Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Where Do You Seek Inspiration?

This quote from Jack London might reek of hyberbole, but he makes a good point. Writers do need inspiration to keep on writing. It's necessary to begin either  a new project or a short piece of writing. We seek it like miners of old searched for gold nuggets. We crave it. Go ahead--admit it--you know we do.

My question for today is Where do you seek inspiration? Do you sit in front of a blank screen or page in a notebook and concentrate hard on the word inspiration? Do you hope that inspiration will rain upon you like April showers? Do you wait for a phone call from a writer friend, editor or fan who might hand out a single dose of inspiration to you? If so, you may be in for a long wait.

You must get up and get moving and go after that which will inspire you to write. Easy? No. But here are a few things you can do to be successful in finding inspiration. Don't scoff at some of these very simple things. A story idea has come to me in many unusual places.

1. Take a walk by yourself. Look around you. Listen to the sounds. Sniff the air for aromas, good and bad.  Your mind doesn't turn off when you are on a solitary walk. It keeps working.

2. Go to your favorite coffeehouse or wherever writer friends congregate. Chat with them, find out what they are working on. I am not saying you should copy them, but something in your conversation might click for you.

3. Read a book about writing. It doesn't matter how long you've been a writer. Something in there might trigger an idea.

4. Go to a concert or a symphony performance. One of the best juvenile stories I've written came to me while listening to a symphony orchestra, scene by scene, from start to finish.

5. Go to a circus, a rodeo, or a sporting event. Look around you . What do you see? What do you hear? Who looks like he/she might be a great character in a novel or short story?

6. Attend a writing conference. Nothing motivates me more than a conference. I always come home enthused and ready to start new projects.

7. Believe in yourself  All too often, we get down on ourselves. Those rejections we all get have a lot to do with that. Don't let each one pound you farther into the sinkhole writers sometimes fall into.

8. Visit a place you want to write about. Not alwys possible, I know, but there are books, museums and movies to take you far away, too.

9. Read your favorite blog for writers on a regular basis. 

Pick up that club and seek inspiration with determination and passion.

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