Where do you find inspiration?
As a writer and aspiring author, among other things, I subscribe to a number of blogs from more accomplished writers for inspiration and to pick up some nuances of the craft. One of the blogs I follow is No Rules Just Write, the blog of the New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons. In one of her recent posts, she outlined what she had accomplished this year (as of mid-June). Her list blew me away:
- Wrote a mainstream thriller (85,000 words)
- Wrote a young adult thriller (70,000 words)
- Wrote a romantic thriller (76,000 words)
- Revised and edited three books
- Launched another book and prepped yet another for launch.
Can you spell OMG? That’s nearly a quarter of a million words. I have a hard time with 5,000.
Following her list of accomplishments she writes, “Makes me dizzy just to think of it!”
What makes her dizzy makes me sick. How does she do that? How could I ever do that?
That’s when I remind myself of three important truths:
- I’m the only one I need to beat. My race should be measured by my relentless pursuit of better, not my present output, nor my standing compared to others. I’m more likely to rally the support of others when I’m seeking to outdo myself rather than to best another.
- My work will look different. Sure, it will contain words like CJ Lyon’s, likely far fewer, but it will be packaged for a different audience. And with a different unassailable voice; mine.
- It’s not a zero-sum game. Another’s excellence does not diminish the need for my own contribution. Instead, I can be inspired knowing that if they can perform at that level, perhaps one day I will too.
So bring it CJ Lyons. I’m inspired by your pursuit and sitting a little more erect this morning, sleeves up, ready to go.
What are some ways others have inspired your pursuit?