Goodreads asked Matthew Bruce Alexander:

How do you get inspired to write?

Matthew Bruce Alexander Whenever I have a good idea, I get inspired to write. Of course, at least half of my ideas come as I am writing, so sometimes you just have to sit down and write and trust that things will happen. And sometimes I need someone to smack me so I'll take my own advice.

Orson Welles told a story of when he, his wife, Hemingway and EH's wife went to a ballet. Apparently, it was, for the men, a very boring ballet. At one point, Hemingway muttered, "Christ, I'd rather be writing!" A lot of authors really struggle with a blank page.

My experience is more mixed. There are times when I feel compelled to write, times when I want to do anything but, times when I don't want to but really get into it once I start. There's a joke about sex and the stereotypical housewife in there somewhere.

What I do find, though, is that even on days when writing feels like pulling teeth, when I'd rather be kneeling on a hard floor in church, I produce stuff as high of quality as anything else I do. Reading afterward, I can't tell the difference between my enthusiastic writing and my grimly dutiful writing. I never have any truly great ideas if I'm not in the mood, but as long as I have a plan for where I'm going, I can do good work - by my standards at least - any time I muster the discipline to write.

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more