ONE PERCENT INSPIRATION
This headline is part of a Thomas Edison quote: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” I’ve met too many writers who accept that premise for themselves—replacing the word “genius” with the words “a writer” (or their own name), then believing they do not have the “inspiration” to finish their book. This usually happens when they are in the midst of weaving together the final elements of an intricately woven and/or deeply researched plot and they are teetering on the edge of quitting. Of course, there is work to be done in creating the writing projects that become noticed and successful. So it is that I offer my perspective on the division between “inspiration” and “perspiration.” I believe they are much more equal—45% to 55% on any given day—often re-balancing their positions within each hour that a writer is at the computer.
One of my favorite authors (who happens to be a highly respected American statesman and retired 4-star Army General) Colin Powell said: A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” His life experiences proved this point. They also inspired him to say: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. Stay forward looking, focus on solutions…the spirit of possibility is contagious.”
SO MUST the writer be—a dreamer who taps in to the inspiration discovered in their dreams and visions; a hard worker who is not resentful of the work (research); a positive thinker who keeps-on-keepin’-on; and a solution seeker (plot and character developer).
It is my premise that people who are gifted with the desire to be writers are multitaskers who have access to left/right-brain thinking during most of their waking and sleeping hours. They may not yet recognize that writing is their true vocation. However, the mental and emotional motivation will come and must be acted upon or those individuals will be most unhappy as their lives progress.
One of my former advanced writing students has been developing her career in the area of social services. She has received high accolades from professors and coworkers in her intern placements. Her natural ability to be inspired by what she’s learning combined with her sincere work ethics—being unafraid of the hard work—is giving her a strong foundation for whatever path she chooses. At the same time, she’s writing! Yes, most of her writing is class-assignment-related. However, her emails (sharing life’s adventures) are rich with metaphor and simile. Her concise yet strikingly unique descriptions of people and places make me want to be there and meet those folks. Oh, yes, the writer lives within her and will bring her much joy today and into her future!
So, today, I leave you with another Thomas Edison quote—one that I wholeheartedly agree with: “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” It is, indeed, common sense to build upon one’s strengths and—for the writer—that means taking that step forward to complete the first book and launch their writing career!
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|