Inspiration? by Linda O. Johnston

What inspires a writer to write?



Money?  Maybe.  But unless you’re a best seller,earnings aren’t necessarily inspirational.



Fun Clown

Fun?  A lot of writers consider what they’re doing to be enjoyable, and who doesn’t like finding a way to amuse oneself?



Learning something?  Maybe.  Depending on what you’re writing, it nearly always helps to do some research to ensure that what you say makes sense–or that you find a way of explaining it if it doesn’t.




TeacherTeaching something? Sure.  Whatever your subject, you may know a lot more about it than your reader, or at least you know more about your angle on it.  Let readers know what your story and its contents are all about.





Then there’s “just because.”  And I think that’s what motivates me.

Just because I enjoy it, letting my mind wander a lot of the time coming up with ideas that maybe someday can be crafted on the computer into a story.

Just because I can.  I used to be a full-time lawyer and a part-time writer who scooped an hour out of every morning before waking husband and kids and eventually heading to work.  Now, I can write full time.

Just because that’s now who I am–a writer. Typewriter and desk

So my inspiration is a bit unsolved.  I’m inspired by everything I do, everyone I know, everything I learn, to let my mind figure out what can be used in stories… and then write them.

Thomas Alva Edison is said to have come up with the now renowned quote “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”  So am I a genius? Not literally. Yes, I grab onto inspiration. I admit to not perspiring much at my computer since I have an air conditioner nearby. But figuratively–I do spend a lot of time at it, and that can be considered a kind of perspiration.

Still, I’m no genius, but I am a writer who’s addicted to what she does.

And maybe I’ll even use this blog post to inspire me to start another mystery or romance one of these days…


Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, writes the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink. She has also written the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink as well as the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spin-off from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime.  She additionally currently writes the K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense about a ranch where dogs are trained, as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries about shapeshifters for Harlequin Nocturne.  And yes, they all involve dogs. Her most recent release is her 48th published novel, with more to come…soon.

Recent publications:

Pick and Chews  Second Chance Soldier

14 thoughts on “Inspiration? by Linda O. Johnston”

  1. To All Our Followers – Linda is on a special mission out of the country and has gone off the grid for a while, so when you post a comment, you might not get a response immediately unless one of our group can respond to you. But you can bet she is gathering some great research material for her next book. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We will enjoy hearing about your travels at lunch in June. Glad you guys had a good time. It will sure add to your “inspiration” for a new book.


  2. About the only one I don’t do it for is the money because I am a realist, but I do like to pass along information I glean from research and I do like to teach as in my workbook on writing. But most of all, just because I was born a writer.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I write because I must. And because I’m brimming over with ideas. Linda, it was a pleasure meeting you at Malice. Safe travels.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Maggie, Just as Linda said in her blog, I think most of us writers do it because it is who we are. Isn’t that wonderful? Yes.


  4. Inspiration. I’ve never heard a definitive explanation of where it come from, like a sprite that magically appears when we least expect it. As you pointed out, its source doesn’t matter as much as what we do with it. We should treat inspiration like a seed that needs to be tended to and nurtured so it can grow into something wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Late to the party, Linda. Sorry, but life (or work) sometimes takes over. I love the idea of “just because” – as that is so freeing. I certainly don’t write for the money, and I am still at that “trying to snatch an hour before or after work” place. So the “just because” idea makes it feel less pressured. I am amazed at how many books you get written. Something for me to aspire to. Thanks!


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