I’ve always collected images, information and articles to inspire and inform my writing – the only problem was organisation. I used to have scrapbooks, magazines, documents with lists of links and all kinds of visual clippings clogging up my office and my desktop. And when I wanted to use something again – I could never find it! That is, until I started using Pinterest. Pinterest makes it easy for writers to discover, sort, store and streamline digital versions of their inspirations – meaning you have more time to write – and therefore become a better writer. Here’s how.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social bookmarking site where you can create virtual pin boards filled with images and information to help with your writing. Pinterest allows you to keep track of writing ideas and inspirations either sourced on the site, online or uploaded from your desktop.
Where to start?
With a board on writing of course!
- Collect all things writing including tips, inspirational quotes or articles on the business of being a writer and sort all this information into easily identifiable boards.
- Create a writing prompts board and fill it with images, ideas and exercises that will inspire you and others to write.
- Discover a wealth of writing information you didn’t know was out there. The great thing about Pinterest is that most pins link to the original source they came from (or at least they should). This means by following links on pins you like, you’ll discover a whole world of information to give you even more writing inspiration.
Bring your writing to life
Images are a great way to keep track of ideas, visually building stories, poems, essays, scripts, blogs or anything else you’re working on. You can set up boards to:
- Come up with blog ideas
- Aid you when writing descriptions
- Create settings for your stories
- Help you with world building
- Allow you to ‘see’ your characters – their style, possessions, environment, relationships, pets, hobbies etc
- Visually create plot structures
- Keep your research together by having pins that connect back to a link you need to reference.
You can also use Pinterest to:
- Share book porn. As a writer you should also be an enthusiastic reader – so use your boards to show your passion for books. Not only can you use pin boards to keep track of books you’ve read and loved but to showcase beautiful and inspiring covers, your favourite illustrations, book inspired artworks, accessories, furniture etc. Also, by keeping visual tabs on your reading list you can find holes in your collection, for example when I look at my boards I realise I need to invest more time into reading non-fiction.
- Promote other writers who inspire you. You can pin images that link back to their blogs or works published online, to sites where you can purchase their books, essays or poetry, or information on their live readings, plays or talks.
- Connect with your audience. Promote your own writing as well as share information your audience will be interested in. For example if you write crime novels you could create boards linking to articles on real life cases, unsolved mysteries, ongoing investigations, forensic science, criminal law or investigative methods used by private detectives. Pinterest allows you to answer audience comments, follow your fans and even give them teasing hints about upcoming works.
- Introduce yourself to a new online writing community. You can get to know other writers, learn from them, share advice and anecdotes the same way you can connect with them on other social platforms such as twitter and facebook.
Some general pinning advice
- Pin from the original source. This makes it easier to source information later without having to dive through a rabbit warren of links (and allows you to give proper credit). Install the ‘pin it’ button on your browser to help you do this.
- Think about where some of your writing inspiration comes from, for example, is there a blogger whose writing advice blows your mind? An author you idolise or a publisher you’re always enjoying books from? Check if they’re on Pinterest and follow them, then have a look at who they follow and where their pins come from. And remember, you don’t have to follow all of a pinner’s boards, you can simply follow the ones which inspire you.
- Make sure you organise your boards in a way that you understand so any time you see something that catches your eye you can add it to a category – ready for any future projects.
- Make sure you create descriptions for your boards.
- You can use hashtags in pin descriptions but more importantly use words relevant to the pin.
- Don’t just promote your own work. By collecting and sharing various pins, information and ideas from a range of sources you’ll become a ‘leader’ not just an advertisement.
- The options of categories are endless so you can create inspiration boards not just for your writing but for each and every aspect of your life, hobbies and interests. This is a great way for you to show who you are and gives you another avenue with which you can connect to your audience.
Has Pinterest helped you with your writing? How? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to check out the Writing Journey Co Pinterest page.