I’d like to welcome freelance writer and blogger Alexis Bonari to my blog today. Alexis will be guest blogging on the topic of getting inspired to write.
As a writer, I’ve often run into the problem of being mentally prepared to write and then discovering that the muse has skipped town. It’s a form of writer’s block, but it’s more frustrating because the conditions seem right when the ideas just aren’t there. It can be difficult to get into a “writing mood” – and once you’re there, you want to write, so finding fast inspiration is important if you’re going to take advantage of your most productive time. Here are ten of my favorite ways to get inspired when I’m ready to write.
1. Describe an Emotion in Fine Detail
The next time you feel a strong emotion, take a few minutes to write down a detailed description of it. This is a great reference when you’re feeling uninspired.
2. Use Visual Stimulation
Many writers are visually stimulated, so try looking at art, reading a magazine that’s full of images, or watching a short film. You might be inspired to develop and write about a visual idea.
3. Analyze Compared Writing Styles
Read two different pieces of writing, such as a news article and a poem, and think about the similarities and differences between them. This can inspire you to create your own combinations of style characteristics, or you might just decide that you feel like writing your own poem.
Get out of the office and find inspiration in a different location. Writing in the park or art museum always helps me find a few good ideas to develop.
5. Shift Your Perspective
Try to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Pretend you’re a character from one of your favorite pieces of literature, or make up your own – then write about the differences in the way you think. It’s a great way to develop characters and take notice of what makes a personality unique.
6. Describe an Object in Fine Detail
Choose something that’s important to you and describe it in full detail. For example, I wear my great-grandmother’s watch every day because family and heirlooms are important to me. Describing it in detail helped me to appreciate it and to dig deeper into its personal value, which inspired me to develop those ideas in writing.
7. Give a Play-by-Play Description of a Favorite Activity
Describe the action of riding a bicycle, playing an instrument, or “throwing” pottery. If you have a hobby, it’s easy to be inspired by describing the precise movements you make when you do it. This connects you to the activity and helps you to appreciate its role in your life.
8. Take a Bath in Sound Waves
Get out of your comfort zone and listen to a type of music that you’ve avoided in the past. In my case, that’s country music because I simply don’t enjoy it, but I’ve found that it’s full of evocative ideas that I can use in my writing. You might even find a favorite new artist in an unexpected genre.
9. Watch & Learn from Interesting People
Find a comfortable park bench or camp out on the beach, then simply watch the people passing by and come up with some ideas about who they might be, where they’ve come from, and what their futures might hold. This is also a good character development exercise, so write down the ideas that seem to have the most potential.
10. Continue an Overheard Conversation
I’m not encouraging you to eavesdrop, but we’ve all overheard conversations by virtue of being in public. Sometimes, words catch your ear and you recognize a great idea for a piece of writing – and that’s okay. It’s also inspiring to hear a few sentences, then extend the dialogue backwards or forwards to create context and lend more substance to your ideas.
Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching Pell grants as well as student loans with poor credit. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.