Ah. Feels so good to plop down in front of your computer (or a notepad and pencil if you're into the tried, timeless and traditional) and write out a story, right? But what about those days when you're hammered with a heavy bout of writer's block? Where do you go or what do you do to fill yourself with fresh inspiration?
I've been going through that for quite awhile over recent months. The only thing that really at all inspires me to write is running into someone who asks a question (somewhere/anywhere, but often online) that's one I think I may be able to offer something helpful on. Even if I think the person, himself, may not find what I write helpful, I then imagine that whatever I'm writing may be helpful to someone else.
OR, I'll go completely in another direction - writing something frivolous about anything at all, and about something that's so easy to write about it poses not challenge whatsoever. OR, I'll decide to take advantage of the time and write some big, venting, rant that I know is useless and a big waste of everyone's time.
Neither of the second approaches is ever really very effective. Writing with the idea/motivation of trying to help someone is the one thing that sometimes results in reasonably good writing.
Really - I tend to think that sometimes the thing to do is just decide not to write for awhile. Eventually, ideas start showing up on their own. I've been in a giant, long, slump for months now; and it's getting so I'm building up a big collection of embarrassingly lousy writing. It's least lousy when I'm at least trying to help someone.
*Laughs* Sounds like my kind of dilemma! Picking a topic that will hopefully help or inspire others sounds like a really great strategy, though. I usually do something completely spontaneous and unrelated to writing entirely! This sometimes digresses to running in circles around my living room until I trip on my feet and fall flat on my face. Then my brain jolts to an idea (joking, joking ^^)! I actually just usually read a book or watch one of my favorite movies. Or talk to my sister! She's bursting with ideas.
Oddly enough, perhaps, I seem the most inspired whilst I'm down-in-the dumps/blue/depressed. Does this sound logical? When abysmal thoughts --combined with longings for past times of happiness--arise, and they are more frequent than not, it's like I can channel my thoughts through my fingers much more efficiently.
When I'm bored-silly, that is when the dreaded writer's block seems to grip me the hardest--probably no surprise there to many people, though. I (well, many of us) need a surefire method to combat this thief of creative juices and to be able to open up the floodgates of imagination once again--even when we're bored out of our minds!
When I'm lacking inspiration, I tend to just sit behind my laptop and begin typing. Whatever comes out will either turn into a story, or get me through that horrible writer's block.
When I'm not lacking, usually music, movies, and my girl friend help to inspire me. It's always nice to be able to brainstorm with someone. You can throw ideas at them and they can tell you if it would be readable, or even worth trying.
After writing for a while though, you'll eventually come across your own ways to inspire yourself.
I come from a really rural area, so a lot of times, when I try to write something that's meaningful, a lot of the people around here don't get it or appreciate it. But more recently, I've been stuff with a more local flare, drawing from the events around me, and surprisingly, I'm liking my own work a lot better, and it's becoming a lot more well received.
Interesting question. For me, it means to sometimes get out of the routine-go some place fresh, new or not recently explored. I was in writers block for awhile and realized it was my attitude-wanting to make the 'perfect' hub. Partly, my frustration was due to the job stress. Not enough of me to share.
Once I was on vacation I was taking photos everywhere and all my kids heard was, "this would make a good hub" LOL So, I have brought some of those ideas back with me and am recharged!
Inspiration for me comes from anywhere, nowhere in particular and/ or somewhere deep within. Nature, my grandchildren, whatever makes my heart soar. And, sometimes, whatever makes my heart ache.
Gazing out at the world around us and connecting with nature is definitely a great source of inspiration. But I know what you mean about "perfect"! That's my biggest challenge in writing. I try to make everything perfect from the first draft and always get bogged down over a phrase or sentence that takes days to get over. ^^
Does any kind of movie at all kick your imagination into high gear or do you have certain favorites you like to watch? I usually watch a movie in the same genre I'm writing in. Watching other people do wonders inspires me to work hard, too!
I beg your pardon Lorlie I swear I just had a bath, I did indeed. I saw these things you put in the bath. You swirl them around and your bath goes to jelly, then you add warm water when you are finished. Can you believe it? I really got to find this stuff.
A very interesting question. Something which happens to every writer. To me inspiration to write comes after meditation. I feel so happy and peaceful that I become creative after a half hour of meditation. The time spent on this everyday is worth it because it removes any sluggishness and makes me more productive. Like Lisa said, writing something to help others comes spontaneously and I don't need anything to inspire me.
Meditation, huh? I don't really have a formal routine, but I know what you mean about sitting down in a quiet place from time to time and just finding your peaceful center. It does help me write more afterwards!
When writer's block attacks- and "nothing comes from nothing", I search around the net for inspiring stories of personal nature, and enjoy them. Rather than be sorry, I rest my mind, to condition it to work again.
Ah, the wonderful world of online stories. Reading what others have to say about the general topic I'm working on helps me get inspired. Ex. I'm trying to write a funny "first date" scene. The thing that helps me most is checking out online stories others have shared about their experiences! Learning from their adventures helps me invent some of my own.
I am just going to jump in here as the new guy. I go to the elements, as I have a very strong connection in them. I love walking in the grass and feeling the wind blow around me, or sitting on the waters edge, watching the waves roll in. Sitting by a nights fire in my firepit calms and relaxes me. My Children are also a major source of inspiration to me. They can take my mind in its darkest and bring light bursting through.
Anything with really new ideas. Whether it be a film, book, music, conversation, people one meets. Inspiration usually comes to me with exposure to something radically different that reminds me it really is possible to do something entirely new.
When I am faced with writer's block I make a list in my head of the things that are most important to me and also the things I fear the most. Between the two lists I usually come up with something. Then there's the walk in the park or along a beach.
Generally speaking conflict comes out of fear and a desire to do something about that fear. As for what's important you can start with yourself and then progress to family and friends. Environment and environmental issues come into play because they affect us all including family and friends. It could be the government putting the squeeze on us all over carbon emissions which may mean paying more tax directly and also paying more for goods at the supermarket. It could be raging against an oil spill that should never have happened or writing fiction about a future spill closer to home.
The news can sometimes furnish ideas. Maybe there is an injustice you wish to address. Maybe a story is being slanted in a prejudicial way and you want to do something about it via your own writing.
Books do inspire me but usually weeks even months after I have read them and often not in a straightforward way but combined with other things. Books like 1984 and Make Room! Make Room! can share your life with you years after they have been read.
As for music, well, it can give me a time period and a setting. The 1920s wasn't called the Jazz era for nothing. The '70s to me is the disco era. The '80s is punk and new wave. As for the present day era I suppose hip hop and rap. But you can make up your own mind about the present era or other time periods. Whatever works for you and your imagination and your sense of history. You can even be anachronistic just so long as you know and work your fiction that way. Want a helicopter over the Somme circa 1917. Fine. Just figure out a way it could possibly get there from the present.
In the end life does lend a hand with your fiction but how it lends a hand, well, can be a mystery.
Beautifully spoken! Life just comes at you in all kinds of strange ways and you can never really expect what will come out of anything you do or try. 1984 really is a great example of just what you mean about books inspiring years after they have been read. I read 1984 for the first time in 9th grade but never really understood its meaning until my first year of college, at which point it inspired me to try my hand at a dystopian futuristic story.
Real life - dipping my hands into it and feeling the heat reach my veins. Even human suffering. Each and every hub of mine is a result of this inspiration... felt in my blood. Unless I'm deeply moved, I just can't write. Hence, only 18 hubs so far.... yet a part of me has gone into them all
If its here then reading a couple of hubs gives some relaxation and time to get away from the pressure of writing.
But I would have to say to rid the page of writers block, I prefer to go and bounce around a bit at ezine articles for ideas so that I dont end up being swayed to rewrite what someone else has written a hub about.Nice for finding new topics.
But, to really master reset. Fishing on the beach brings the inspiration.
Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.
I was curious if there any strict rules about critiquing another person's hubs. If everything is based on fact and what they have said in the hub and comments it doesn't fall under the label of slander does it....