A lot of people seem to think writers recline on the sofa all day, waiting for inspiration to strike. On the other hand, there are all those quotes from working writers about how they just sit in a chair eight hours a day and work, inspiration has nothing to do with it. So which is true?
Well, both. Inspiration is what creates the spark of an idea in the first place. Inspiration is what keeps you interested in that idea, as characters, plot points and emotional climaxes occur to you one by one throughout the writing process. Inspiration keeps you afloat as you face draft fifteen of the first episode, or yet another notes meeting with a totally different group of execs to the ones you met last time, all of whom have contradictory ideas.
But inspiration is like love – you don’t *feel it* all the time. The wild flush of emotions you feel when you fall in love aren’t supposed to last through a fifty year marriage, and the first flush of inspiration won’t last through the writing of a novel or a screenplay either. But that’s fine. They’re supposed to be replaced by new emotions, a new and evolving relationship with the loved one – or the script.
So if you’re a new(-ish) writer who’s worried that you don’t feel excited about your idea any more – don’t be. That’s perfectly normal. This is where discipline takes over from inspiration, and you rely on your craft, and the memory of what it was you wanted to say or experience in the first place, to get the work done…