As I am once again gearing down to get writing done, I am looking for new ways to inspire myself. To light that spark that my fellow writers know and love (and hate!) so well. I find that is better to actively seek out inspiration than to sit around hoping it will come, and something that I found recently is the wonderful podcast Writing Excuses.
I am not generally a fan of podcasts. I never feel that I have a good chance to listen to them. In my car, I listen to radio or CDs (I have no connection for my ipod). At home, I read or watch TV or do something else that doesn't lend itself well to listening to someone drone on. At work, any personal electronic device more complicated than a wristwatch is banned and can't enter the building.
But when I read about Writing Excuses on another writing blog I follow (the Scribophile blog), it piqued my interest. It's short, so I don't feel like I have to have a long block of time available to dedicate to listening. It's done by authors that I know dealing specifically with the genre (science fiction/fantasy) that I write. And I've found that it is easy enough listening that I can listen while I workout.
Best of all, listening to an episode of Writing Excuses makes me want to write. It reminds me about the joys in writing and is a welcome reminder that I am far from the only one that struggles with any given issue that they are tackling.
They give writing prompts at the end of each episode, and so far I have yet to act on those. I have been so focused on needing to find an idea that I can carry through to a novel that I haven't been writing anything at all until I have that magical idea. And this is leading to my previously-mentioned atrophying skills. So now I am going to actually take these writing prompts and use them as an exercise. Just as I am spending the time now plugging away at getting miles so I can perform well at my upcoming 10K race in March, I need to put in the time practicing writing, even if just for my own benefit, so I can eventually produce a publishable, readable product.
And along the way, I'll be stashing ideas into my Bag O' Ideas to pull out later for a "real" writing project. Win-fucking-win!