Poet’s Chat: When Inspiration Fails, Go Back to Your Original Inspiration

Poet’s Chat


Inspiration is hard to come by when life is busy and it seems all you can do is just sit and stare at a blank screen or you don’t have time and stare at the blank pages of your journal. For me, this happens to be a case that occurs repeatedly. Life is often busy and usually hard as things come up causing me to wither or want to hide away. Actually I eat my emotions most of the time but I’m getting better at it than I have before. College isn’t easy nor are family problems, but don’t let it burn up all the muse you had inside you like I allowed it to do to me. Life’s too short and here’s what I have to say about dead muses.

I found out that going back to what inspired me to write helps a lot. People say don’t let what inspire you influence your writing but I say bull! I go back to W.B. Yeats, John Donne, Dylan Thomas and many other poets that have inspired me to write. I re-read books whether from my childhood or adult hood to gain inspiration in writing.  Writing inspires writing to me and if it works then I go back to it. One book that I really love because of the descriptive way it describes the world in which you follow the protagonist is Phantastes. I read it in undergrad and just love it! I wish I had kept the book but I was low on money and it was the only book they would take back. I feel bad about that but I bought it on Kindle for really cheap so I’m happy to have it back in my life. Reading just one page inspires me. Kind of like W.B. Yeats’ poem The Cap and Bells. Such an inspiration poem for fantasy romance.

I listen to songs that have created muse for me before.  I have a strange taste in music and I blame my parents for that. The music I really love comes from New Age. I can listen to Kitaro’s strange enigmatic sounds forever. I also enjoy Shadowfax and Enigma, who I think is no longer considered New Age. Back in my middle school and high school days they were but then again New Age kind of music groups that no one knew where to place them. Haha!

I also listen to what used to be called death metal (not sure if it still exists) with bands like Kamelot, Blind Guardian, Nightwish (first band in the genre for me), and others. People are always surprised when I mention them but I like the kind of fantastical feel they have through their music. Even if some of the bands go a little crazy. Blind Guardian, I am looking at you! But they inspired a lot of works in my head that I should probably write down but one of my worlds is so bizarre I think I would be the only one to appreciate it.

See? Going back to what inspired you doesn’t mean that you’re going to imitate the author or be persuaded to go the same route. Even fi it does sometimes going a same route as another author helps others find their own voice. I know Yeats’ way of writing and John Donne’s inspired me to write similarly and after awhile I found my own voice. I am still finding my own voice especially in prose since prose is so hard for me to write. That’s why my blog mostly consists of poetry. I can easily write poetry and feel good about it more than my prose.

However, don’t let what inspires you get in the way of what you want to write. I learned that the hard way when I was overwhelmed by the people I liked. After reading Sir Phillip Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella I wanted to write something pic like it and foolishly tried. Let’s just say don’t do it unless you have the confidence to. But do not feel bad if you do try and it doesn’t turn out how you like it. You can always go back and edit or just try again with a different approach.

Never give up writing.

I guess that’s what I’m trying to say here. Go back to what inspired you to write in the first place. Find that center and hold onto it. Let the muse come to your naturally.  Do not force it but do not give up writing completely. I wish you all luck in your endeavors into writing as I am still struggling in mine.


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