How to Find Writing Inspiration When You Need It

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Written by Frankie Cameron

Do you ever need motivation or inspiration to write? Writing is hard work, and sometimes it is painful to find writing inspiration when you need it.

Some days the words flow like a river and other days they dam up and you stare at a blank screen wondering why you ever wanted to become a writer.

Added to that is the impostor syndrome that most new writers experience, it is a wonder that we write at all. If you are unfamiliar with Impostor Syndrome, it happens when writers compare themselves to other famous or published writers and question their ability to write. Don’t do this.

Typewriter that says never

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15 Ways to find Writing Inspiration:

The following list outlines ways to beat writer’s block so you can get back to writing:

1. Read

Reading books, blogs, magazines and newspapers etc. can be a great resource in the search for ideas. You never know when the germ of an idea taken from reading can grow into a full-fledge story. 

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

~ STEVEN KING

2. Music

Have you ever heard someone say they never listen to the lyrics of a song? That is mind-boggling. Listen to the lyrics of any song and you will find a story.  For example, think about Amy Winehouse’s Rehab or Justin Bieber’s Life is Worth Living or Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.

3. TV and Movies

Some authors frown on using television, or movies for inspiration, but it can be a great resource.  By dissecting the work of script writers you can learn about plot, characters, and pacing. Watching actors’ body language and the way they deliver their dialogue can strengthen your writing.

4. People Watch

Although harder in the time of COVID-19 people watching can inspire ideas. Listen to conversations, watch body language, watch how people interact and take notes for later use.

5. Take a Break

Take a walk in nature to recharge. Soak in a hot bubble bath. Talk to a friend or family member. Sometimes a few minutes of meditation is enough to quiet your mind and allow the ideas to flow.

6. Find a Writing Group or Partner

Finding a person or group to brainstorm with when you are stuck is constructive. Two heads are better than one.

7. Writing Prompts

Use a writing prompt to get started. The Internet is full of writing prompts. Just pick one, set the timer for 10 minutes, then write. 

8. Write a Memory

Pick a memory from a journal or your mind and write about it. You already know the beginning, middle and end of the story having lived it.

9. Mindmap

Create a mind map. Pick a fundamental idea for a plot, character, or setting, then put down everything you can think of that goes with that topic. This visual representation can help generate ideas.

Mind Map

10. Break your Routine

Change your writing routine. If you normally write in the morning, try writing at a different time of day. If you normally write in Word or Scrivener, try a pen and paper.

11. Exercise

Fifteen to twenty minutes on the treadmill, a jog or bike ride might be just the thing needed to clear the cobwebs. 

12. Freewrite

Freewrite, don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar or anything else, just write. Get messy, too often writers strive for perfection on the first draft.

13. Online Courses

Try taking an online course. There are plenty of free and paid courses online that you can take to improve your writing and consequently inspire you to write again.

14. Quotes

Turn to quotes from other authors. This quote from J.K Rowling makes me feel better because if an author of her caliber can struggle with writing then it is okay if I do too.

“Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.”

~ J.K. Rowling

15. Write for one person

Think about your ideal target market and write to one person. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about your writing, just concentrate on that one person.

Hollow Edge Book

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, finding writing inspiration doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are lots of ways to defeat writer’s block.

Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

Feature photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

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