Posts Tagged ‘success’

What inspires you? What gets you racing to the computer or fumbling eagerly for your notebook to capture your thoughts and stories before they disappear?

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. While this should encourage in us writers the kind of determination necessary to succeed in an incredibly competitive field (if you haven’t already, check out my previous post about famous writers who were knocked back time and again by publishers), it should not be overlooked that without that one percent inspiration we would never reach our full potential.

With that in mind I call for a public brain dump of inspirational places, people, questions and such… perhaps sharing your inspirations will inspire another writer to their masterwork and, if not, well it’s still pretty interesting to see how other people’s minds work, no?

My favourite inspirations:

Reading Virginia Woolf never fails to inspire

– Walking in nature
– Reading my favourite authors (especially Jorge Luis Borges, John Steinbeck, Milan Kundera, and Virginia Woolf)
– Writing letters (often while sharing experiences or thoughts with friends tiny details flare in my mind that I wouldn’t have thought to write about otherwise)
– Dreams (sometimes I wake up and reach straight away for my journal to jot down the details before they fade – I have written a lot of poems and several short stories based on my warped night-time mental wanderings)
– Sitting in cafes or on ferries and observing human life
– Travel (new sights, smells, sounds, and smiles get my pen flying across the page like nothing else)

Ok, now it’s your turn! What inspires you to write?

PS: The inspiration from this post came from reading these recent posts on Subtle Thoughts and Matt’s Blog.


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A story about animals, you say? That will never sell!

I just read this fantastic article from the Book Examiner that Alexis Grant posted on her regular writers’ roundup.

Can you believe any publisher would be short-sighted and foolish enough to reject Nabokov, Borges, Proust, Orwell, and Kerouac? Well they did – many many times and with spectacularly crushing critiques. It is so great to read their rejections now that they are illuminated by the twin lights of success and hindsight. Classic.

If you are feeling despondent, worried you may never be published, or hurt by someone telling you your writing doesn’t cut the mustard, I recommend you read this article about 30 famous authors whose works were rejected by publishers. I guarantee you will feel better!

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