on Writing & Publishing

Capturing Moments of Passionate Inspiration to Produce your Best Writing

What is "passionate inspiration"?

Passionate inspiration occurs when you feel so inspired by something that you become engulfed with passion.

It might be triggered by a random blog post or comment that you read. It could be a conversation with a friend or an unexpected exchange with a stranger.

Whatever triggers it, you usually know when it happens. You suddenly feel a spark of inspiration followed by a flood of enthusiasm. A stream of ideas quickly turns into a river and before you know it you can’t keep up!

It doesn't matter what type of writing you do -- perhaps you're a novelist, a journalist, a poet, or a programmer -- this experience is universal among writers. If you’re a blogger, this flood of ideas -- this flood of inspiration, is something you know would make for good blog post. It's something you’d love to magically see go from brain to blog.

So do it!

The very moment it happens, do whatever you can to capture that inspirational passion.

If you’re lucky enough to be sitting in front of your computer, open a blank text document and just start typing. Maximize the window or make it full screen. Don’t worry about the post title or overall theme. Don’t worry about the spelling, the grammar, or the sentence structure.

Just write.

Get those thoughts out of your head. As soon as this flow starts it’s hard to stop, so the sooner you start capturing that energy the more you’ll capture.

Some of the best writing I have ever done has happened this way.

If I go back and reread posts that I have written in times of passionate inspiration, I will be amazed that I actually wrote them -- it won’t even sound like me! Everything will echo so well with my beliefs and thought patterns, but I will feel as though I was reading something written by a total stranger!

And it's happened again. This blog post was the result of a "spark of passionate inspiration". Here’s how it started:

I was catching up with the articles in my RSS reader when I skimmed across a post by Glen Allsopp called A New Way to Look At Writing Blog Posts. As I read the title I started thinking about the method of writing that I’m talking about right now: Writing in times of passionate inspiration. Throughout reading the article, thoughts on writing with passionate inspiration began building.

Glen's article ended up being about something other than what I had in mind, but nevertheless the spark was made; the floodgates were opened for the idea to start flowing.

Without hesitation, I opened my writing application to channel that torrent of passionate inspiration and this post was born.

One of the things I find most interesting about writing in a times of passionate inspiration is that the sentences and paragraphs seem to come together effortlessly; they rarely need any editing. It’s as if my brain is operating so clearly and so efficiently that it guides itself -- as if some higher force is at the helm.

Glen's technique of "writing until you’ve said everything you want to say, then edit[ing] after" seems vital to the process of writing with passionate inspiration. It’s extremely easy to get caught up in rearranging paragraphs and rewording sentences. Oftentimes that’s just enough distraction to lose the connection to the flow of inspiration.

When you’re writing, do your best to block out all unrelated thoughts.

You’ll have plenty of time for those other thoughts when you switch back to editing mode.

(Oddly enough, I find myself in the paradoxical situation of writing a blog post about passionate inspiration while trying not to lose the passionate inspiration that triggered the idea in the first place…)

If you catch yourself losing focus, try skimming what you’ve already written to see if you can get back on track and reconnect. If what triggered the inspiration was something you read, try reading it again. If it was a verbal interaction with someone, try recalling what was said or recreate the moment in your head.

Passionate inspiration that sparks an urge to write doesn’t exactly occur all the time -- at least it certainly doesn’t for me -- and finding a way to actively recreate this experience is probably still as much on your todo list as it is mine.

However, I'm beginning to believe that this experience isn’t something that can be created per se, but rather must be tuned into to; it must be received.

We are all fully capable of experiencing passionate inspiration on a regular basis if we tune into our unique "inspiration channel".

So, how do we find our unique "inspiration channel"?

Over the past few days I've been directing my focus more towards being myself; towards being totally and brutally honest and truthful about my own aspirations and beliefs.

I've turned my attention away from external influences that told me how to craft a blog post or why I needed to figure out a theme for my blog. I've been consciously letting go of external expectations of who I should be, what I should be doing, or how I should be doing it.

Incredibly, from this sudden change in focus effortlessly arose a more defined life purpose and a list of things I do and don’t believe in, a post about Finding the Courage to Be Yourself, and this post about Capturing Moments of Passionate Inspiration to Produce your Best Writing.

By shifting my focus inward and listening to what was going on inside, several small, seemingly insignificant events around me -- from the title of a blog post in my RSS reader to an unexpected encounter with my sister at Starbucks -- sparked passionate inspiration not once, but several times.

A coincidence? I don’t think so.

I'm certainly not going to pretend to have the magic solution to finding passionate inspiration, but I feel confident in saying that it must come from a change within us; from a change in our perspective.

We need to clear our minds and listen. We must become receptive to inspiration and passionate to do something with it.

Inspiration is everywhere. We just need to slow down and listen for it.

Have you experienced passionate inspiration? What came of it? Do you have any specific methods of reconnecting with or triggering such moments? Please share in the comments below!

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11 Comments

  1. I love the feeling of passionate inspiration! And writing is the perfect outlet to capture inspired thoughts… Several of my blog posts were triggered by passionate inspiration. I’ll definitely try to become more receptive to it, I’ve never even thought of it that way.

    • You’re right Neal, writing is the perfect outlet to capture, and share!, inspired thoughts. I didn’t even realize that until now!

      BTW, your blog looks full of awesome info. I’ll have to set aside some time to check out some of the posts. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by! 🙂

  2. I hear you on this Raam. I too operate similarly where writing just flows effortlessly when I can tap into that inspiration channel. Those are the best days. When you slow down and take inspiration and joy from everything around you. thanks for the reminder 😀

  3. This is pretty much the only way I can write. Any other way borders on painful.

    But after writing with inspiration, I like to go back with a left brain approach and tidy things up.

    Nice posting Raam.

    BTW- I finally got that site setup, in the URL.

    • Hey Ali!

      For those who write for a living (for their food and shelter), I can only imagine how difficult it must be to write when you’re “not in the mood”. I’m trying to do more writing, but I don’t want it to feel like a chore (otherwise it tends to show through in the content). Everyone has their own way of “activating” moments of inspiration — I’m on a quest to find mine!

      Your new site looks fantastic! Congratulations!

  4. You are so right.

    Some days I “feel” it while on others days I don’t. On the days I don’t have it, I tell myself not to panic and the inspiration, and good writing will return.

    On the days that I’m feeling it, I just let it rip for as long as the inspiration allows!

    • Hey Alex! I think it’s all about maximizing the use of those moments when we “feel” it; taking maximum advantage of those rare opportunities and not spending too much time trying to force the inspiration.

      Thanks for the comment and for stopping by!

  5. Raam:

    It was a pleasant surprise to come across this post.

    As usual, great work. It seems you have a gift.

    Over the years, there have been innumerable examples of creative people who have experienced “stream of consciousness” work. For example, a writer becomes a vessel which holds water…and the water starts to flow. Without any let or hindrance.
    Almost as if the water has a mind of its own.

    This state of flow is not limited, by the way, to only “creative” types. It has been widely reported by professional athletes as well. Michael Jordan has often talked about it: “I was in the zone.” Time stands still when you are in the zone…and once you start to flow, words mix with ideas and a writer creates magic.
    A writer’s pen becomes a magic wand and, like a magician, the writer churns out material, page after page, and forgets to eat, drink and use the rest-room.

    Have I experienced this? You bet, but only when I trust the subconscious, that witch who creates magic potions. At other times, I have been stumped when I have tried to force my writing. And writer’s block is a reality for many of us creative blokes too–not because we are lazy or making excuses. That’s why creativity is a mistress with both quirks and charms.

    • Thank you for the great addition to this post, Archan!

      Trusting our subconscious in moments of passionate inspiration is an important part of being able to produce results, be it in athletics or writing.

      I really like the metaphor of a writer becoming a “vessel which holds water”. The challenge is in pouring that water carefully to create something beautiful, rather than sloshing it around and letting the water spill out at random.

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