Cost-Benefit Analysis of Inspiration

Sometimes, I feel like I want a Writer at Work sign. There’s less chance of falling concrete and more chances of having to listen to me mutter, “but is ‘engorged’ REALLY the right adjective here?”* but the sense of distracted activity is about the same.

The other night was one of those nights. I put my head down, wrote about 600 words on a dead bank robber,** ate two plums, and then wrote a 2,500 short story. I looked up, it was about 3 AM, and I had to be at Miss Rat’s place in five hours.***

Those were a fun few hours. I worked straight through, I never looked up from the screen and I wasn’t thinking about anything else in the entire world. It was a pretty pleasant break from things, and all at the low, low price of being a dazed, nonsense-speaking goblin at my friends the next day.

So that’s the bright side of inspiration. In my case, at least, inspiration doesn’t end with me creating works of Incalcuable Beauty, it just ends with me getting writing done. Inspiration is getting an idea, and running with it until you drop.

That was a lot of fun, but that’s far and away the exception rather than the rule when I sit down to work.

Most of the time writing looks a lot more like this:

-Sit down to write
-Check email
-Open docment
-Look at cute animal macro from Miss Rat
-Chat with Long Suffering Girlfriend
-Play Echo Bazaar
-Type
-Play Echo Bazaar
-Cute animal macro
-Cute animal macro
-Webcomics
-Type
-Play Echo Bazaar
-Type
-Etc.

That’s fine too. Writing is slower and more distracted when there’s nothing else pushing it but me, and it is harder.

It’s nice when it’s there, but if I waited for inspiration to strike every time I wanted to write a story, I’d have written maybe 5,000 words in the past year as opposed to something more like 150,000.

At the end of the day, waiting for inspiration is a poor idea just because if you do, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting.
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Coming Soon:
Kannan Feng Updates Her Links (Man, She’s Been Lazy)
More Confused People Show Up Looking for Echo Bazaar Information
Kannan Feng Officially Apologizes to Echo Bazaar
Cape Bondage, Hot, Steamy and Sexy
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*Almost never.
**His name is Tucker Silas and he makes me sad.
***Being the logical person that I am, this meant that I went to write longhand in bed for another hour.

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