Meet the Author

Although it seems counter intuitive, readers are primarily interested in the author after which they’ll read their books. An author could, for example, write prolifically yet have readers want to know intimate details about them. Readers, I’ve come to understand, long for this intimate knowledge combined with an emotional rapport with the author. It’s that “special bond” that lets readers know you’re human and that you care—about them and the world around you, generally speaking.

Let me tell you a bit about myself

When I was a teenager, I read Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, Manifest Your Destiny. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I already mentioned this. Although I’m repeating myself, I’d like to tell you more about my discovery now.

I read the book in a secret hiding place: our home’s verandah, where all the unused yet accumulated clutter was stored. I chose the verandah because I didn’t want anyone to know I was reading such a book. That’s because, on some level, I knew that what the book said was extremely powerful and that, provided one believed, it could happen. I remember squatting, surrounded by messiness (an old bicycle, my enormous, stuffed Clifford toy), staring at the book’s cover with its yellow hue and smiling author who mesmerized me. I looked at a then younger version of Dr. Dyer wondering, “Who is this man who knows such things?”

After reading the book, I promptly forgot all about it and proceeded to do all of the things (read, societally approved and expected behaviour) that everyone does. The idea, though, that manifesting one’s destiny was possible, however, remained planted somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind. It didn’t fade away. It remained for future reference.

As a teenager reading Dr. Dyer’s book, the idea that I could write books which would be distributed and sold all over the planet arose in my mind. It was probably too much for me to absorb, then, which is why I blocked it out.

There’s a time for everything

In the same way that we can’t force a flower to bloom, we can’t make an idea germinate before its time. Forcing something before its time can have counter productive, not to say disastrous, effects.

Dream time book planet

Image courtesy of dreamtime.

How to Write When You Have Zero Time

Today was a wonderful day because I wrote two more chapters for SD: HTLTLYL (abbreviated).

For the past month, my life has been a blur. I’ve been on the go virtually nonstop, performing as if I were a robot instead of a person. I barely had time for grooming let alone writing. Having said that, how can one write when one has no time?

Out of the country and on the road, it seems as if I have zero time. Yet, the moment came when, all of a sudden, in a burst of inspiration, I knew that two more chapters—yes, the more or less predictable two—had arrived.

I wrote. They were good chapters, made sense and seemed to emerge spontaneously. And they were related to the experiences I’d been having.

Writing comes naturally

The honest truth is that I wasn’t able to write until today. During a quiet moment, I knew that the words had arrived. It was almost as if they’d waited until this very moment. The words knew that I was too busy to pen them and had waited. They’d waited somewhere in the misty world where words wait for authors. It’s a space that exists somehwere beyond where I will ever know. Nevertheless, this space exists and it holds onto words until the right moment.


The words arrived at the very moment when I became available to receive them. The words somehow knew that my busyness had come to a temporary halt, and they came. It’s almost as if they asked, “Would you like two more chapters now?”

Perfect progression

The two chapters for the e-book SD: HTLTLYL, an e-book about which I’d had zero time to think about, came as a natural progression to where I’d left off. I did not have to remember or figure out anything, the words just came and made perfect sense.

Like a computer program

If, as authors, we make ourselves available, the words we’ve been waiting for will come. I know this to be true because I experienced it. I would describe it as a computer program that is made to generate books, too many to count. Each book is there, waiting in line, waiting for its turn to emerge from the “waiting room.” The words, paragraphs and chapters are ready, just waiting for me to record them.

When inspiration strikes

Inspiration knows when to come. It comes when there’s an opening; when you, the author, have a free moment. That’s when it comes. Your job is to “listen” and write down the words.

This is how to write when you have zero time.

Painted Mountain II

“Painted Mountain II” Photographer: Luba Rascheff

On Inspiration vs. Struggling to Write

I finished a short book, 101GNOA (abbreviated), and am working on 101GNOA, 2. I find that when I have a book in ready format (for Amazon, Kindle, for example), it’s very easy to expand upon what has already been written. You’ll be hearing more about these two, little power-punching books in about five months from now or so once they clear copyright.

Although some may disagree, for me personally, inspiration is the key to good writing. Without inspiration, I don’t believe that I would be able to offer readers memorable material.

There is a certain humanity to Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth that has stayed with me over the years. I can’t say the same for the multitude of novels I’ve read, some written by well-known authors. This speaks volumes about an inexplicable quality that has so much more to do with the soul than an ability to mechanistically assemble carefully crafted sentences  like car parts in a factory.

What is it, therefore, that makes one story—or parts thereof—stick to one’s memory and others slip away into oblivion?

Research and critical thinking

Combined with inspiration is research and critical thinking. When inspiration comes—and count your blessings when it does—you’ll need to structure it in such a way as to make sense. There must be cohesion and it must fit inside a larger context. In other words, it’s got to make sense; and I’m not just talking about the plot, names of characters, event sequence, color cordination, etc. I’m referring to meaning that goes beyond syntax, grammar, spelling, plot, paragraph formation, suspense and conclusion.

The flow

When I write and feel inspired, there is a ‘flow’ that starts which can be likened to a flowing stream of water. Momentum builds up and content ‘pours’ out of me. This is the kind of inspiration that writers should aspire for. Why? Why should we be inspired at all? I believe that writers for whom it is the case should stop struggling in order to express themselves.

The big secret is that writing can and should be a lot easier than it’s made out to be, provided you’re inspired.


Working versus struggling

To say that one must struggle in order to produce memorable content is a myth.

Doing research for, say, a historical novel—I’ve done this and can speak to it—constitutes work but doesn’t represent a struggle. Struggling is when we must exert effort in order to say something.

Uplifting oneself toward inspiration

To be inspired one has to seek inspiration or, at the very least, be open to  receive it. When inspiration ‘knocks’ at the door, it’s up to you to open it.

Inspiration will come, but it won’t come all the time. That’s because it isn’t humanly possible to be inspired at all times. It is, however, within the realm of possibility to be inspired some of the time.

Whatever its frequency, inspiration is the source of memorable content that makes an impact and changes lives.

May you be inspired!

Inspiration image



How to tap into Inspiration

Do you ever look at a blank page and can’t seem to write a word? You have no idea at all what to write. You may start with something, struggle, and then, after a while, stop. You may even write several pages and then crumple them up because you feel dissatisfied with what you’ve written.

These are signs that you lack inspiration.

Inspiration, whose origin in Middle English means “divine guidance” and, via the Old French from the late Latin verb “inspirare,” means “breathe or blow into ‘from in-‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone.'” 1

Many people today know that by performing breathing exercises they engage in meditation. These kinds of exercises enable people to relax and “tap into” inspiration.

No rush here

If you want to be inspired, the best thing is not to rush. Forcing something will get you nothing but dissatisfaction.  It’s like trying to make a flower grow. A typical flower grows naturally when it’s well rooted in soil and receives enough sunshine and water. The process cannot be rushed. It’s the same way with writing.


I believe that time plays a great role in receiving inspiration. If you can’t seem to come up with something, take a break, relax and drink a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. This will put your mind off of forcing yourself to come up with something. As you relax, over time, thoughts will traverse your mind. One thought will lead to another and, all of a sudden, you’ve come up with an idea for your blog post, chapter or novel!


Although the thoughts will be brief and almost like ‘sparks,’ you then need to enhance them by adding more to what you’ve received. This is where the hard work of writing and editing comes in. You will need to ‘dig’ around the ‘flower’ of your thoughts, clear out the ‘weeds’ and make sure you add plenty of ‘water.’

Nurture your inspiration

The ‘sparks’ you receive need to be nurtured in order to bloom into the beauty that they were always meant to be:  an inspired project. You need to nurture the seeds of inspiration so that they can grow. In many ways, writing a good blog post, chapter or novel is like cooking a great meal. My Aunt Sue says that if you put love into your cooking, the result will be wonderful.  It’s the same way with writing.

Don’t overcook the meal

Adding too many words to a project can be disastrous because your literary inspiration could ‘go up in flames.’  It’s important to say just enough, but no more than what is necessary.

May you be inspired today.

Beautiful Swan

Image title:  “Beautiful Swan”

Photographer:  Luba Rascheff


1 Oxford Dictionaries