Inspiration? Nah, Forget About It
Why Inspiration Won’t Help You
Inspiration is a fickle thing. It’s there one moment, but gone before you can even finish the first chapter that came from the inspiration to begin with. Inspiration is a great thing, but it is too unreliable to get your book finished. You should never wait for writing inspiration, just write. The hardest part is getting start, so if you just start writing, usually things will work themselves out. You’ll find a good rhythm and be much more productive in the long run.
However, I understand that inspiration is helpful. Inspiration is the lifeblood of creativity, after all. So, here is how to keep that inspiration alive:
Read books in the genre you’re writing in
Chances are, something you’ve read sparked your inspiration for your new story. What better way to keep that writing inspiration alive than with more reading? Read books in the same genre you’re writing in. Maybe a character or scene will spark that creativity you’re struggling to keep alive. If nothing else, reading is a productive way to spend your time when you’re having trouble writing.
Take care of any unfinished chores
Sitting in front of blank page, struggling to come up with a reason to write is not productive. Get up, go do something else. Finish that load of laundry on the couch, sweep up that pile of rubbish in the living room, and clean the shower. The reason you’re struggling to find your inspiration might be that you have other pressing matters nagging in your subconscious. Go ahead and finish up those unfinished household projects. Then, come back with a clear head and get to writing.
Take a walk
Go fix yourself a cup of coffee, eat some cereal, or, seriously, just go take a walk. Not only will your chores keep your brain from finding that wonderful writing inspiration, but your basic needs for food, exercise, and entertainment will, too. If you’re having trouble concentrating, ask yourself some of these basic questions:
- Are you hungry?
- Are you thirsty?
- When’s the last time you went outside?
- When’s the last time you read something you enjoyed?
- Have you watched anything fun in the last couple of days?
- Did you sleep well?
Depending on your answers, you may need to take a break and take care of yourself for a while. You are important. Without you, your story wouldn’t exist, so take care of yourself, and your inspiration will find you soon after.
Check out artwork and photography
Check out depictions of fantasy scenes. Look at beautiful paintings of landscapes. Take a gander at some war photographs. Whatever you are writing about, look at artwork or photographs inline with what you’re writing about. If you’re writing about a long journey, beautiful landscape paintings or images could help spark that inspiration. If you’re writing about ghosts and ghouls, photos of dilapidated homes or structures might get those creative juices flowing. Creativity breeds creativity, so check out someone else’s creative endeavors.
Finally, creativity breeds creativity
Like I said before, creativity breeds creativity. You can’t always rely on writing inspiration to strike before you start writing. Sometimes it’s best to start writing and let the inspiration find you. Take that first step, start writing, and the words will eventually flow.
Believe in yourself, not in this fantastical thing we call inspiration.