I haven’t ever heard of anyone praying for divine inspiration from the patron saint of writers and journalists, Saint Francis de Sales, but I’d hazard a guess that authors ask his boss, God, for help—or seek it in alcohol.
As comedy writer Jane Wagner observed:
When we talk to God, we’re praying. When God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic.
Some writers rely on a mascot for solace, keeping it nearby when they’re working. As we’re advised to develop a hide as thick as a rhinoceros, to cope with criticism and rejection, little plastic models and stuffed rhino toys are popular.
Whatever deity or muse you seek creative inspiration from, it’s still syphoned through your inner psyche as an author—and you’ve got the hard work of actually interpreting your ideas in words.
I refer to a folder of quotes, aphorisms and poems that I’ve collected over the years when I’m in need of a boost to my fortitude. Observations such as this from Andre Dubus III help to keep me going:
I think what I love most (about writing) is that feeling that you really nailed something. I rarely feel it with a whole piece, but sometimes with a line you feel that you really captured what it is that you had inside you and you got it out for a stranger to read, someone who may never love you or meet you, but he or she is going to get that experience from that line.
I recall the enjoyment that I got from reading Dennis Lehane, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Hoffman and Michael Connelly and knuckle down to write something decent. Another way of motivating myself is to recall terrible writing, such as Jeffrey Archer or Dan Brown—this really lights a fire under me!
Do any of you send out prayers for inspiration?
Or, do you turn to famous writers as a way of recharging your own creative batteries?