Friday, April 10, 2015

A to Z - "I" is for Inspiration

Where do you find Inspiration?

As a creative writer, inspiration can come from anywhere; a bit of dialogue, a tagline, a backstory a movie didn't explore.

There are a few things I need to prime my mind for receiving inspiration:

1. A place to jot ideas down.  This is where a writer's notebook comes in handy. A writer's notebook can come in any form. Use your phone, your laptop, a voice recorder, or a spiral bound notebook in any size and a pen. Take a portable version of your notebook with you, be it an app, a stack of post-its, or email a voice recording to yourself later. Cell phones are great tools if you connect them to your workspace. Plus, once you get there and start writing, often more ideas will come.
A Writer's Notebook is Born

2. Begin writing. It could be a blog post, a journal entry, or a doodle, just get started! I like to use micro fiction websites like Ficlatté to capture little scenes that could become longer pieces later.

3. Art. Find something unique, beautiful, or flawed. Use pinterest, web searches, deviant art, or go to a gallery near you. I like Rob Gonslaves and Leonid Afremov.
“Towers Of Knowledge” By Rob Gonsalves Art

4. Music. This usually doesn't work for me, because I find music distracting from the creative process, but it does work for others. There are times when I was listening to something and managed to get inspired and jot down an idea. There have also been times when I could write with music playing. I find myself ignoring the music and focusing on the story. Sometimes my house is too noisy and I need to put in the earbuds to block the other sounds out! But usually, I need silence to work in.

5. Silence. Being alone with my thoughts, as long as I have an idea, is the best way for me to write. I can outline, script, or even follow threads and tangents in complete silence.

6. Social. My best muses are other creative people. I have asked for writing prompts, beta readers, a co-author, or even just read someone else's writing and felt inspired to sequel. Sometimes having a fight with a friend has sparked some intense writing. Not that I recommend having fights with friends, but the point is that hiding like a hermit is not always the best place to find inspiration.
Illustration by David Saracino

7. Distraction. Driving or sitting on the toilet are often the places where inspiration strikes. You are forced to stay in one place and there is nothing to do but think. There might be music or a book involved, but most of my body is involved in some monotonous task. Doing a puzzle is like this as well. The repetition of putting pieces together is enough of a repetitive task that my mind is free to wander.


What inspires you or where do you find yourself suddenly with all the greatest ideas?


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