Writing Inspiration #37

Octavia Butler, the sci-fi superstar wrote more than 5000 words daily. If it wasn’t her manuscript, she was seen jotting down her thoughts in a daily journal she held almost all her life. But never did a day go by when she did not write. And that is an ardent practice of most of the famous names from the writing universe.

As the grand dame believed, writers often give up on writing believing it is the lack of inspiration. But she was someone who believed it wasn’t inspiration that took your writing places. It is habit. That one must not wait for inspiration to come but keep scribbling no matter what, and ideas gradually come along. She held on to this belief by emphasising on how habit, and not inspiration works wonders if you have to achieve a successful writing career as an author or something else. Her words as captured in her memoir ‘Conversations with Octavia Butler’ I have shared with you below.


Many bloggers and budding authors I have stumbled upon this journey complain to be in the grip of a most jarring writer’s block for months. Upon enquiring how they tackle it, I have received responses not too far away from ‘lack of inspiration’, in essence. But then I ask, is it true – does habit precede inspiration in creative fields such as ours, in beating writing blues?

Oft times, I battle with myself because lack of inspiration or motivation seems at large and it wouldn’t even help move a pebble let alone a brick. Habit, as I have experienced, doesn’t salve the burning patches in a tedium-filled conscience ready to quit. Perhaps, I ought to try it out more rigorously, more persistently, as Butler points out.

What do you think? What helps better in the face of a writing crisis – Inspiration or Habit?

Experiencing a writing block? Visit @badbookthief on Instagram for writing inspiration.

Happy writing till we meet next.

Until then, carpe diem! 🙂


© Asha Seth

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