel as though my creativity is almost like a kind of currency. I have to save it up before I can go on a spending spree of words and plot. I’m not sure if I’m alone in this or not.

It has always been that way for me. Even when I was a little girl, scribbling one act plays and doodling bad comic strips, I felt like the need to create was this thing that kind of welled up inside of me, desperate for attention. It usually happened late at night, a pattern which still persists in my adulthood. Once I got it out, however that happened, it was gone, and I had to wait until the next surge.

Some things have changed. My “bursts” are much longer now, so instead of having a single night of inspiration, I’m able to extend it over weeks of productivity. I feel like I have a better grasp on how to harness the energy that comes with inspiration. I can put something down at night knowing that, the next afternoon when I have time to pick it up again, I will be able to focus on the same ideas and continue the work. I’m sure a lot of this change in focus has to do with getting older, because my attention span is, thankfully, much longer than it was when I was seven.

On the other hand, I still feel that need for a recharge, like my creativity has been utterly spent. I know many authors and artists are constantly working, moving from one piece to another. Spending creativity seems to earn them that creative inspiration back, with interest. Thinking about this made me curious about how other people handle the gap between projects. I’m not necessarily talking about traditional writer’s block, although I think that may factor in here as well. What are your experiences with this? Do you need to recharge, or is your muse on duty 24/7?

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One Response to “Inspiration: A renewable resource?”

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  1. Who Needs Sleep? | abigailcash - November 21, 2011

    […] Skip to content HomeAbout Abigail ← Inspiration: A renewable resource? November 21, 2011 · 5:57 pm ↓ Jump to […]

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