Today I thought I’d share the four ways I draw up inspiration when my muse refuses to cooperate.
This amazing app transfers me from my laptop to thousands of different atmospheres. If I want to study in the Gryffindor Common Room, I’m there. If I need the pitter patter of a light rain, I can hear it with the click of a button. Am I writing a scene on a ship? There is an atmosphere for that! Ambient Mixer plays on our sense of sound to transport us into our scenes, and I’ve found it peeks my muse’s interest.
The downside to the app is that it only plays if the app is open. So, no closing it or the atmosphere is broken. Not a big deal if your phone offers split screen though.
- Picture Prompts
When my WIP feels overwhelming and I’m not sure where or how to continue, I search for a good picture prompt. I find intriguing pictures from Pinterest or Instagram, and base a flash fiction piece or short story around the image. It keeps my mind churning with new ideas and characters, which in turn sparks new inspiration for my novel.
When that pesky self-doubt rains on my sunshine, I pick up a book. Reading a well-developed story alongside strong prose and interesting characters stirs my motivation more than anything else. Books are gasoline for writers. I fill myself with stories, let the ones I love to act as fuel towards my own writing. It’s almost a type of jealousy that pulls at those hopes of completing my novel. And just like that *snaps fingers* I’m back in the writer’s seat and letting loose the words.
Read outside of your comfort zone, expand genres, authors, read indie authors, and short stories. The more you read the more diverse your writing will become.
Read, Read, Read!
- Write the Damn Thing
Sometimes inspiration alludes me completely no matter what I do, it refuses to rise to the occasion. I’ll give her the same cold shoulder and turn my back on writing all together. I’ll be sucked into whatever latest Netflix show captures my attention. I surf Instagram and Pinterest, I do anything to keep my mind off how stuck I am in my WIP. The one thing that rescues me from the depths of this self-doubt and frustration is WRITING!
I recently put off writing a scene for three days because, even though I knew what needed to happen, I couldn’t draw a straight line from A to B. Everything I thought felt forced. I finally sat my butt down and gave myself a goal of 1500 words. I knew it was unachievable without my muse by my side, but it was still something to strive for.
The first sentence formed on the heels of the previous, and so it went until I felt my fingers flying across the keyboard. Not only did I double the word count but in the process, I developed a solution for a plot hole that I’ve struggled to fill for the past month!
Maybe I needed those days off to gather my wits before returning. I’m not sure if that is true. What is true is that WRITING is what brought me to this outcome. WRITING is what sparked the inspiration, and WRITING is what will ultimately continue to drive my imagination!
Thanks for reading and I hope this helped a few of you who are feeling uninspired. I’d love to hear how you pull yourself out of a writer’s slump!