Many successful writers have kept a journal – from Virginia…
No matter how passionate and committed you are to your creative writing, the time will come — maybe often or perhaps once in a blue moon — when you are lacking ideas and inspiration for your stories.
When this happens, don’t panic — it happens to everyone, and it will pass. The good news is, it’s easy to find inspiration to kickstart your mind into developing scenarios, characters and conversations for your writing again.
Read through the ideas below and get started today.
Keep a writing journal
Keeping a writing journal is essential for organising your thoughts and ideas. Every time you read something inspirational, enjoy a quote, hear something interesting, or have any ideas regarding your writing, you can jot them down in a journal and refer back to it when you’re sat down for a writing session.
Whether it’s sitting in a local park or eavesdropping on conversations between strangers when you’re in a shop, observing the actions and interactions of others provides wonderful inspiration for characters.
I’m not suggesting you set out to eavesdrop on people, but sometimes it can’t be helped when you’re in public — people often talk loudly. If you hear something interesting, jot it down in your writing journal as soon as you can.
What better way to get inspiration for your own writing than to read that of others? Read for pleasure, but once you have found a few select authors you enjoy, analyse their writing style and see what you can replicate to suit your own work.
If you’re always reading books by the same authors, try branching out to find others you enjoy, as this will benefit your reading and your writing.
Join a writing group
Joining a local or online writing group could provide you with the motivation and inspiration you are lacking. Not only will you be provided with prompts and tips, you will have the benefit of reading the work of your fellow group members — which could be just what you need to get back on track.
Travel is a wonderful way to open your eyes to the world around you. Whether it’s venturing outside of your hometown for a daytrip or heading off to immerse yourself in a new culture on a month-long trip to a far-flung destination, travel can provide you with plenty of new experiences, interactions, sights, sounds, and smells.
Read some blogs
When you’re feeling uninspired and stuck for ideas, reading the blogs of others who were in the same boat and got out of it can be really useful. How did they get themselves writing again? Where did they go for inspiration? Could any of their methods work for you?
Keep a dream journal
This may seem an unusual suggestion to start with, however if you do try to jot details of your dreams down when you wake in a morning, you’ll see how inspirational your topsy-turvy dream world can be! Want more information on dream journals? Read our blog post, ‘How to keep a dream journal‘.
Try the ‘free writing’ technique
Free writing means sitting down for a set period of time and just writing anything — whatever comes into your head, write it down. Don’t bother yourself with spelling or grammar — just write. The result may be 97% unusable, however there may be a few gems in there, and all being well you’ll have moved on from your writing rut.
Do you have any other tips for fellow writers looking for inspiration? Let us know in the comments below.