Sunday, February 14, 2016

Dear Writer, Inspiration Never comes on Schedule | Landon Roussell

Dear Reader, today, on Ama et Bemma, we will be continuing our "Dear Writer" series with a guest post from Landon Roussel. Landon eloquently speaks to the bouts (or lack) of inspiration and persistence that a writer goes through. Being settled into the New Year, I find that such a message is important. We made goals (perhaps some were writing goals), and these goals may be not be coming to fruition the way we wanted. Reading Landon's post will let you know that the inspiration you seek will come gradually. Landon is the author of "On the Primitive way," a memoir that I will be reading and reviewing in a few months. Also, by the way, Happy Valentines day everyone.

Follow Landon Rousell on: Goodreads; His Blog; Amazon; Twitter; Google Plus

Dear Writer,

Inspiration never comes on our own schedule. At least, not usually. I don’t think I am alone in having the frequent experience of picking up the pen to write and just not being able to craft a piece as inspiring or as insightful the first go around as I would like. Certainly publishable first drafts happen, but they are not the norm. Instead, drafting a solid work of literature is always more of a process of revising than it is simply putting words down the first time. But in persisting with the cumbersome editing process, I’ve found that simply making time to listen to my voice (either through re-reading, comments from editors or input from beta readers) will allow that much-needed inspiration to come.

That was my experience writing my first book. After deciding that I was going to write a book about the story of my reconciliation with my brother on the Way of St James (El Camino de Santiago), I found that even after the arduous process of getting my thoughts on paper the first time, there was still much work to be done. The story needed to be refined, deepened and fleshed out to be a more palatable and moving read. During the many rounds of reviewing my own drafts, comments from editors and input from beta readers, I would admittedly find myself tempted at times to impatience, as one naturally wants to see one’s work come to fruition. But like a fine wine, good writing must ferment in the bottle before it is opened for the public. And the patience paid off, for when I published my book last month, I released a work to the public that I am comfortable with and can stand behind. Is it perfect? Of course not, but after many rounds of editing and proof-reading, I can attest to the work as a piece of writing in which I am confident.

There were many days when I found myself frustrated with my progress. Sometimes I would just have to put down the pen and go for a run or go to work. At first, I wanted to have the book published by August. Then when that didn’t happen, I hoped for October. Finally, I hunkered down in November with all the comments from editors, proofreaders and beta readers to finish the work. Even now, after publishing the work, I find new insights about my story, either through my own re-reading or through the thoughtful commentary of reviewers. That is okay, I believe, for the process of telling a story or expressing an idea can always be filled with new inspirations. With persistence, inspiration will come, though not necessarily on my own schedule. And if I keep working with the pen, I know that my writing will continue to mature, and so too will I.

~Landon Roussel

Ama et Bemma: Landon has an amazing talk about his won story. It is, in my opinion, TEDTalk quality, and I hope you all take a moment or two to listen to it. I am quite moved by Landon's story and I am really excited to read his memoir when it arrives in my mailbox.

Here is his book trailer:


  1. Thanks for this -- good to know I'm not alone.

    1. Most of us aren't! That's why I started the "Dear Writer" series. I wanted writers to have a way to know that there are many others out there feeling the same things!

      Thanks for commenting on the blog, Coreena!


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