I enjoy writing. For me, there is an excitement, an energy, a literal adrenaline burst that comes every so often as I write that makes all the drudgery of editing, and re-writing, and trying to get published worthwhile. The problem is, the part I enjoy the most about the writing craft is the initial burst of creativity and inspiration that comes with the epiphany of a particular idea, or when that beautifully constructed sentence reaches that point of perfection. For years, I called myself a writer and studied the craft without really being a writer. I generated ideas and I even wrote a lot of them down, but I only actually sat down to write when I got one of those bursts of inspiration. It took me years to develope the discipline necessary to become a 'real' writer.
I can't tell you how many notebooks, pages of looseleaf, and other random scraps of paper I have with furiously jotted-down ideas on them. When I look at some of the older notes, they almost appear to be the ravings of a mad man. This method works for me. I scribble ideas down as they come to me, however simplistic they may be, on a daily basis. Often times these notes are little more than images from my mind's eye that struck me while in the shower or eating lunch or something. This is my process; I work from my notes, to a very basic outline, to the computer to write the prose.
The amazing thing I discovered as I began to hunker down and force myself to write even when I didn't feel 'in the mood,' was that the simple act of putting words to the page itself could be inspirational. However uninspired you feel, once you get over the initial hump, your mind will begin to churn and the words will begin to flow. It's incredible, really. I highly recommend it to anyone struggling to get themselves to write. Simple advice: if you find it difficult to write when you're 'not feeling it', just write; just do it - write!
I write almost every day now and that's what makes me a Writer. Not everything that comes out is all that great, but you might be surprised, even when you don't think what you're writing is any good, it might not be as horrible as you thought it was when you return to it later and read over what you've written. You might also be surprised, as I was, how naturally the editing process is once you learn the basics and get into the flow of things. I'll talk more about editing in a future post.