This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge–blogging every day in the month of April (except Sundays!) with each letter of the alphabet.
Before you can put words on paper (or screen), or create characters and worlds, or build stories, you need one key ingredient: inspiration. A writer’s well needs to be full of inspiration at all times, or at least, have a little bit in it to slosh around in. Sometimes it feels like the well has run dry and those are the agonizing times that come along with writing, the times when you get scared and doubtful and start to worry that you’ll never write again. It’s easy to panic when inspiration is nowhere to be found, and conversely when there’s plenty of it to be had, you want to dance and sing and shout.
Where can you get a fill up on inspiration when the well is empty? Here are a few of my go-to filling stations:
Music: Music is my number one inspiration. I make playlists for all my longer works (and even some of the shorter ones) and a single song can inspire entire chunks of writing. Music gets the gears turning and helps me find a mood. I can come up with ideas from just a few lyrics from a really good song. If I need to work out a scene, sometimes I put on appropriate music and hash it out in my head to the beat.
Reading: Nothing makes me want to write a story more than reading a really good one. I’m not talking about imitation, but borrowing inspiration from your fellow writers. Sometimes tapping in to someone else’s magic helps you get your own flowing.
Taking my mind off writing: Occasionally the problem is your head is too deeply buried in your work. You can’t see your way out, or around. That’s when it’s time to take a breather and give your brain a break. Hang out with friends. Binge watch some Netflix. Work on a hobby that has nothing to do with writing. Get out and clear your mind.
Revisiting old stuff: Sometimes reading over old stuff you wrote will spark an idea. Visiting something you’ve written but haven’t looked at in a while may impress you and make you feel good about yourself–or make you realize how far you’ve come–opening you up to your creativity.
How about you, how do you get inspired? Is there something special you like to do to jumpstart your creativity?