Kick-starting Inspiration

A Guest Post by James Orrin

The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art


This quote rings true for me, especially in my writing life – the harder I strive, the more easily I fall into pits of discouragement. But I’ve also learned that no pit is inescapable, if you know where to search for the path home.

When Nathan invited me to write on his blog, I wasn’t sure what to write. You see, I had fallen into one of those pits, perhaps the deepest of my life. I was still battered and bruised from the long fall, staring up at the tiny pinprick of light above me and wondering how on earth I was going to climb out of this one. I accepted Nathan’s invitation despite my predicament because he’s a good friend and I didn’t want to let him down.

Days turned to weeks as I struggled not only with my fiction but also with the blog post I had promised. Everything I wrote smelled like compost. For the first time in my life, I began to question whether I had any merit as a writer. “Maybe there isn’t a path out of this one,” I thought.

But there is always a path, always something to light your way. The odd thing is that once you’ve found it, it seems obvious and you wonder how you missed it. I found my inspiration when I saw a trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It reminded me of something that I’m sure most fantasy fans can relate to: the feeling of being grabbed by the scruff of the neck and pulled into a new world.

Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring introduced me to Tolkien’s books, which led me to other, wonderful worlds by countless incredible authors. I remember the excitement I felt waiting for The Two Towers and The Return of the King to be released in theaters. I wanted others to feel that same excitement, and I wanted to create worlds for them to be excited about.

Yet here I was, at the bottom of a pit, unable to write so much as a blog post for my friend. Somehow as I focused on the nuts-and-bolts of writing, my enthusiasm had dwindled. I had lost track of why I was writing.

That short advertisement served as my reminder and encouraged me to keep writing.

So if you find yourself discouraged in your writing, think back to why you wanted to write in the first place. Think back to that first spark, that first love of imagination that warmed your heart. Focus on the simple act of creation and allow yourself to feel that excitement again!

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James Orrin lives in Arizona, where the deserts, mountains, forests, and a giant hole in the ground feed his imagination. He writes fantasy and science fiction.

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