I know if you are staring at a blank page, it is tempting to do what is what appears to be the obvious solutions: reading writing articles, checking out writing blogs, and surfing the internet while you avoid the blank page. While these may seem like good ideas (okay, the last one doesn’t), they ultimately are not going to help you. I have come up with six ways that will get you typing in no time.
1. Move Your Body
No, I am not talking about you dancing with terribly animated aliens (a la Eiffel 65). Well, you could, but I recommend at least dancing with aliens that are better animated than those from the turn of the latest century.
Seriously, if you are stuck, the fastest way to get inspiration is exercising. Not only does it take you away from the computer (something that is an inspiration drain), but it gets your endorphins going–something that leads to happiness. Happy writer=productive writer.
My favorite form of exercise for inspiration? A walk. Something about getting fresh air and seeing new sites inspires me and makes me want to rush back to my computer to write.
2. Change Your Scenery
Want to know where I get my best ideas? Whenever I am somewhere different (a.ka. when I am traveling). I came up with my idea for a teen version of Cupid and Psyche in a restaurant in New Orleans. I heard my character’s voice for the first time (I am not crazy, I swear) on the streets of Asheville. I thought in poetry as I heard distant bagpipe music in Edinburgh.
If you can afford it, book yourself a trip. I can almost guarantee you will be flooded with new ideas.
3. Meet New People
If you are stuck on your characterization, go out there and meet new people! The more people you meet, the more potential characters you have for your novels. Not only can you use the stories they tell you (changing all identifying details, of course), but you can pay attention to their mannerism and way of speaking for dialogue purposes. So join a rec league or a book club to populate your book with new characters!
Yes, I realize this post might make it harder for me to make friends in the future. You gotta make some sacrifices for your art.
4. Try Something New
I don’t know what it is, but trying something new always inspires creativity in my writing. If I sign up for yoga, I suddenly come up with a new plot twist for my book. If I take a photography class, I am ready to write another 1,000 words afterward. I think it is because a new activity with no stakes helps relax your brain enough to have new creative ideas. (Don’t quote me on that or anything. I am not a scientist.)
I do not get inspired when I do art. That is just stressful. Have you seen a kid draw a stick figure? Yeah, that’s better than my stuff.
5. Consume Lots of Fun Entertainment
Nothing inspires me more than pop culture or the arts. Basically, I love mixing the low-brow with the high-brow (which the fashion magazines are telling me is really trendy). I will open my journal just as quickly after seeing Swan Lake as I will after seeing Neighbors. So, basically, don’t judge yourself for whatever inspires you. If that is The Bachelor, then, well, I will be sitting on the couch right next to you.
6. Talk It Out
If you are stuck, it helps to talk it out. Call a writing friend, and hash out where you are stalled. If you don’t have anyone like that in your life (or even if you do), I would love to be that person for you. Check out my coaching packages here.
How do you kickstart your writing when you are stuck? Tell me in the comments below!