The first was, when inspiration strikes and you are on a mental roll with something you need to work on (in my case, the rewrite of the first few pages of my novel), for crying out loud, write it down as soon as possible.
Example: A couple of weeks ago, I was up in the night rocking my baby, who was in pain from yet another molar breaking through. As he quieted and was falling back to sleep, my mind began to review the first chapter and how I wanted to rework it. I got into a really good flow, seeing clearly, word for word, what I needed to do. Once the baby was in bed, did I immediately go to my notebook? No. I gratefully collapsed back in bed to write another day. The next day, during my writing time, the new scene was still pretty fresh in my mind, but I determined that I needed to keep moving forward with the story and not start the rewriting process yet.
So, this week I'm working on my rewrite and having to painfully dredge up from my weak memory the fine details of my inspiration.
Next, I have been trying to read some modern romantic novels to get some inspiration for the romantic subplot of my story. After reading a couple from some top authors and being underwhelmed, and finally, trying to read one that was so bad I couldn't get past page two, I decided that romance is timeless and rather than forcing my way through work that is mediocre, I needed to return to the master - Jane Austen.
I chose Persuasion as the title to re-read because its love story has an element similar to mine (true lovers separated for several years are reunited and sorting out their feelings for each other). Here is the passage that made me believe again. It is when our heroine Anne Elliot meets her former love Captain Wentworth for the first time in eight years:
Mary talked, but she could not attend. She had seen him. They had met. They had been once more in the same room.
Soon, however, she began to reason with herself, and try to be feeling less. Eight years, almost eight years had passed, since all had been given up. How absurd to be resuming the agitation which such an interval had banished into distance and indistinctiveness! What might not eight years do? Events of every description, changes, alienations, removals-- all, all must be comprised in it, and oblivion of the past--how natural, how certain too! It included nearly a third part of her own life.
Alas! with all her reasonings she found that to retentive feelings eight years may be little more than nothing.
I hope you all find inspiration this week, and if you do, for heaven's sake write it down! Who knows, maybe someone will be citing you almost 200 years from now.