Hi there friends!
Darci here today to talk about inspiration in writing.
Most writers have a standard way of drawing stories out of nothingness, but I thought maybe compiling a list of those strategies would benefit other writers. So when the dreaded “writer’s block” comes to call, or if you’re just having an off-day, here are some places to turn for a boost.
BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS. READ READ READ.
Take a walk
Change locations (if you’re at home, go to a shop/park/etc)
These are just some of the things writers mentioned on Twitter when I asked.
For me, I tend to have ideas for scenes as I’m falling asleep at night. Because of this, I keep a note open in my phone where I can quickly type out the essentials of the scene before I forget. Because inevitably, I always forget. Someitmes (like Sunday night) the scenes just keep coming so strongly that I have to get up and write, where just hours ago I was at a loss.
Also, don’t be afraid to skip around in your story. I was for a long time, but the more I write and revise, the more I realize I have to take inspiration when it comes. I’m in the middle of revising Act One in my book, TARGET, but last night I had a song stuck in my head, and from that a scene played out for Act Three. I couldn’t sleep after that, so I got up and wrote it out.
Muses are fickle, inconsistent, and undependable. Take advantage of their presence when they’re around.
But when they’re not, seek inspiration from other places. The list above can spark an idea for a new story or a quick poem, and getting the writing juices flowing might just help you move on in your manuscript.
I’d like to share with you the lovely words of my friend Sarah. when I asked “Where do you get inspiration for your writing?” she replied with, “Where DON’T I?” followed by the following:
“Sooo, I really did mean ideas are everywhere, like, I don’t understand how writers can NOT have ideas. I see them at every turn. In conversations and stories and sounds and the way things move, or feel, or the way light reflects on a puddle or… EVERYWHERE.
But for me, the most important thing in stories, and the thing which is most often first in my head, sparking something off, is people. I’m fascinated by them; by the way people interact with the environment (physical, societal, emotional, the whole shebang). I love other cultures, and the way that people and there lives are so, so different and yet we share many of the same hopes and dreams and fears. And for me, imagining those lives and how things might play out in various environments or situations, is key to *everything*.
As for ‘writers block’, if you mean ‘I have no ideas for anything’ or ‘I can’t do this at all, in any way, shape or form’, I don’t believe in it. Choosing an idea, or figuring out a plot point or having a bad day where you’re too overwhelmed or tired or whatever to string a sentence together, sure. Everyone has those days. And usually the answer is to step away for a while and recharge, trick your brain into thinking it’s not having to work, go for a walk, write something different, sleep. But not having ideas at all, nope, I don’t get it.”
Truly, I know what she means. I have far too many ideas for my own good. So if I’m stuck in one story, I’ll often go work on another until I get a brainwave for the first, and so on. But I remember being a brand new writer, and in the middle of my story I had no idea what to do next. That’s when I learned that a lot of writers create music playlists for their books. As soon as I started finding songs to apply to my characters and world, I had no problems moving forward. For you, it might be a picture, a place, or a favorite book, but whatever it is that inspires you, keep it close and use it often.