Refueling the artistic well with a little Thursday inspiration.

Hey, lovelies.

I’m knee-deep (or really, chest-deep, with the water rising) in revisions for THE ARCHIVED #2 (I can’t wait to reveal the *real* title for that), and that means a whole lot of self-loathing and stress and fear and other un-fun feelings.

It really is a grass-is-greener situation. When I’m drafting, I can’t wait to get to edits and make the book better (I have to tell myself over and over and over that I can’t fix it until I have something on the page, just to keep myself from holding down delete). When I’m revising, I pine for the freedom and creation (as opposed to correction) of drafting.

The most important thing for me to do while revising is make time to be inspired.

Editing depletes me.

It drains my emotional batteries and my inspiration and makes me feel like a fraud, because even when I see the problems and the solutions I don’t feel good enough to execute them. So, when I’m revising, I make time to refuel my creative well. I’m constantly taking short breaks to listen to music (I can’t listen and edits at the same time) and look up art.

That inspiration doesn’t have to be book-specific, meaning I’m not looking up things to inspire me for the work I’m revising (the only thing that will inspire me when I’m in the depths of edits is FINISHING). I just have to remind myself that I love stories. And to keep the self-loathing and comparison to a minimum, I seek out stories in other forms, like songs, and paintings.

Luckily for me, in addition to whatever I’m editing, there are always a few other projects in various stages of development (right now I have one on deck to be written, and two in the delightful brainstorming stages), so I end up searching for art/stories to inspire THOSE projects.

I have this one in particular (I joke that it will be years before it’s written) that I LOOOOVE collecting inspiration for, because it’s lovely and strange and scary, and so I thought I’d share a few pieces of art/music from that project’s file, in the hopes that it adds a little beauty to YOUR Thursday.


“My bones burned down
when I met her.
they are still
on fire now.”
—Gary Lilley, Meeting The Conjure Woman




[Thank you to my amazing editor, Miriam, for this one]


“There’s an opposite to déjà vu. They call it jamais vu. It’s when you meet the same people or visit places, again and again, but each time is the first. Everybody is always a stranger. Nothing is ever familiar.”
—Chuch Palahniuk


Is there anything new in YOUR inspiration folder?

5 thoughts on “Refueling the artistic well with a little Thursday inspiration.

  1. Morgan Wylie says:

    I LOVE this! Thank you for sharing your inspirations. I’m also in editing and it’s hard to stay “in it” when I just want to start a different project. I think it’s important to keep “filling the well” of inspiration. Keep going! You ROCK!

  2. I’m loving the quote! It evokes an image in my mind, and certainly is serving to inspire me to write something… But I agree – LOVE taking breaks to find inspiration elsewhere! It’s usually music, in my case.

  3. I hear you! I’m always, always collecting new inspirations, especially new songs. Lately, I’ve been hooked on the band Delta Spirit, and have listening to their weird and wonderful ‘California’ over and over. So good and SO YA. Video: Lyrics:

  4. I never used to be able to work on multiple projects at the same time, and then I started revising my MS, and I don’t think I’ll be able to get through the revisions without something else to get lost in when revisions make me want to pull out my hair (which is what led to me deciding to do NaNo this year…).

    I like to make playlists and Pinterest boards for each of my projects. It definitely helps getting me into the right mindset!

  5. […] Revising a manuscript can quickly deplete you of inspiration. It’s a little like cutting through a jungle hoping you find a clearing at the other end. There’s a good bit of perspiration but precious little inspiration in the whole process. The talented writer (and fellow Nashvillian!) Victoria Schwab wrote a wonderful post about it here. […]

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