3 Life-Changing Rules for Finding More Writing Inspiration This Year

Writing inspiration—so easy to take for granted when we have it, so hard to rekindle once we’ve let the flame go out.

When I was young, I never questioned the fact that my imagination was a vivid and constant companion. It was a river flooding through my life and in whose waters I could baptize myself whenever I wished—and I wished often. I was a dreamer of dreams and a viewer of visions. As a child, I would stare out the window on long trips and watch as horses and bandits and cowboys and wild outlaw lovers raced through the rolling countryside beside the car. I never washed dishes or pulled weeds or rode my horses or jumped on the trampoline without my creativity adding something to the seen in ways unseen to others but deeply vivid and meaningful to myself.

I took my ever-present imagination for granted, just as I took it for granted that my young body was invincible to any real danger from falling off that tramp or getting stomped by one of those horses. In those numinous years of innocence and naiveté, it never would even have occurred to me think this glorious inspiration was something I could lose. How could I lose something that was as ordinary to me as running or seeing?

But we get older. I quit running after I sprained my knee for the third time. The only reason I still see well is thanks to the miracle of Lasik surgery. And as I’ve spoken about with increasing bemusement over the last few years, creativity gets creaky too.

Who knew?

Perhaps because creativity is so innately tied to our very life force, we have this sense that it couldn’t possibly dry up on us. Not this side of the grave. But really this is an illogical assumption. Life itself dries up if we aren’t vigilant to care for it in all its manifestations—body, heart, mind, and soul. And creativity is ultimately the output of all four. If we’re failing to reach for health in even just one of these areas (and in all likelihood we’re struggling across the board), our creativity will suffer.

Life has taught me this. Its lessons have been long and painful—full of fear and grief that perhaps I unwittingly squandered something precious that could not be restored—that the horses would no longer run beside me on my travels through life.

But I’m starting to hear hoofbeats again. More than that, I’m beginning to see how this decade of lessons has given me some important gifts for building a foundation that will protect and nurture my creative health and my writing inspiration as I enter this new decade.

I find myself incredibly excited to be entering 2020. I’m entering it with three very specific goals/rules/plans/resolutions/lessons (whatever you want to call them) that I believe will be life-changing. None of them are new or revolutionary. All are obvious and necessary to a healthy writing life. It’s not “what” they are that’s exciting to me, but rather the fact that I feel like this year I once again understand “how” to implement them. I’m sharing them with you now in hopes they might inspire your own creative rebirth (however great or small) in the coming year and the coming decade.

My 3 Rules for Nurturing Writing Inspiration in the New Year

I’m referring to these ideas mostly as “rules,” even though I realize that’s a tricky word for creatives.

Creativity itself is such a wild and woolly energy. In the dance between order and chaos, it represents chaos. As an inherently orderly person, I’m coming to appreciate that chaos gets a bad rap. Indeed, my own obsession with order has contributed to the waning “chaos” of creativity in my life. But chaos run amok is just as bad (I’ve been there too). It’s that tension point between chaos and order where the magic unspools.

In trying to understand what this means and how it manifests in my life, my current understanding leads me to believe living in the calm eye of life’s storm means listening to what the chaos says and using that creativity to evolve the orderly structures of our lives. It’s about learning to listen to the spontaneous wisdom of the moment in a way that allows us to build meaningful order.

In an analogy more familiar to writers, finding this tension point is about catching our spontaneous and chaotic inspiration and organizing it into coherent words and stories on the page. It’s about creativity becoming craft. If that principle is to flourish in our writing, it must first flourish in our lives.

So, again, I’m referring to these ideas as “rules” mostly because my orderly brain finds its most comfortable partnership with chaos via a few well-chosen schedules and structures. But they are not rules, schedules, or structures for the sake of rules. They are rules built upon creativity’s urgings in order to serve creativity. I have every certainty these rules will not remain in place for the rest of my life. Creativity, chaos, and spontaneity will ask for something else, and I hope to be listening attentively enough to hear and adjust on the spot—rather than letting the need for change build up for another decade.

1. Figure Out the Best Writing Time of the Day

It’s weird, but right around when I became a “full-time writer,” the actual fiction-writing started taking more and more of a backseat. All the business aspects of writing just always seemed more important, more urgent, more stressful. So of course they got more of my attention. Even though I have always prioritized a daily writing session, the sessions began to be intruded upon more and more by thoughts about the non-writing parts of being a writer. For those who work jobs other than writing, raise children, or, you know, have email—I’m sure you understand what I mean.

But if we’re not giving premium attention to the hours dedicated to our writing, how can we possibly hope to prioritize creativity during other parts of our days?

Finding the best time to write can be harder than it seems. Not only must we juggle tight schedules, we must also be realistic about which times are times we will actually feel like writing. If you’re like me, your first reaction to that might be, “Suck it up, dude. Real writers can write anywhere anytime.” To which the truthful response is, “Yeah, but only if they take care of their creativity.”

Here are three of the tips I’ve used to find my best writing time:

  • Hack Your Daily Schedule

For the past year, I wrote for about an hour in the evenings. I liked that time, but it wasn’t ideal for a number of reasons, including the fact that it was just an hour, as well as the variance of my energy by that point in the day. But it just seemed like there wasn’t any other time that would work for me—until I got serious. I charted out my daily schedule, blocked off the times and duties that were set in stone, then started juggling things around to see where I could possibly find a longer slot of uninterrupted time earlier in the day. With only a few comparatively minor sacrifices, I was able to block off 90 minutes before lunch.

  • Listen to Your Intuition

You know those days when you sit down to write and you just. don’t. want. to? For a long time, I’ve wanted to move my writing into the hours after lunch. By far, it’s the most convenient time for me on a daily basis. But I just. don’t. want. to. Blame it on my busy digestion or the inevitable mid-afternoon slump, but my worst procrastination time is always that first hour after lunch. I know I’m not going to write my best, make full use of my writing time, or enjoy my writing if I schedule it then. On the surface, it’s not the most orderly decision, and yet I know chaos eventually ensues when I try too hard to force myself to do things that don’t feel good.

  • Find the “Yes”

My brother has a saying that’s become almost a mantra in my family:

If it’s not a yes, it’s a no.

Too often, we dismiss that insistent little voice in our heads (the one telling us not to write right after lunch, no matter how convenient). What does it know? It just wants us to be lazy or self-indulgent. But artists, of all people, should know the voices in our heads have truths to speak.

Here’s a truth I’m starting to clue in on: when we start listening to the “no’s,” the “yes’s” become a whole lot clearer.

As I was hacking away at my schedule to find a writing time I would be able to stick with consistently and productively, I listened when that voice said “no.” And when it said “yes,” I listened to that too because I knew what it wanted me to do might require more discipline, but ultimately far less effort.

2. Find Time for “Pointless” Creativity

I kinda lost sight of this one over the years. I thought because I was a professional creative who showed up at the desk two hours a day, five days a week, and produced novels on a regular schedule that I was being creative every day. And, of course, I was. But after that first book was published, this creativity became work. It was fun work for the most part; certainly, it was rewarding work. But it was my job. I forgot how to play. And that right there is the linchpin to this whole dilemma.

  • Separate “Work” Writing From “Fun” Writing

At the recommendation of someone who commented on last year’s post “Are You Struggling to Be Creative? This Might Be Why” (in which I talked about a huge breakthrough I had in working through my creative block), I’m in the throes of reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

Just in reading the first chapter, it struck me: “Wow, I’ve been way more blocked than I realized.” Already, Cameron has helped me see the importance of not just showing up to do the work of writing on a regular basis, but also the importance of encouraging that old playfulness of creative spontaneity, which I took for granted as a child.

Another reason for scheduling a solid and productive time for my “work” writing is to free up time in the evenings so I can concentrate on “playing” with my creativity. I realized that if I was going to reclaim the habit of playing, I would need to make time for it. Otherwise, it wasn’t going to happen. It would get lost—just as it has gotten lost for the last ten years—in the busyness, distraction, and exhaustion of the day. Perhaps someday it will come back to me as naturally as it did when I was a kid. But for now, I see the need to be a nurturing parent to myself and make sure my imagination is getting regular play dates.

  • Talk to Your Subconscious

Not only is this creative time intended to be fun, it’s also a much-needed and oft-forgotten opportunity to give my creativity time and space (and sustenance) to do its thing. Story ideas and writing inspiration often come out of the blue. But how many of these gifts do we miss out on because we’re not primed to listen? By conscientiously using some of the following exercises, I’m showing up to my imagination, so my imagination will get back in the habit of showing up for me.

  • Journal

I’ve never been big on journaling, especially when it came to writing prompts and otherwise “not-for-real” writing. If I was going to write, why not do the important writing? But this year I’m making regular time to pursue a variety of journaling challenges. In addition to a variation of Cameron’s famed “morning pages,” I’ve also started a dream journal, a happiness journal, and I plan to begin nightly “story pages”—in which I handwrite three pages of narrative fiction about… whatever strikes my fancy.

In the past I’ve disliked writing prompts that encouraged me to write about “anything,” because how boring to have to write three on-demand pages about the mailman or the neighbor’s dog or whatever. But I’m realizing that (for me anyway), the key is to tap into my subconscious’ visual well—where all my story visuals come from. All I have to do is find that same feeling I get when I know I’m onto something good in my daydreams—and write it out. Although I hope these pages will offer grist for my actual novels, they’re really intended just for me. The writing doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just a sandbox to play in.

  • Dreamzone

I’m also planning to make regular time for dreamzoning this year. “Dreamzoning” is Robert Olen Butler’s word for intensive, purposeful daydreaming. My favored dreamzoning routine is playing music and building a fire. Historically, this is where I get all my best ideas. So really my only question to myself at this point is, “Why didn’t I make this a regular thing a long time ago?”

  • Take Your Imagination for a Walk

My characters used to perambulate with me everywhere. But along the years, I replaced them with intensive personal conversations with myself. These conversations are awesome too, but I miss my imaginary friends. I’m realizing I can reclaim them if I am disciplined enough to tone down the conversations. I’ve made it a goal this year that whenever I step foot outside (to get the mail or dump the compost bucket in the garden or go for my daily walk), I’m to skip the head-talk and instead try to just see the world around me through the eyes of my characters. The process is hardly as effortless or accessible as it used to be, but already I can feel it starting to flicker back to life around the edges of my vision.

3. Make Time Every Day to Fill Your Well

Finally, I’d be remiss not to include this third rule, which, really, is the first rule. This is the rule I’ve been working on for the past year—refilling my well.

Art, creativity, and inspiration are not talents we can muscle into submission and productivity. They must be nurtured in a holistic way. We cannot maintain a high level of creativity without committing to what I call “whole-life art.” As Anton Chekhov wisely said:

If you want to work on your art, work on your life.

The shorthand for this rule is simply “eat your veggies.” Or as Jordan Peterson put it in 12 Rules for Life, in a way that has stuck with me viscerally:

….treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping.

To whatever degree you are stressed, unhealthy, or unhappy, it will become that much harder to foster a nurturing space for your creativity. In many ways, I feel I did hardly anything creative this last year (other than half an outline), but what I was really focusing on was re-filling my sadly depleted well.

  • Don’t Put Junk in Your Body

So, yeah, eat your veggies. Your mind is a part of your body. If your body isn’t healthy, neither is your mind. Eat real food. Ditch the junk (you know what it is). And don’t think that “junk” refers just to food. I guarantee dumb YouTube videos and political rants that just make you mad aren’t helping you be more creative.

  • Read

Fill up your noggin. Pack it full of nutritious info and strong stories that make you grow. Ingest glorious, beautiful, archetypal images. Read fiction, read non-fiction, read writing guides, read books about how awesome it is to be a writer. This will totally make you want to write more.

  • Rest

As much as possible, stick to a regular sleep schedule. Maintaining a regular circadian rhythm, which is crucial to sustaining daily energy, is helped by making sure you see the sun at the same time every morning. Ain’t nobody got time to be tired.

  • Exercise

We all have basic physical needs, and we all have specific physical needs. Both need to be tended to. For me, making sure I get in a daily walk (with my characters, of course) has always been important. I started Yoga With Adriene last summer, and making it a daily practice has been transformative to my life, not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. I can’t recommend it enough. Whatever exercise regimen you choose, stick with it. Repeat after me: my mind is a part of my body.


I am extremely optimistic about what lies in store for me creatively in this coming year. I am also (trying to be) surrendered to whatever may come—and I’m learning that is the essence of a creative life.

Whether my proposed three “rules” for nurturing my writing inspiration work throughout the year remains to be seen, but I trust they will at the very least serve their purpose in helping me extend my own education and understanding of what it means to live a creative life.

Whether you too follow these “rules” this year or not, I wish you all the best with your own artist’s journey!

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! How will you seek writing inspiration in your life this year? Tell me in the comments!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. Katie,

    Excellent post. I could sense your inspiration as I was reading it! You’ll have to keep us posted on throughout the year on new discoveries, practices of creativity. One of my favorite topics of course!

    I noticed you use inspiration, creativity, imagination almost interchangeably. Good insight about order and chaos related to orderly tendency. Now I’m wondering how creativity is related to our personality, or vice verse. You’re definitely orderly. I’m not. Rules, kind of go by the wayside so to speak, so I’m stuck in chaos mode. I’m always trying to understand these matters. My current interpretation is that imagination acts like a reservoir, or storehouse of information, imagery, facts; but by itself is chaotic and disorderly. Creativity, especially when it becomes craft, as you say, acts as the rails for imagination. Inspiration is kind of like the wind. You don’t know exactly what is, or where it’s going LOL.

    Good post.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Both order and freedom, taken to extremes, eventually unbalance their own good points. Too much order becomes chaos; too much freedom becomes captivity. We all have to find a way to live on that tension point between them. Perhaps its my own bias, but I do tend to believe that we best make space for freedom and creativity when we are able to create some kind of structure or schedule to receive them. For instance, if we want to eat healthy but leave our actual diets up to the whim of the moment, it’s much harder to make good choices at meal time. But the structure is a tool, *not* the point. We lose sight of that at our own creative peril.

  2. Sally M. Chetwynd says

    In a nutshell, it’s a matter of harnessing the creative chaos without allowing order to stifle it. Or here’s another analogy: in order to fly, a kite must be anchored.

    But, far better than either of these is your statement here: “It’s that tension point between chaos and order where the magic unspools.”


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      “It’s a matter of harnessing the creative chaos without allowing order to stifle it.”

      Dead on.

  3. Algebra 2. It works. I didn’t realize it until a year after I finished Algebra 2. But My most creative year was that year, when I was doing it. Every day. And now, dipping back into A 2 again… I’m finding the creativity flowing more easily. It’s beautiful.

    • Yes, I also realized that math helps my creativity! Which is strange, because I detest math. But maybe it’s that struggle to remember and the exercise of figuring things out in my head that encourages creativity. Hate is a strong emotion and needs to be released … I guess it just comes out in my writing.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I hated Algebra. Maybe I should go back and try again. :p

  4. Well done Katie! Your posts keep getting ever worthier reading in time

  5. Thanks, K.M. Plenty of food for thought here. I think of these recommendations as good “veggie” thoughts. Happy New Year to you, and best wishes for relighting your creative fires.

  6. Great post! As a helpful (I hope…) comment, there’s a typo in your first graph: “adding something to the seen” should of course be ‘scene.’ The homophone later in the sentence no doubt made it harder to catch as the author. I know my own brain would be that far ahead as I typed, anyway… 😉

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Thanks, Rick! I actually did intend that word to be “seen,” but perhaps my meaning wasn’t clear enough from the context.

  7. Evelyn Breithaupt says

    My creativity rules for the new year center around space and home. First, I want to watch more home design programs and look at more blueprints — something about looking at living spaces sets my imagination going. Second, I want to keep my home clean and tidy. Third, I want to decorate for holidays and be attentive to natural and liturgical seasons.

    I think you are right on with all of your “rules” for the year, too! I haven’t read the book itself, but this post made me think of discussions I’ve read of Josef Pieper’s Leisure, the Basis of Culture. One big point that grabbed my attention: Pieper points out that our culture is so centered around work that we view the purpose of breaks and vacations as refreshing us so we can come back and do more work. This isn’t totally wrong, of course — breaks do refresh us so we can get back to work. But Pieper says this type of thinking is an inversion of the proper order. Work is what we do to attain some other good; leisure is what we do because it has intrinsic value in itself.

    To me, this underscores the importance of producing and appreciating art — stories are not just entertainment to refresh us for our “real work,” but intrinsically valuable in themselves. The time spent reading or writing a story is time we are being and becoming who we were created to be (and helping others do the same).

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      “Work is what we do to attain some other good; leisure is what we do because it has intrinsic value in itself.”

      I like that a lot–even though leisure is hard for me. Probably *because* it’s hard for me. :p

  8. Everything that you wrote about the effortless creativity of childhood rings so true for me. You reminded me of so many hours spent “dreamzoning” – not that I had any idea that’s what I was doing – on road trips and during math class (not the most ideal time, I realize). I work full time and am a new mom, so my circadian rhythms vary daily due to poopy diapers, teeth pushing through, and the pacifier disappearing from the crib in the night. I can definitely feel the irregularity affecting my motivation and well of ideas. But I love the idea of setting aside time to “play” with your creativity rather than using all writing time as work. Thank you so much for the tips!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      The only way I got through math classes was by making up stories about the numbers and their war-torn civilization. 😉

  9. That was very refreshing. Thank you.

  10. Thanks so much for all these tips. I struggle greatly to feed my creative side because I have so many important but not fun responsibilities in my daily life.
    I also discovered Yoga wit Adrienne several years ago and it changed my life! I still do her videos about three days a week and it really helps with the upper-body-desk-slump posture we writers get!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Adriene is awesome. I’ll think of you whenever she talks about “all people practicing with you right now.” 😉

  11. “…my mind is a part of my body…my mind is a part of my body…my mind is a part of my body…” Thanks for the new mantra. I needed that!

  12. I read The Artist’s Way in a group 10 years ago. I fell out of practice of my morning pages until a year ago when I received 5 pages single spaced plus track changes all through my ms from my editor. I got so depressed I didn’t think I could write at all. And I didn’t for a couple months. I remembered my morning pages and started the practice again and continue to this day. They helped me climb out of a serious slump and now I am often tickled by the surprising creative ideas that flow from my pen.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I’m still only halfway through the book. It’s a slow read. So much to savor and consider!

  13. Such a great article. So much to ponder and consider for one’s daily routine. I enjoyed listening to your thoughts. My writing and my structure are too orderly; too structured. It doesn’t mesh with the chaos, as you say, we find in ordinary life. Therefore, the plot becomes like a cookie-cutter process. I’m going to take your advice and try to see the world more through the thoughts of my characters. Rather than plan a trip for them, experiencing life’s problems, I’m going to look for story based on their reactions, and not how I want them to feel and react . . . (if that makes sense).

  14. Hi Kate,

    Your post refreshed and reassured me so! Play for play’s sake, isn’t it one of life’s greatest energies? And a recyclable one at that, seems the more we play the more energy we have to create 😉 I wrote about this lately in ‘Safe Hands’, my confessional-style workbook that stems from The Artist’s Way, using a few minutes of cheap or free ‘pointless’ play in the form of creative activities helps you recover from life’s knocks AND helps you reconnect with lost creativity. Old buttons arranged on paper as a flower, crappy collages, sketching badly, pretending to read the news with a French accent. Silly, fun, childlike. No skills, no expectation, and you know what? It only works 🤗

    Keep on rocking The Artist’s Way, JC is amazing no? Thanks for your podcasts reaching authors across the world.


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      “Pretending to read the news with a French accent.”

      Hah. I think we all need to do this more. 😉

  15. Stefanie Craig says

    I’m already doing a lot of this to help my physical and mental health, but I’ve found that the time I’ve set aside for writing is hard to follow for some reason. Well, time to look at the schedule and see when will be best! This has been incredibly insightful. Thank you!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Sometimes, too, it’s a matter of training ourselves to have the discipline to sit and write for long periods. I read somewhere that when we consistently do certain tasks at the same time very day, our brains get in the habit of being ready to do them at that time. I think that’s been true for me.

  16. Hugs, K.M. I hope that you get your creativity back better than ever. I can’t think of anything more scary than losing my way with words. I’ve done so in the past and thankfully have picked up the threads again. You’re right, as you age, it comes slower but the same thrill of discovery is there. Good luck!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Life is full of arcs. Nothing stays the same, and yet it is always the same. Stories teach us that. 🙂

  17. Thea T. Kelley says

    I’m curious, when y’all say “writing,” whether you’re including the little rewritings and polishings of this scene and that line after the first draft. I tend to include that as part of my writing time, because it comes from a similar place, at least some of the time. I find it hard to think of writing something new right now, just when I’ve finished draft 1 of novel 1. Should I, I wonder?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Speaking personally, when I say “writing,” I’m almost always referring to any aspect of creating a book that takes place during a daily writing session. This could be outlining, writing, revising, or even on occasion researching.

  18. Ha, these are all things I need to take care of! So thanks for the inspirations.

    I love the idea of taking your characters on a walk and look through their eyes. I tried it yesterday when I was bicycling through the city and looked through the eyes of on of my main characters. It helped me a lot!

    Walking is something I want to make routine in my life. I often forget to do it, but it nourishes me on so many levels.

    I also want to read more about the spiritual part of writing. I’m thinking about The soul tells a story (which you recomment), A million little ways by Emily P. Freeman and Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson.

    And I want to crochet more. I guess it is my playing, to make something like a doll, just because I like it. It also helps to clear my head.

  19. This is a very good post. Leaving time to play in our lives is so important for many reasons. Though I have to say I’m surprised and disappointed to see you recommend a book by Jordan B Peterson especially with controversial and divisive he can be.

  20. Thanks so much for another great blog post! There’s so much in here that I need to think about implementing too. And your suggestions about Dream-Gazing made a huge difference for me last year in overcoming some major story problems, and being able to create a comprehensive outline. All the best to you and all the other wordplayers out there!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      That’s awesome! I call it “dreamzoning,” but I actually really like the term “dreamgazing.”

  21. Olga Oliver says

    K.M. This post answered a question for me that really needed answering. Recently I had this funny story idea pop in while talking on the phone with Nita, my 85-year old sister, who has a serious stroke medical problem. She was complaining about being disabled, confined to her wheelchair. Trying to cheer her up, I suggested that she needed a white horse like the one she had when a child to live in her big backyard. She laughed, saying, “You think of the funniest things. What would I do with a horse? I’m in a wheelchair.
    “Well,” I said, if you get a white horse, I’ll get a white horse and my horse and I will come down to Florida to visit you and your horse, and we’ll plan a trip on our horses. Where would you like to go, I’d like to go to Mexico.”
    “Mexico is not for me, too dangerous. Anyway, how do you think the horses could take us on a trip? Remember, I’m in a wheelchair.”
    “Oh, Nita, that’s no problem, our horses have wings.”
    “There you go again being silly, horses with wings makes me laugh.”
    “We’ll have a little saddle built for your horse that will work perfectly.”
    “Well, where would we go in Mexico, we would need passports, how would the horses know where to go?”
    “Nita, our horses are intellectual, they know everything. They fly, they talk to each other, they listen to us. We tell them what to do. They even read the newspaper. We’ll tell them we want to travel slowly, flying over miles of gorgeous mountains. They could sit down quietly on tops of pyramids to rest and eat lunch. We’ll have so much fun.”

    Please bear with this lengthy reply. K.M., your post explains how this Tension Point between Order and Chaos worked for me through this funny little story. At the time this little horse story began I was very busy. However, the little story became electrified. It simply took over. I was on fire! I wanted to talk about these two white horses, I mentioned the idea to friends getting questioning glances. Shocking me, my sister began to show interest, calling me, adding ideas. I so wanted to get into this horse story that I began wondering about myself. What was happening to me?

    Thank you K.M. for this delightful, meaningful post. It has helped explain my venture into the white horse story. Experiencing this creative magic exploding in forms of Chaos has calmed down and now awaits in Order-ly fashion on my to-do list.

    Olga Oliver

    • These are all good ideas, but not requirements for everyone. Many prolific writers have had productive careers while not taking particularly good care of their health or doing much of anything to nourish their muse other than to spend lots of time writing, particularly if you look at the writers of the 19th and early to mid 20th century.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Olga, I love it! Sounds like a wonderful story in the making!

  22. Thanks for the reminders. 🙂 great timing.
    Lizzi Tremayne

  23. When I saw the heading I thought, “Surely there’s not going to be anything here that I don’t already know.” Thank goodness I read it anyway. It didn’t occur to me to find the right time of day to write. I usually try to get major errands done first, then write. But now that I think about it, by the time I’m done running regular errands I’m too tired to write. What I should really do is try to write before lunch because I’m almost always tired after lunch anyway.

    Regarding playfulness, why didn’t I think of that? I should know that focusing too much on one project is draining. And being playful with my writing sounds like a fun mental break. Thanks!

    Your last one is one I already try to do. I have fibromyalgia so I already know the importance of eating healthy and exercising. And I’m already an avid reader. Add rest to this list and quality family time and I’m good.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I often think of the story about putting “the big rocks” in your daily jar before the “little rocks.” If the little rocks go in first, there often isn’t enough room for the big ones. Most of us consider writing a “big rock,” and yet we often let it slide until we get the little rocks taken care of first. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  24. Hi, I felt compelled to say a huge thank you for your wisdom and your gift for giving. Your spirit and your open heart spoke to me as I listened to this podcast episode. You have helped me during a challenging time in my life – thank you so much.
    I was delighted to hear you have found Adriene Mishler. I am a committed yogi and have been following her on YouTube since 2015. Her current 30 Day Yoga Journey – Home – is remarkable and very healing.
    I am blessed to have found you and Adriene – incredible teachers and inspirational people who support and help me from afar as I move forward with my writing and in my spiritual journey.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I’m so glad the podcast was timely and helpful for you! And, yes, Adriene is an inspiration in many ways. Glad I’m not the only one benefiting from her.

  25. Olga Oliver says

    K.M. your post explaining how the Tension Point works between Order and Chaos has cleared questions I’ve experienced with a funny little story having to do with horses. At the time the little horse story began I was very busy, no time for something new. However, the little story idea became electrified overnight as if the heavens had stopped at my address and dumped two white horses in my head. It simply took over, pushing everything on my to-do list aside. I mentioned the idea to friends getting questioning glances. Shocking me, my wheelchair-bound 85-year old sister Nita at first asked if I was feeling okay when I mentioned the white-horse story. A few days later she called, adding ideas to my story. Antsy and nervous . . . I so wanted to get into this horse story that I began wondering about myself. What was happening to me?

    Thank you K.M. for this delightful, meaningful post. It helps explain my venture into the white-horse story. Experiencing this creative magic exploding in forms of Chaos has calmed down and now awaits in Order-ly fashion on my to-do list, but every time I think about it, a rare petite tingle flutters through my chest.


  26. I needed this. Thank you

  27. Melody Powers says

    I don’t know if you’ll even get to see this message from me, since I’m reading your post 6 days after you sent it. I’ve been busy helping a friend with her book. But in response to 1/13/20 I just have to say it was exactly what I needed to read. It’s very informative and inspiring and right on the mark with me right now. My creativity has dwindled the past couple months and I need to refill my well too.

    I don’t have anyone to advise me if my stories are any good. I have sent a query letter to a publisher in December but I haven’t heard back from them yet. Wish me luck!

    I love you for helping those of us who are struggling to become writers even when you are hurting yourself. You are an amazing person!

    Your Friend,


  28. “The writing doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just a sandbox to play in.” What a wonderful reminder. Reading this post also reminded me of first grade when my teacher wrote on my first report card that I spend too much time daydreaming. I realize now how guilty I feel when I’m not doing something physical such as typing, writing in a notebook, turning pages, etc. Just sitting around thinking is an activity I have difficulty defending as work. Thanks for this very necessary post. Even though I “know” the importance of creative playing and nurturing one’s inspiration, I’ve kept myself blocked. Time for the wrecking ball.

  29. Thanks for this post, Katie! I think a lot of my blocks have come down to not taking care of myself in these ways. I haven’t been reading, exercising, or eating as well as I should, and I also haven’t been using my free time in ways that actually make me feel “alive.” I’m slowly starting to turn that around, and I’m already seeing a difference in my energy levels and my mood. I’m doing less snapping at my kids and more trying to see the world through their little eyes, which is so helpful when I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. And, wouldn’t you know it, I’m becoming more interested in my dormant writing projects. Rather than the YouTube political rants you mentioned. 😉


  1. […] https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/find-writing-inspiration/ “Writing inspiration—so easy to take for granted when we have it, so hard to rekindle once […]

  2. […] a new sense of inspiration and muchness that I can only hope will stay with me past January. (https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/find-writing-inspiration/) I, like her, was a child with an insatiable imagination. But unlike her, I don’t feel mine has […]

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