Inspiration and Enlightenment

Some of the books here I have found useful; some are recommendations from other writers. What inspires one person might make another stomp around and feel grumpy.

Often it can be hard to pin down what we find inspiring – influences can do their work silently, lie dormant for years and you only realise they have kicked something into gear when it comes out in your writing.

I suppose what we are all looking for is that spark which makes you believe you can write. Something which convinces you that it hasn’t been weirdness that caused you to make up stories in your head or play-act bits of dialogue while waiting for the bus – it was the writer in you trying to come out. It’s uplifting to discover how liberating creativity can be and that you – yup, you – can entertain, move and make connections with people who read your words.

I hope you find plenty on these pages to inspire you and make you believe in yourself and the stories you have to tell.

Or perhaps you’ll discover a book or website that will help you pick yourself up when your writing is either going badly or has stalled completely. I have, at various times, inhabited all these stages – inspired, dispirited and blocked – because for most of us, writing is not a light two-step towards wealth and fame, it has its peaks and dips.

But whatever stage I have been on my writing route, I have found comfort and encouragement in the words of other writers.

I hope you do too.




The Artist's Way- Julia Cameron

This book made me believe that I could be a writer and maybe ... maybe ... I wasn't as rubbish as my internal (and some external) critics had made me believe.

Parts I found particularly useful were those concerning Morning Pages - don't even think about it, just write what comes into your head first thing every morning - and how to recognise all those reinforced negative ideas you may carry around with you.

On Writing - Stephen King

I don't really know where to start with how brilliant this book is. You can simply read it as an incredible autobiography, but the insights into writing are sharp and the lessons you can draw, straightforward. As I've been flicking through the pages of it to check on a couple of things, I've been thinking that I want to read this again.

From Writing with Love - Avril Joy

What I love about this book is the warmth and the honesty. It's a book for when you first start out, when it's going well, when you stall ... any stage of writing. I have found the long view of writing very useful too - what seems like a full stop may not necessarily be one.
In Avril's own words 'I share with you how I stayed in love with writing, what still inspires me, what helped me cope with success and disappointment in my writing life, how I came to win the Costa short story competition and everything I’ve learned about the craft of writing along the way.’