Kicking off my wonderful new series, May Collaborations, is Faye Kirwin from Writerology. I absolutely love her writing and when I read this post I was blown away with laughter and information. Faye really is a master at words and she inspires me so much that I wanted her to inspire you too. I'll shall let her take it away...
Inspiration is like a piñata. (Yes, a piñata. Bear with me.)
Picture this. You’re blindfolded at a party, taking random swings at the piñata. Maybe you’re lucky and hit your target or maybe you’re aiming in the completely wrong direction. Should you find yourself to be unlucky, failing to even find your papier-mâché nemesis, do you continue to waste your time or energy by taking wild shots in the dark? No. You’re smart, so you use a different strategy. You move systematically.
So… how does this apply to inspiration? Let me explain.
If you feel totally uninspired and sapped of creativity each time you even think about writing, stop wasting your time and energy with this clearly unsuccessful method. It’s time to get systematic. It’s time to move with purpose. It’s time to form a strategy to hit that piñata and shower yourself with creative verve.
Because, in the words of Jack London, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
So how can you use the piñata metaphor to increase how creative you feel and write more regularly? Rather than take shots in the dark, give the following strategies a go and see what works best for you.
Ways to Find Inspiration Before You Write
Sitting down to write is so much easier when you feel that rush of ideas, of excitement and possibilities and pure imagination that come when you feel creativity swirling through your fingertips. As well as increasing how imaginative you’re feeling, it can also improve your motivation, productivity and general enjoyment of the writing session. So how can you make this happen? You could:
Use writing prompts and dares to inspire new ideas.
Remind yourself of why you love to write and what you love about your stories.
Try a free-write session to break past mental blocks and generate new ideas (i.e., write without pausing about anything and everything on your mind—characters, storylines, plot problems you’ve encountered, how you feel about your writing, and so on).
Write a piece of microfiction to give yourself a break from your main WIP.
Change your physical setting (e.g., your writing space, where you spend most of your time, etc.) or your inspiration resources (e.g., use music instead of images) to shake things up.
Try a new style of writing or a new genre to write in (give this a go in a piece of microfiction if you’re feeling hesitant).
Practise mindfulness to increase your focus and decrease distracting thoughts.
Re-read your favourite scenes from your WIP and remind yourself of the amazing things you can do.
Once you’ve found a handful of techniques that get you writing more often, you can move on to the next strategy...
Ways to Find Inspiration While You’re Writing
Another way to make writing easier and encourage the words to flow is to stoke your creativity throughout your writing sessions. How might you do this? You could:
Listen out for any suggestions your muse has while you’re writing (e.g., if your muse whispers that it’d be fun to have the antagonist appear in the scene, even though you hadn’t planned it that way, run with that).
Incorporate writing dares into the scene to spice things up.
Keep pictures of characters or settings on hand to inspire you.
Have a playlist of songs that fit the mood of your current scene playing in the background.
Remind yourself that this is a first draft and so you should have fun with it.
Now that you’ve found sources of inspiration for your writing sessions themselves, don’t stop there. Give the next strategy a go...
Ways to Find Inspiration After You’ve Finished Writing
Make life easier on yourself and use the momentum you’ve gained from that day’s writing session to prepare for tomorrow’s. How? You could:
Finish writing in the middle of an exciting scene or just before a juicy development, so that you can return to the scene later feeling creative, motivated and eager to write.
Prepare a mindmap of upcoming scenes.
Create a playlist of mood-specific music.
Compile more pictures for character and setting inspiration.
Journal about what you achieved during your writing session and what you’d like to achieve in future.
Go daydream about what you want to happen next in the story (my favourite method here!).
Remember that inspiration is only a fickle and flighty creature if you allow it to be. Use a combination of all three types of strategy around your writing sessions to free up your imagination, fill yourself with creative spirit and show that piñata (ahem, I mean inspiration) who’s boss.
Write with joy.
Faye Kirwin is a writer with a passion for words, minds and tea. She blogs over at Writerology, where she applies the science of psychology to the art of storytelling and teaches authors how to make writing a part of their everyday lives. When she’s not blogging or running the Writember Workshop, she writes fiction chock-full of magic, clockwork and tea. (Mm, tea.)
Woah! So many good tips, laughs and Inspiration from one of my favourite ladies! Let us both know what you think and if you implement any of these tips by commenting below! Catch you tomorrow!