Where inspiration comes from exactly has been hotly debated for centuries. Writers used to think it came from the Gods, a sort of divine presence that you had no control over. When I write I sometimes feel as if I’m being taken over, either by the setting, or through my characters. I can be writing for hours, inspiration seeping from every finger hitting the keyboard, and not actually be trying to write. I can fully understand why people think inspiration comes from outside of ourselves, a gift that is bestowed upon you if you are lucky enough.
Writers can feel as if they simply ‘have’ to write. They feel a power taking over them and telling them they have to write a certain story. That’s just the beauty of being a writer, whether you write nonfiction blogs or fictional tales. Take this quote by George Orwell for example,
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
Demon, God’s gift, divine intervention etc etc. All words to describe this magical, seemingly random thing that makes us create works of art.
Ultimately I believe that yes, some days you seem to have more energy, inspiration and magic than others, but mostly you have to create your own inspiration. I’ve never had writers block, I’ve just had months where I don’t even look at my novel or days where I didn’t think about blogging. Here are my tips for inspiration and what works for me.
It’s all about when you wake up
Waking up can be an odd experience. Your brain has created stories for hours subconciously, so you might have had unusual dreams that cause you to wake up and confirm what’s reality. Whatever sleep you had or dreams you experienced, none of it matters for the day, so don’t let it fool your mind. Get into the habit that when you wake up, you instantly ground yourself by thinking of your to do list. Visualise what you want to achieve for the day ahead, and go about completing it.
Create a Mood Board
I love Pinterest for this. Seeking out photos that inspire you and printing them out feels awesome. If you want to paint for example, print out photos of art you love and stick it on a wall. If you write fiction, print out photos of a scene similar to one you are trying to write about. The inspiration you will receive is enormous.
Taking a break is OK
The biggest break I’ve taken from writing my novel is around seven months. I’ve also been known to take very large breaks whilst studying. If your project doesn’t have a time restraint, then take all the breaks necessary! Breaks are only going to improve your writing or skill. It will give you time for reflection which is crucial, and time to do exercises which will improve your art.
Read others’ works
When you are struggling to start or complete your own work, others’ successes can move you along. It’s actually quite amazing and it goes to show that you need to be careful about what you expose yourself to. I can read a novel, then write, and suddenly I take on the tone of voice and style as the author I have just read. It’s like when I watch too much Kardashians and I suddenly start talking monotonously and saying ‘like’ or ‘on another level’ all the time.
That actually brings me onto a second point, which is to copy others’ work if you are lacking inspiration. I don’t mean plagiarizing, but doing exercises where you immerse yourself in someone who you aspire to be like then copying them in your own words is an awesome way to improve your skill and create inspiration.
Dance around the house to T Swizzle
Just a personal fave.
What tips do you have to create your own inspiration?