Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Feeling Uninspired?

By Lisa Harris

I used to imagine what it might be like to be an author. I'd live in a cabin that was nestled in the quiet woods and spend my days writing novels. I'd find my inspiration in the sunrises, in the amazing wildlife, and in the stunning flowers garden thriving outside my window. It all seemed so. . .glamorous. And the best part was that I'd have my name splashed across the front of a book that readers would then devour. All I would have to do was keep writing new books in my peaceful space.

Um. . .right.

Forget the fact that an author today must not just write, but also spend time marketing and editing, juggling deadlines, and writing blog posts and articles. The truth is, I’ve never had a lot of undisturbed writing time. When I first started writing I was running a home daycare, and before I knew it, I had three kids of my own under four. Nap time was my writing time, and even that couldn't always be guaranteed quiet. Today, while I no longer have little ones running around, my day-to-day life is still pretty hectic. I’ve had to learn how to focus even with everything going on around me.

Which isn’t always easy.

I’ve just started writing a brand new book, which for me means needing (quiet) time to brainstorm the plot. There's research, post-it-notes, outlines, and Excel spread sheets. But lately I’ve found myself unable to get the story to come together.

So what happens if I don’t feel inspired, or just can’t find any uninterrupted time? When your brain—and body—feel sucked dry from everything going on around you?

Like today.

There are people sanding poles with an electric grinder outside where I’m working. It’s barely noon and I’ve already met with half a dozen people, and have had to deal with the discovery of a flooded kitchen cupboard that was filled with mold.

Life happens.

And sometimes I just don’t feel inspired.

I don’t know about you, but the best ideas always come to me while I’m washing dishes. I think it’s because doing mundane—brainless—things allow my brain to simply rest. Or dream. Or solve a problem simply because I’m not thinking about it. So whenever I get stuck on a story line, that’s exactly what I do. Something brainless like washing the dishes. 

Finding inspiration might mean stepping outside for a few minutes and breathing in some fresh air. Watching the sunset. Playing with your pet. Listening to music or reading a book.

Sometimes finding inspiration comes by simply sitting down, focusing, and writing.  

That’s what I’ll be doing today. In the midst of all the noise and distractions, I’m going to sit down and write. I’m going to let my mind enjoy the process of letting a story and the characters come alive.

I’m also going to remember that there is so much more to life, something behind the chaos, that I too often miss. I'm going to have lunch with my daughter, play with my dogs, and watch the sunset. And in the middle of its all, may find inspiration from what is happening around me. But I also might find so much more. Like discovering that life is more than a to do list. That God can use me in the middle of a cluttered and chaotic world.

So whoever you are and whatever you're wanting to get out of life today, take a deep breath, find the joy around you, and be inspired.

Be inspired today!

Lisa Harris

(To learn more about Lisa and her books, visit her website.)


  1. Lisa, I'm in awe of your productivity and so it's great to read that you do indeed struggle with inspiration from time to time.

    I find most of my ideas come when I'm out walking the dog or exercising. Something about the outside stimulates my imagination.

    I'll be keen to read this novel you're now working on? Any hints? Another Nikki Boyd or a LIS?


  2. It definitely does hit me, Ian. Then last night I found myself scrambling to take notes as I was going to sleep--other time ideas come--so now I get to incorporate all those ideas.

    Right now I'm working on a new book from Revell that isn't a Nikki Boyd book but a stand alone instead. I'm missing writing that series, but it's fun to meet new characters and come up with something completely different.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Lisa, great post! I'm in the creative phase of a new project and the story is taking a while to brew in my mind. If only our ideas would turn on like a tap, when we're ready for them and need them, lol. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I totally agree, Narelle. I feel like after about a month of forcing words, they are finally beginning to flow. But an on and off button would be great!