Recently, I’ve had a few people email to ask what inspires me to write. I think it’s an important question because there’s always moments when we, as writer’s, want to give up, when we think our muse has abandoned us. During these moments we need to fall back on some tried and true ways to get our inspiration back.
I try and meditate at least once a day and there are so many benefits including:
- Greater concentration
- Increased self awareness
- Makes you present
- Rejuvenates you
I find when I skip a daily meditation I’m more irritable, unable to deal with obstacles and definitely less creative. Just by giving myself space and clearing my mind, new ideas erupt from my brain unexpectedly. To help me gain focus I use an app called Calm.Just by giving yourself space & clearing your mind new ideas can erupt unexpectedly Click To Tweet
#2 The natural world
It worked for Thoreau and it works for me. Just being outside gets my creativity flowing whether that’s sitting in my back garden or taking the dog on a hike. Fresh air, trees, the ocean and new impressions feed my inspiration. Recently we spent some time in the remote Great Bear Rainforest and after I was so rejuvenated and in awe of the amazing experiences I had that all I wanted to do was write.Getting out into nature inspired Thoreau & it can inspire your writing too Click To Tweet
Pinterest has often been a source of inspiration for creativity. I have boards filled with inspirational quotes from writers, a board linking to articles and blogs about writing, one dedicated to writing prompts, inspirations and ideas and many others.
A few weeks before my husband turned 30 this year, I decided I wanted to write him a short story. But I had no idea what to write about and racked my brain for something he would enjoy. Then, one day while waiting to go into a meeting I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across this amazing surrealist artwork. As soon as I saw it the whole story unfurled before me and I had to scribble down all my ideas in Evernote before the meeting began.
Saying that, Pinterest is a bit of a rabbit warren, so if specifically looking for ideas to inspire my work I often set a tomato timer to ensure I don’t get completely sidetracked.
#4 People watching
People watching is a favourite past time of mine because just looking at strangers and making up elaborate backstories for them gets the creative juices flowing. It’s also a good opportunity to be inspired by some overheard dialogue.
#5 Writers’ talks
Yesterday I went to a talk for a new biography that’s just come out about Thomas Keneally by Stephany Evans Steggall. Just listening to the two writers speak was inspiring. I love hearing about their challenges and their triumphs, get excited about their creative processes and best of all always go home feeling passionate and excited about my writing.
If there isn’t an author talk going on in a place near you right now then why not watch a Ted Talk?
#6 Writing group
When I need some encouragement, I always turn to my writing group. Just being around other people who understand what I’m going through helps me look at writing obstacles in a different way. After an editing session I always feel refreshed. In fact I think I’m a little addicted to being critiqued because when you go home with comments written all over the piece you’ve taken in, it means less work when editing.
I’ve recently written the end on the first draft of a novel and one of the things that kept me going was listening to music. Particularly inspiring was the Interstellar soundtrack, I think because both stories—mine and the film’s—focus on the father daughter relationship. I like the sparseness of the music too—the loneliness of it and the sorrow. But also the hope. All of these emotions helped me stay on track and enabled me to tap into the characters and feel what they were feeling.
I personally can’t listen to music with lyrics when I’m writing because I get too distracted and start typing out the words as I sing along. So when I’m blogging or working on copy for a client, my go to is this strange and soothing concentration music which was recommended by Matt Mullenweg the founder of WordPress. When I heard him talking about how it actually improved his productivity I decided I’d better give it a try because he’s one of the most successful and hardworking people I’ve ever met. And I find it really does work.
#8 Books, blogs, newspapers or magazines
What better way to become inspired to write than by reading? Even if you don’t think what you’re reading has been written well, you can still be inspired by the themes, the topics or the headline. If you don’t feel like reading then even watching a movie or a TV show can inspire ideas. It may be the cinematography, the body language, the incredible dialogue or the scenery that inspires.
#9 Your audience
Listening to what your audience wants is a huge part of being a writer, especially when it comes to blogging. Some of my best ideas come from readers who email to ask me to write about certain topics—just like the readers who asked for this blog post. Thanks guys!
Audiences inspire writers all the time because writers always love hearing if their work has touched someone in a meaningful way. My advice to you is that if you’ve read a book, seen a play or subscribed to a blog recently that has impacted on your life in a positive way, then let the writer know. It will mean more to them than you can imagine and inspire them to write more content for you, their audience.Readers inspire writers because artists love hearing how their work has touched someone in a meaningful way Click To Tweet
Just getting in there and writing—even if you feel like you’ve been abandoned by your muse—is often the best source of inspiration. Sure some of it might be horrible, but often it’s writing through the problem that will get you to the resolution. You’ll be working away and some glorious burst of inspiration will take hold. I for one love those moments.Just getting in there & writing is often the best source of inspiration Click To Tweet
How do you find inspiration for writing? Let me know in the comments.