Friday, November 11, 2016

4 Ways to Find Inspiration | NaNoWriMo Day 11


NaNo Update: I'm behind. Like...I don't want to think just how behind I am. But, I am hoping (maybe foolishly?) that I'll be able to cover some considerable ground this weekend. So far, it's looking positive! But the problem is that, when I do get time to write, I don't always feel inspired. Am I right? Do you feel that way too?

I compiled a list of four things I do when I'm lacking inspiration...

4 Ways to Find Inspiration

Look at inspiring things
Don't underestimate the power of your imagination. I'm a very visual person and for me, looking at a photo can spark a sense of wonder and amazement. When I'm feeling a lack of inspiration I'll often go to a website like Unsplash.com and just browse through the images there. Often times I'll see something that makes me think, "Oooo, what if?"

From Unsplash

Get up, get out, and think
For me, as a full-time writer and photographer, I spend a lot of time at--you guessed it--my desk! That's great, I love my work space, but what it lacks is nature (though I am thinking of getting  plant...). I love being outdoors and when I'm lacking inspiration the answer for me is usually to get up, get out, and think. Taking a walk around the neighborhood or driving to a park to walk is exactly what I need to stimulate my thoughts. There are times where I just need quiet time to be away from work, but there are other times where I really need to wrestle through things that are happening in my novel. For me, a walk is the perfect time to do that.

Pro Tip: Take a notebook with you. I'd say take your phone, but sometimes that can be more distracting. Having a notebook is low-tech but handy when inspiration strikes! 

Talk with friends
Never underestimate the power of a great conversation and writer-friends. I'm serious! There have been so many times when I've wanted to give up. I've thought to myself...I am not a writer and I can't do this. It's exactly at that time that I go begging to my friends to tell me what to do. And you know what? They encourage me, remind me why I write, and, in some cases, lovingly berate me about finishing that dang novel so that they can read it. It is the best medicine for a nervous writer who thinks they've lost their inspiration.

In line with this: remember why you write. To be a true writer mean's you aren't in it for the notoriety or the fame, you're not writing to make the best sellers list (although, if that happens you wouldn't mind), and you're not pouring out blood, sweat, and tears over fictional people just because it's fun (though it is at some points). Reminding yourself why you write will often inspire you to write. And friends are perfect for helping with this.

Just Write
Ok, this may sound like a cop-out. We're talking about inspiration and I'm telling you to write un-inspired? Not fair. Well...maybe.

The thing is, there will be times when you are uninspired, but what do you do? You write! There will be times when you're tired? What do you do? You write! There will be times when you feel discouraged and nothing seems to make it better. What do you do? You write!

To be a writer means that you will face days, sometimes weeks, without inspiration but you push through. That doesn't mean what you write during this time is necessarily good...but I think there are times when we will surprise ourselves. Out of a seemingly dry well, something beautiful will come to life. Our words may not be the ones we wanted in that moment, but they will be the ones we needed to get out. And maybe they needed to get out of the way so that better ones could come.

Take courage, dear friend! When you are down and feel like there is no way you could possibly keep writing - you CAN! I believe in you and your story. If you had the desire to write it when you started, then there was a reason for that and you need to finish it! By all means, take a break, but don't wait too long. Just write.

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To be a creative means you see the world differently. That also mean's you are inspired differently as well. These are just some of the ways that I find inspiration, but they may not work the same way for you. I'd suggest trying them and combinations of them to see what works.

Let me know below how YOU are inspired!