Looking for Inspiration in the Hiatus

As time expands, inspiration goes down.

It’s practically end of semester at Northwest Missouri State. We’re in the middle of Prep Week (often called “dead week” by the number of faculty who are overwhelmed by the end of the semester) and I have nothing coming in until Friday to grade. I’m in t-shirt and sweats mode, only because I have a student appointment over Zoom today; otherwise it would probably be PJs. In other words, I have three more days of Nothing. To. Do. But. Write.

Photo by Tobias Bju00f8rkli on Pexels.com

I have a massive amount of time to write. Am I writing? No. I’m looking for more work to do. I’m halfway to the end of the Internet. I’ve fallen in love with three Internet cats and could dissect the modus operandi of successful cat influencers (photos plus merchandise plus charity). The inspiration to write is nil.

On the other hand, when I’m grading midterms, I suddenly explode with inspiration. If I have deadlines to meet, I feel like writing a novel. NaNoWriMo, the international writing event in November, is perfectly nestled between surviving midterms and prepping for finals. I write the beginnings of novels during that time.

But now? I’m staring at the screen drooling on myself.

Making a plan for summer

My whole summer is wide-open. Although I have interns to supervise, I can work around them pretty readily, and will probably do most of my meetings on Zoom. But the thing that takes up most of my summertime, the online class, isn’t happening. I need to write this summer to keep me sane.

I can make some plans to increase my inspiration:

  • Write this blog daily as warm-up
  • Spend allocated times at the Cafe for discipline and change of scenery
  • Work on outlines for short stories
  • Sketch brainstorming notes on paper with fountain pen (this slows thoughts down)
  • Find a muse (hopefully he’s a-muse-ing too)
  • Only surf the Internet for 5 minutes an hour
  • Find a writing sprint timer

Some of these are writing rituals, meant to separate writing from the mundane world. I’m all about ritual and its ability to make space for important things.

A question for you

If anyone out there has some ideas for getting inspiration (especially some fantasy-based prompts) please tell me in the comments!

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