Seventh in the 1K a Day Motivational Series, in which I talk about something that happened in the previous week that could have or did prevent me from writing a minimum of 1,000 words on a given day, or possibly talk about something that provided support to get me through the day.
This past week I was working through some bad days at work, just in general feeling a little bit nonplussed about writing or creation in general. I’ve been spending so much more time writing this year on account of the challenge that I’ve been giving less time to the inspirational pursuits of reading, watching movies and TV, playing video games, and the like. By the weekend I had begun to feel particularly drained of inspiration, which is to say I wanted to stop writing.
Instead of doing that, I broke off from my writerly pursuits for a little while and sought out something new and unexpected. So this is doubtless going to be a recurring post, works that I found which helped recharged my mental batteries. Maybe one per month? I dunno. I’ll include a reason why it is inspiring to me, and a place you can experience it for yourself.
Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig. Those who follow my blog know that I’m a fan of Chuck Wendig. At least of his flash fiction challenges which tend to be where my short story ideas come from. What you may not be aware of is that up to now I haven’t read a whole lot of his fiction. To date this is the second Wendig novel I’ve read, but it’s got this quality about it that you just don’t see in young adult fiction very often. I wasn’t entirely pleased with the first Wendig novel, but this one’s got a kickass, flawed, brutal girl in the lead role who often doesn’t think before she punches, and she punches a lot.
But there’s something additional about Atlanta Burns that is the reason I added it to my list here: It is reminiscent of the S.E. Hinton oeuvre, those seminal teen fictions like The Outsiders and Tex and That Was Then, This Is Now that inspired not just a single generation, but several generations to come. They aren’t white-washed and clean, parent-approved stories. They are gritty and real, dealing with sex, drugs, rock and roll, broken homes, and lost friends in a way that doesn’t glorify or demean them. They are parts of a teenager’s life and so they are written about with the respect the topics deserve.
Atlanta Burns has that similar feel; maybe a little more gritty and violent. S.E. Hinton for the Millenial Generation.
So the point of all this is to say that sometimes you just have to put your pen away and open a book, or turn on the TV, or go have a conversation. Find that which inspires you and take it in like Imhotep in that scene in The Mummy when he desiccates that dude to make himself stronger.
And always remember to write the hell on, writers.