Hi! I’m trying to get back in habit of answer questions on here, so you’re the first of many for a while. 😀
I’m sure this was sent a while back, so if this is too late, then I’m sorry and hope that it helps at least one person who reads this.
It is with some hesitation that I have to say that I don’t 100% believe in inspiration.
Yes, there are days when the words just keep flowing and you have no idea where it all came from.
But think about it. How often does that actually happen?
It’s a lot less than we would like to fool ourselves into thinking.
My ideas usually come to me in a sort of chain reaction. This one time I came up with a poem that played on the term “blood sisters” because I’d been reading for one of my lit classes and there was a red rooster weather vane. I placed the rooster as a focal point for the climax of the poem.
But if I hadn’t been in that literature class and if I hadn’t been reading that book while I was walking, then I never would have had the idea. And it was so roundabout–the poem isn’t about the weather vane at all. But the title is “Weather Vain,” because I guess I’m just clever like that. 😛
Inspiration and ideas, above all else, are situational. Something in your life has caused you to think about a concept or setting or plot or character.
It doesn’t come from nowhere. It might seem like it, and that’s where we get the notion of inspiration.
That’s why I always keep some sort of pen and paper on me at all times. I keep notebooks by my bed and in any kind of bag I’m carrying. If I don’t write it down, then I’ll forget it. That’s important–if you want to be a writer, then you have to start thinking like one
But here’s the real kicker:
Because inspiration isn’t magic (though it feels like it), you have to do the work yourself. You have to sit down and make yourself write, even if it sucks.
You have to write or at least work on your writing in some capacity every day. Otherwise, what are you?
It doesn’t matter if your writing is good. If you want to be a writer, then you will write anyway.
And you may even get something good from your terrible writing later.
So I haven’t entirely answered your question yet.
Here’s what I suggest:
- always have something to write with and something to write on
- write down any names or locations that you like the sound or look of
- collect writing prompts in a document and try to do at least one every day
- use sites like oneword.com to find daily prompts
- come to Tumblr and look through my archive of prompts
- collect images that you find inspiring–whether it be through color or representation or whatever
- stop in the middle of a sentence when you end your writing time–you’ll be able to return to it with little difficulty the next day
- get up and walk around
- go outside–breathe deeply and look at flowers and trees
- keep water by your desk… and a small bag of munchies
There are, of course, many other ways to find inspiration and ideas. There are so many websites that have plot generators and character generators and whatever else.
But simplify. Figure out what the minimum is, and go for it. If you overwhelm yourself, you’ll end up just parroting what you’ve already read or seen. Look at a picture and write a story about how the people or objects got to be there at that time and place.
Focus on the senses: what can you hear, smell, taste, see, and touch?
Those are the vivid things that will stick out to your readers.
I hope this helps~! Best of luck!
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