Inspiration - Guest Blog by Lenore Appelhans

I'm deep in the revision cave this week, so I asked the lovely Lenore Appelhans to come by and talk about what inspires her writing. I'm so glad she agreed to guest blog. Her post has inspired me and I'm sure it will do the same for you. Thank you, Lenore!

A while back, I attended a writer’s workshop with about 15 other writers.  Most of them are still seeking publication, so I was happy to share my experiences thus far on my publishing journey.  As we discussed specific problems in each writer’s work, I was often able to give examples from novels I thought might be helpful or inspirational in some way.

After about an hour of this, one writer turned to me and said, “Wow – you sure read a lot of books! Where do you find the time?  I’m only able to read like two books a year.”

I replied that I didn’t find the time, I made the time.  And I mentioned Stephen King as someone who spends half his workday reading and half writing.  (Not that I ‘m that evolved, but it’s something to aspire to)

The workshop moved on, but I felt shaken.  How could aspiring writers not read?  I honestly cannot imagine that my writing could have matured to the point it has without all the hours, weeks, months that I spent reading.

Ok, yes, there are times when I’m under deadline pressure that I don’t manage to read.  But this can only ever be a temporary state, because if I don’t fill up my inspiration tank, my creative drive starts to sputter.

Of course reading isn’t the only way I fill up my tank, though as a writer, it is my primary way.  Seeing movies, going to concerts, walking around the city, meeting friends, travelling – all those activities help keep me from burning out and allow the ideas to flow.

Reading is not just a great source of inspiration, it’s a necessary one. So yeah. If you’re not finding the time to read, start making the time to read.  For me, that’s what made all the difference.


VERY interesting. I just commented on a different blog about the necessity of reading for authors. So, I hope you don't mind that I'm repeating it here:

Just last night, I got on my daughter about doing homework late. I asked her, "Don't you think you should have been doing that worksheet instead of watching TV?" She came back and asked, "Shouldn't you be writing instead of reading that book about the 'Mighty Miss Malone'?" I told her that reading is part of my job as a writer. I have to read in order to write. But watching TV is not part of her job as a student (unless it's assigned).

And, like you, I make time for reading because it is part of my job as a writer. So thanks for the inspiration and "confirmation".

I agree completely (though sometimes have to be reminded). Reading a well-crafted or beautifully-written book makes me want to tackle even the most difficult parts of my own. Thank you for visiting today, Lenore!

GREAT post, Lenore. I find that reading is the most JOYOUS part of my job. That one or two hours right before bed isn't only relaxing, but I also find it's a great way to connect with the greater community of writers. The books we read and share are a common denominator to who are are as a community of writers. It's the next best thing to attending a conference or workshop... opportunities for self-development, enjoyment, AND an opportunity to engage with others. Good stuff!

Wonderful post, Lenore. I so needed to hear that right now! Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for the wonderful post. I think most of us were drawn to writing novels because of our love for books. And I can appreciate a beautiful story even more now.

Awesome post!
It's so easy to forget the inspiration that's right in front of our faces.

I've become a big fan of listening to audio books (or having the Kindle read them to me) on my commute. It's a different, and helpful, experience than regular ol'reading.

Linda - I love your comment! I often have to remind my husband that reading is (a fun) part of my job and I'm not just lying around goofing off.

And thanks for having me Muses - I'm glad I could say something inspiring :)

Sometimes I have to remind MYSELF that reading is part of my job. To me, reading is easy; it's how I relax. What I need to remember is to read with purpose, and not only for researching what other kinds of ideas are coming out, but really analyzing the stories, the prose, the character arcs.

And yes, this post is inspirational - thank you!

Beth - You make an excellent point. And book reviewing on my blog really helped me to stay focussed on such aspects.

I do book reviews, too, and you're right - it does help with focusing! Going to check out your review format now.

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