Inspiration is every where, whether we can see it or not. I’ve compiled a list of ways I get inspired and I’d love to hear your ways as well. Hopefully, when inspiration leaves me I can come to this list and help jump start my creative juice. Then I can stop blaming my muse when I’m in a creative slump!
- Look to Nature – I find just sitting on my back porch with a cup of coffee and watching the sun rise causes all kinds of imagery and ideas to pop into my head. A pretty flower, the squirrels hopping around, even my own dogs fighting and playing give me ideas.
- Go for a Walk – Any kind of exercise can get your brain pumping but I find it more fun to go for a walk. I people watch along the way and come up with stories to go along with those people. Where is he going in such a hurry? Is he married? Does he have a secret rendezvous? Everyone could be a fascinating character once I let my mind wander.
- Children – They really do say the darndest things! Spending time with my niece and nephew is never boring, as I’m sure my sister-in-law Jessica can vouch for as well. The things my niece comes up with are unreal and her ideas and reasons can’t help but make you laugh. Just being around them fertilizes my inspiration, I try to carry their spirit with me, and wish I could carry their energy!
- Meditation – I meditate every morning when I wake up for at least fifteen minutes. When I hit a road block in my writing I will use a guided meditation to help see where my mind takes me. I’m record my voice reading the last chapter or two of a novel and focus on my story as I meditate. When the recording ends I allow my mind to wander on, while relaxed my mind usually works out the kinks on it’s own.
- Take a Nap – And keep a journal near by. Almost all of my ideas started with a dream. Literally. I get a lot of inspiration from my dreams. Before going to bed I make a mental note that I want to remember my dreams. After I wake up I make sure there is pen and paper handy and write down anything I remember. Bella and Edward were figments of a dream according to Stephenie Meyer, and from that little dream came a huge empire. Don’t discount the power of your own dreams.
- Say Cheese! – Take a camera with you. Just because you’re writing doesn’t mean you can’t be a bit of a photographer too. You never know what kind of inspiration you will find in a snap shot. Then you can keep that picture and continue to gain ideas from it.
- Write for Fun – Instead of working on that big dead line why not join a Meme or Blog Hop? Choose something that allows you to be creative but doesn’t have the pressure to finish. Choose a couple words, or a photo and just create.
- Surf – The Web. Visit a fellow author’s blog, read some interesting articles, play a game or catch up on your facebook connections.
- YouTube – Check out the inspirational videos. Or simply watch a baby shake it’s butt to Beyonce’s newest hit. It’s adorable, funny and with laughter comes relaxation, you’ll be churning out the ideas in no time.
- Getty Image – Do a random search for a man, woman, lonely, happy any word you like. Pick a picture and write the back story for the person you find. Or a story that comes to mind when you see the tree … perhaps something that may have taken place in it’s forest.
- Post It – Write a blog post about all the things that inspire you, or that you have tried to get inspired with. Much like I have and share it. Then go back and try them out again and again!
- Something New – Try it! If you thought it was something you could never do, try even harder to get it done. If you’re anything like me, when someone says ‘No you can’t.’ I say ‘Watch me!’
- Learn Something – Take a class and learn something new. Or if you are a self learner browse the web for a new topic and learn all you can. The internet is a new age in learning, the sky is the limit!
- Brain Storm Tree – Write your ideas down. On Paper. Make it physical, then from those ideas write more, and so on until you have a whole tree of ideas!
- Re-read your Work – Re-read the last chapter, or the whole book or the post, whatever you’re working on. New ideas will float to the fore front of your mind. Keep a piece of paper or your notepad open to write those ideas down.
- Bring your Idea to Life – Bring your book to life with character profiles, pictures and whatever else you need to physically tie yourself to your project. Post pictures of models or actors who represent your character, words that describe your novel and characters. Anything to make it a physical entity that you can draw inspiration from.
- Draw – Even if you’re not good at it. Take some time, a pencil and some paper and draw whatever is behind you. Or outside your door.
- Listen – To music that fits your genre.
- Dance – Like no one’s watching – yes it’s cliche but it’s also fun and invigorating.
- Un-Plug – Sometimes I like to just NOT be on the PC and see where the day takes me.
- Do Nothing – Have nothing planned, no pressure and nothing to do. Take the day off work if you need to and just hang out. With people, without, whatever you feel like doing.
- Sing in the Shower – I do this no matter what. (Well unless I’m hanging at my brother’s house, I don’t need to give him more reasons to tease me.) I love to sing in the shower, it’s freeing and fun!
- Enjoy your Accomplishments – Read a novel you have finished. Not for revision, or spell check. Put that red pen away and just enjoy the fact that you created something.
- Exercise your Talent – If you’re a romance writer, write paranormal. Or vice versa. Even better, take your romance character and put it in a paranormal experience. How would he or she react? Any talent is like a muscle that should be exercised and pushed beyond limits you never thought it could reach.
- Put it Away – If you’re working on a project and can’t get it no matter what you try. Put it away. Walk away from it, work on something else, but keep that note book close in case your new project insists on giving you ideas for the last one.
Remember, inspiration can hit at any time which is why us writer’s need to invest in note books, post its, notepad apps or paper napkins to make sure we get those ideas written down!
I hope these ideas help keep you inspired, and if you have ideas of your own, rituals or rules you follow to keep the creative juices bubbling feel free to share.