Sometimes it can be hard to feel inspired to write. Whether you’re just getting started or in the middle of your third draft. Whether this is your first book or your 13th. Inevitably, there will be moments where you don’t feel inspired. At all. So I thought I’d share some of my top tips for getting inspired and staying inspired. Pretty much all of these work for coming up with ideas and finding your inspiration again halfway through.
- My biggest tip for staying inspired and getting re-inspired halfway through a project is to make a list of all your favorite things about a project, the things that first made you excited about working on this project as a reminder. Concentrating on the things I’ve always loved about a project usually helps me get through the tough parts of writing.
- Music. A LOT of my ideas come from listening to music. I can think of at least three times that I’ve gotten the start of huge projects I love with all my heart, just from listening to a song for the first time. Besides loving music, that’s one reason I’m always open to listening to anything, even something that might not usually be my cup of tea. Further more, when you’re stuck, having a playlist of songs that fit the mood of your book and your characters and just listening to it, can help find that spark of inspiration again.
- Books. When you can’t write, READ. I’m serious. Refill your creative well. Thank me later.
- Movies. Again with the refilling of the creative well.
- The shower. When all else fails, take a shower (or a walk) and just let your mind relax and do what it wants with your writing problem. Or, if your not stuck, then just let your mind wander in every possible direction to see where you might want to take your story.
- Ask ‘what if’ questions. This is one of my favorites. So, when you’re writing and you find yourself stuck, ask yourself what if this happened or what if that happened and… just see what happens. If you’re trying to come up with a new idea, what if questions are a handy tool. “What if the sky was red?” “What if humans were ruled by monkeys?” and other serious questions like that.
- PINTEREST! I know pretty much every writer mentions this when talking about inspiration but it’s a big one! I rarely come up with a new idea while scrolling through Pinterest (unless that new idea is something to bake) but it does help me so, so much when I’m brainstorming and trying to figure out a story. It helps me figure out tone and my characters and what I want my world to be and look like. It can seem a little daunting I think, getting started on pinterest cause it’s like, how do I do this? What do I do? But just search for relevant things to your book, find pictures that fit the tone and atmosphere you’re shooting for and go crazy pinning stuff. And then, if you get stuck later on or are lacking inspiration, you can come back to your pinterest board and look through it and hopefully find a little inspiration again.
To be completely honest, the majority of my ideas have come from listening to music. Just off the top of my head I can think of three books that were inspired completely by a song. Other ideas I’ve gotten from watching TV/Movies, one sprung up from watching an episode of Warehouse 13. Another came from not wanting to have to work to make money and just thinking “what if your only ‘job’ in life was to live life to the fullest?” Another still came from talking with my brother about a possible demon encounter he had. Point being, inspiration can come from anywhere. Listen to new music if you’re feeling stuck. Read a book you’ve been putting off reading forever (finally reading The Name of The Wind helped me get unstuck just last year when I was trying to revise a book). Go for a walk and just let your mind wander. Just, don’t sit there and stare at the screen hoping words will come. Sometimes that works. Usually it doesn’t so you need to try something else.