Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Inspiration, Perspiration, and Determination: An IWSG post


Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking. If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG. This month's co-hosts are: Joylene Nowell Butler, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Meka James, Diane Burton, Victoria Marie Lees, and M Louise Barbour!

May 3 question When you are working on a story, what inspires you?

The initial inspiration for a story is usually sort of a flash of insight, wonder, or delight for me. I have a thought and I like it. Maybe that thought came about because of something I saw, read, or heard, or maybe I don't even know why I had that thought, but I'm glad I did, and I start to noodle on it. 

The Menopausal Superhero series, for example, began with a quip about how if hormones cause superpowers, menopausal women should have the corner on that market. I was just trying to make my husband laugh, and here we are, eight books later. 

A lot of that kind of inspiration takes the form of a "What if?" question for me. 
  • What if the things you see out of the corner of your eye are really there? (The Mind Plays Tricks Dark Recesses 27 April 2022) 
  • What if a harpy had a male child? (Boy Chick on Apex & Abyss 1 October 2021) 
  • What if my daughter had never been born? (The Beginning of You. 34 Orchard. 10 November 2022. )
But initial inspiration has never been my problem. I have more ideas than I have time to develop. 
image source

The kind of inspiration I need is the keep-going-kind, the come-back-and-finish-this kind. 

It maybe looks a little more like perspiration and determination than inspiration. 

For me, that stick-with-it kind of inspiration comes from remembering how happy I felt the first time I finished a story, when it came out the way I wanted it to. 

Of course, I love praise--awards, good reviews, and paychecks for my words are all more than welcome--but the real reason I keep going is a deeper kind of satisfaction than that, a feeling of having set myself a challenge and then achieving it. 

So even when it's hard, even when the characters seem determined to thwart me or when my initial idea proves not to hold water as well as I'd imagined at the outset, I take inspiration to go on in my hopes for what might be. 

Where do you find inspiration when you need it? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 


  1. "What if" is a great way to come up with story ideas. I have a hard time sometimes plugging through and finishing a project, especially because I'm such a slow writer.

  2. I love the origin story for your superhero series!

    I like "What if" for getting started with a story. What inspires me to finish a project (about a million years after I started it...) is usually thinking of the one person in my life who wants to read it & not wanting to let them down.

    1. A little sense of urgency and pressure can help you motivated! Even if you have to create it yourself.

  3. My inspiration comes from all over. Dreams. Books. Out of the blue. It's interesting what takes hold in my mind and becomes something.

  4. I need that come back and finish inspiration.