#TheWriteWay Post 7: Inspiration
Hello everyone, and welcome to #TheWriteWay post number seven! September is here in full swing.
Today, I'd like to talk about something important...
Inspiration! This is the thing that sparks an idea and encourages you to write.
Now, you might not always have inspiration to write. I write every day, and sometimes, I'm tired, frustrated, busy, etc. I still force myself to sit down and do it, anyway.
As a famous writer once said, "the water doesn't flow until the faucet is turned on." Sometimes, the best way to conquer writer's block and a lack of inspiration is to just start writing and see what comes out.
It might be crap, but crap makes good fertilizer. You can always edit a story and make it better later.
If your inspiration has been on the wane lately (thanks, COVID), here are some ways to get it back.
Read A Good Book
This one is obvious. All writers should be constantly reading something, even if it's just one book a month. This helps to make connections in the brain and give you possible ideas.
Turn To Nature
Nature has always been a big inspiration for me. I encourage everyone to go for a walk. Look at the trees, the blue sky, and the twittering birds. There's a story everywhere you go -- you just need to look to find it.
Look At Your Dreams
Dreaming is my favorite thing (if insomnia isn't kicking my butt, that is.) Even when I'm asleep, my brain is turning my thoughts into scenarios. I've had some very vivid dreams -- featuring dragons, magic, spaceships. You name it. They're not always coherent and full of sense, but I have gotten a few good ideas out of my dreams. At the very least, they can provide some fun visuals.
Make A List of What Inspires You
What are your favorite stories? What do you like about them? For example, I love Star Trek. Why? It's full of hope -- optimistic for the future. I like science, aliens, and spaceships, too. Don't be afraid to borrow from popular franchises (as long as you're not outright plagiarizing.)
Listen to People
People are fascinating. Some of my favorite things to do includes people watching. I know it might be hard in a pandemic when we're all encouraged to social distance, but the next time you're out, listen to what people are saying. There might just be a story hidden in there (like a failed date, awkward moment, or funny anecdote.)
Don't be discouraged if you aren't inspired right away. Your brain is always thinking and processing new ideas, even when you think it isn't. Your next great idea could be an hour or two away! My best ideas have come not when I'm trying to force it, but when I'm relaxed and have had time to think.
Creativity begets creativity. What I mean by that is one idea will spiral into another, and then another, and then another. I don't struggle with finding ideas -- I struggle with having too many! It can be a challenge trying to decide which idea to work on next, and I know many writers with this same problem.
(I'd like to do a blog post soon on deciding which idea out of many is the right one to choose. Maybe the next #TheWriteWay post!)
There you have it -- five ways to engage your imagination and find inspiration. Tell me, how do you get inspired as a writer? Does an idea hit you out of the blue, or does it only come when you're engaging with something creative? Let me know!
As always, thanks for reading!