How to Start: by Ina Schroders-Zeeders

writers-blockIf someone asks me where I get my inspiration from, I never know what to say, so I thought about it. For my novels, I just think about what could happen to people, what would be nice to have as adventure. For my poems, there is usually a word, a sound, a thought floating around. It could be anything, that pops up unexpectedly to ponder and make lines from.  To get between logic and imagination, and dig out the possibilities of language. To see if I can make a newer way of seeing. And if nothing is about, I just start writing. Usually on my laptop screen, but paper works too.

Start with a sentence or a line and see what happens. The synopsis for the story or the poem soon gets a life of its own. Words pop up, new ideas, and some of them are allowed to stay. And so another story is born, or a new poem.

It doesn’t happen often, but at times nothing, absolutely nothing comes up. For a writer that this is their livelihood  that is a disaster. Writer’s block. I know I just have to keep at it and try again, and eventually it vanishes. But it can take a while and you have to be patient.

When you get stuck with writers block, it is nice to know you can trigger inspiration. The things I like to do: take a very long walk (seaside, dunes, woods), or read a really good book (Nabokov, Nicci French), listen to good music (Mozart), or, and this works very well too: get drunk. Get really really drunk, cry a lot, and the hangover will make you so miserable, you will have enough stuff to write about for months.

Inspiration usually comes as I wonder through the landscape of my imagination. And the good part is, I can do it at home while outside a Siberian air-stream is howling.


Ina black & WhiteIna is the author of Veritas and the upcoming poetry collection, Amor, set for release in August 2013

Ina Schroders-Zeeders was born in the Netherlands, on the beautiful tourist-destination island of Terschelling. Her fascination with the sea began at an early age as she and her mother would frequently accompany her Merchant-Marine-Captain father on his adventures. Read more about Ina on her Author Page.