Friday, November 29, 2013

11 Things That Inspire Me To Write

As a working writer, I don't have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike before I start writing.

Each day, I need to sit down for a designated time and write. Some days the words come easier than others though.

Here are some of the things that help bring the words more easily:

1. Exercise - I can't remember the last time I went to the gym. It was before Baby was born though, and she turns 16 next May. But I do exercise - I usually go for long walks very early in the morning or late afternoon. For me, this is a time to stretch my body, relax and just let my mind wander. The quiet helps bring forth new story ideas, or new angles to stories I was already working on. 

2. Cooking - I love feeding people, and when friends and family come to visit, they know that I'll have some goodies to try. Some days it's an established favourite; other times it's a new recipe I'm trying ( and yes, some recipes don't work out so well and they still got to eat the stuff. )

Working with my hands in the kitchen frees my mind to rest or wander and usually, I leave the kitchen with a new idea or two.

3. My garden - I love to spend time in my garden. It's one of my main ways to exercise and to relax. The physical labour also frees my mind to wander in various directions. That's when some of my story ideas  come forth. Sitting in the garden and just soaking in the views also inspires me.

4. Blogs and Websites - There are several blogs that I visit daily/or as regularly as possible. Lori Widmer's Words on a Page, All Indie Writers, Devon Ellington's blog come to mind. Lori gives great advice, and it helps that she is also a working writer, so you know she speaks from experience. Reading Devon's blog usually makes me feel like a slacker :-)

I also like reading author interviews on Writer's Digest's website. Also check out this blog post for a compilation of inspiring quotes

5. Books - I find books to be very inspiring, be they fiction or non-fiction. Lately though, I've been rereading Twyla Thearp's The Creative Habit.

6. Family and friends - Sometimes an ordinary conversation with a friend or family member gets my mind working on a tangent, and the next thing I know I have a story idea I want to explore. And then there are  the people in my life who believe in me.

To them, my writing success is a given. They are the ones who remind me that the words will come when I'm stuck, or when my confidence levels are low. Some of them even lend me their brains; let me run my ideas past them so I can better work out in my mind what could potentially work/not work.

7. Music - Most days I prefer quiet when I write. But sometimes, I need a certain beat to evoke a certain mood. Music helps to put me in that zone.

8. Clients - There is nothing that pushes a working writer harder than client requirements, with a deadline attached.  Somehow, knowing that someone else is waiting for the words that are still cooking in your head gets the creative juices flowing. Or could it be the knowledge that if you don't write, you don't get paid, which makes it harder to get food?

9. People watching - It's a popular writer thing: you watch strangers and make up stories about them. Who are they? Where do they come from? Why are they there? Where are they going? What feeling does their body language evoke and why do you think that's the case?

10. My writing board - Sometimes when I'm inspired, I have too many story ideas crowding in my head. That can be as bad as having no ideas. Usually, I scribble the summary of each idea on a piece of paper, then pin it on my storyboard. The board is on a wall facing my desk, and is packed with reminders, schedules from my Cozi calender, story ideas, lists of things I need to do or buy or donate or whatever. Basically, most of the stuff that would otherwise clutter my head is relegated there, and when I need ideas, that's where I go looking.

11. The process of writing - One of my biggest writing challenges is starting. Even after I've done the research, it's hard to switch my mind on so I can start a new project. So what I usually do is just write. Anything. Once the fingers are flying and my brain relaxes, inspiration does come and I find that I can easily get into the process of writing the piece I wanted to work on. Weird, I know. But it works for me.

What inspires you to write or blog?


Gaynor said...

D, this is great advice. I don't necessarily write as a profession but I do need to write and not wait for inspiration on my blogs and this is helpful. Check out the interview I did with author Felicity Davis on my page

Damaria Senne said...

Thanks for visiting, Gaynor. It's a great interview. You asked very insightful questions.

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