Finding Inspiration, A Guest Blog by Laura Mae


One of the most common setbacks for writers is inspiration. I would honestly put it at the top, along with writer’s block; but they seem to be one in the same. Not knowing what to write can be the most daunting feelings and sometimes it feels like it will never go away. But some good news, it will ALWAYS go away. How long it takes, though, is up to you.

There is no “one” or “right” way to gain inspiration to write.

We are all unique, weird, and at times, unstable individuals. If there was one way to get inspiration to write, there would be books getting published every minute of every day. But sadly, this is not the case, I’m here to try to help you in getting back that spark you’ve been missing.


Dreams


If you’ve been following me here for the last few months, you might know already that I value dreams over all others for inspiration. Dreaming can inspire your mind in ways you never thought imaginable. The things you dream of at night can sometimes be alarming on how the hell your brain came up with something like that. But that’s the beauty of it. Inspiration should hit us like a cement truck, and dreams are good at being blunt. You may not think so if you don’t dream much, but for me at least, they have several meanings. pexels-photo-279360.jpegYou just have to look for it. If you don’t remember your dreams very well, take my advice and make a dream journal. Any little sliver of a dream you have, write it down as soon as you wake up. This is when it will be the most vivid in your mind. The longer you wait to write it down, the more the details will just fly out of the window. Plus, it’s not a bad take-a-away, if while you’re writing, you start to make-up things in the middle that help you make sense of what’s going on. The draw-back on relying on strictly your dreams is that they can come far and few between. Or, if you have trouble sleeping, dreams will not come to you as easily. So, onto the second trial.


Do Stuff


I honestly feel dumb that this is something I’ve only recently started doing. If you’re like me, a homebody, you do not go out very much at all. You work, you might have kids, you might have school and homework. Going out to do things besides what you normally do, puts a damper on any kind of new inspiration. If you have the means, go out and do things you don’t normally do. For example, I haven’t gone hiking in a very long time, but I finally had the chance to go and I went somewhere I’ve never gone. The memory of just being there resonates with me and I am able to go back and visit it if I need to. I also did a ‘pay-it-forward’ at a fast food drive-thru and was actually given a free coffee by the cashier; just because. I’ve never done the ‘pay-it-forward’ thing before, but it was cool the way it worked out. My point is, get out of your comfort zone, get off the couch and go somewhere and do something different.


Talk to People/People Watch


Most writers are introverted, which is why I put 2 options on here. If you do happen to be outgoing-ish, randomly talking to strangers could be a good way to learn about others. The way they act, talk, move, ect. I think this is fun to base characters off of if they do something memorable. But if you are introverted like me and can’t imagine talking to random people, go somewhere crowded with people and just watch. Bring a notebook, take notes, learn what people do in “the wild”. This also helps with the “Do Stuff.” Maybe something fun will happen to you in your outings that you can write about later.


Playing Video Games


This may be a tad nontraditional, but I think video games have a tremendous positive impact on us.  Not only are they interactive, but they make you think differently than reading a book or watching T.V.  The way games work have to be different because it’s being controlled by a third person. RPG’s (Role Playing Games) are very story driven, and they are great examples of how stories are different. The immersion of them can force you to think outside of the box, and that’s always a good thing.


Taking Showers


For me, taking showers can spur on a lot of thinking and talking. I’ll be the first to admit, I sing and talk in the shower. A lot. Something about the constant flow of hot water somehow makes your brain work better. Or maybe you have conditioned yourself to brainstorm in the shower, so it’s just used to it by now. If you are needing something to get the gears running, try taking shower. Don’t go in expecting to have a light bulb go off as soon as your feet hit the duck stickers. Just relax, try to clear your mind and take in the hot water and sound of the shower. I also suggest showers instead of baths, but this is just my preference. (I hate baths) But if you like taking baths, try that too. Also, having some herbal scents in the bathroom can trigger more senses. The moisture of the steam activates them and is inhaled into your lungs.


Listen to New Music


Music has a way of seeping into our souls without even realizing it. (Earworms, I’m lookin’ at you.) pexels-photo-374777Listen to songs you’ve never heard of or bands that you think you might like. Pandora is really good for this. If you don’t have them and you want an easy way to get new stuff, Pandora is a quick, easy solution. Otherwise, if you have Spotify, they have a slew of playlists you can search for based on what mood you’re in and discover new music that way.


I hope this can help you get back on track for your writings. There is inspiration all around you; you just have to seek it.

–Laura Mae


Thank you, Laura, for a great guest blog.

Laura’s book is available on Amazon now. Check it out!

fliersreleasead1Follow Laura on Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and GoodReads, or check out her website to get the latest updates on what’s going on with her writing.


 

39 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration, A Guest Blog by Laura Mae

  1. Great advice, I like the video game suggestion a lot. It is where I draw a lot of inspiration. Making tough decisions, connecting with your character you’ve created it has helped me with my writing ( but the same could be said for plain ole RPG games where the visuals don’t exist- at least for me).

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Pingback: Inspiration… – LexxWrites

  3. Inspiration isn’t the problem for me. Weird ideas are always popping up in my head. My big problem is follow through on larger projects. I can live with an idea or concept from flash fiction through short story, but novella and novel-length projects are tougher. I tend to lose interest when the next idea comes along.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used to have similar issue, then I just started keeping a journal for those ideas and then getting back to the novel I was working on. If I stagnate with a novel for too long I will set it aside though and come back later, right now I’m doing that with my fantasy because it’s a huge mess so going to try new songs method of planning out scenes better/ layering novel. We shall see how it goes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I keep a similar journal but it’s on my blog. I have tons of “private” pages only I can see, and I keep all my notes on them. Right now I’m toggling between my fantasy and steampunk novels.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Yes. I have an exact word count of my half-written fantasy novel (something like 54,000 words so far), chapter by chapter. All of the chapters are in Word documents and most of them are online in some draft form (it’s always a good idea to keep your work backed up somewhere). Once I get the first draft completed, then will come the daunting task of editing, editing, editing.

            The steampunk novel is less developed, something like eight chapters at this point, but I don’t have an exact word count yet. I just need to keep my focus and work on them regularly, which means I need to keep making them fun.

            Word counts can be encouraging and daunting. Many publishers won’t even consider touching a submitted novel unless it’s between 100,000 and 120,000 words long, which means your story either has to “organically” fit that word count or you have to pad the content, the latter being a poor authoring strategy. I figure I’ll just keep “plunking” away and take the word count more seriously in the edits.

            I’ve submitted ten short stories to various anthologies and periodicals so far. One story has been rejected by two different publishers (ouch), and I haven’t heard back on the others. Usually, publishers will have specific word counts for short stories, and I’ve had to severely edit some of my tales to make them “fit.” Surprisingly, this isn’t as hard as it sounds, but then participating on all of these “writing challenges” has given me plenty of practice.

            I was about to write my next short story for a “themed” open submission, but something made me check out the publisher. The head editor has been under something of a cloud for several decades due to allegations of child sexual abuse (there’s a lot more to the story, but for space limitations, I won’t relate it all here).

            I dug a little deeper, and a number of authors have pulled stories they previously submitted to this editor for publication, so I decided it might be best for me to halt this project (though I may develop a different version of it and submit it elsewhere). Besides, it didn’t pay very much and their email address is hosted at Yahoo.com, so especially the latter is a red flag. I only mention it because as authors, we have to be careful who may potentially publish our stories. We don’t need to be associated with people or groups who could hurt our reputation.

            Oh, curiosity had me click the link on your blog, but I discovered it doesn’t exist. If I wanted to read some of your writing, where would I go?

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this, though I do not often struggle with inspiration these days. People watching is super fun, and writing down dreams has been a source of crazy and fun ideas for me as well. Some of my most brilliant thoughts come to me while I am showering. If only I had a waterproof pen & pad in there with me! Maybe that’s why the artist formerly known as Prince has his home set up to be a recording studio from anywhere – he wanted to have a way to capture some of his amazing song ideas from wherever he happened to be at the time. Thanks for the thoughtful post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks! I think people my age and younger have been so accustomed to staying inside because we have everything we need in our homes now. Its really important in life to get out every once in a while.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I get ideas (sometimes one sometimes lots) when I go running. There’s nothing else to do but entertain my thoughts. It can be tough to find inspiration. Will people like this? What should I write about next? Is this good enough? I’m learning to push doubt aside and be like Nike. Just do it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins – Laura Mae

  7. Thanks for the inspiring post! The info is helpful. I have found ideas and internal dialogue of my characters pop in my head not only in the shower, but also when I’m washing dishes and when I take quiet walks with my dogs. 🙂 I wonder if doing jigsaw puzzles helps. I love working on those. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Sunday Share: Week 21 | All In A Dad's Work

  9. This was very helpful! As a new blogger I find myself throughout the day thinking “what can I write about”. Yesterday something came to me randomly as I was just going about my day! I know when I start writing more, more inspiration will hit, but I loved all the ways you listened for inspiration! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Two thumbs up to your suggesting new music. As a sociologist I usually find that people don’t always understand all the influences they are under, nor the effect of those influences on them. While it may seem insignificant, people who listen a limited range of music aren’t likely to think outside their own self-made box. It’s such a small way to begin to expand and diversify the creative muscles.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Great blog and i love the advice. As a new blogger i almost spend half of my day about what i will right next, i just started a blog “lonelykan” and i really need inspiration to write. Thank you and please check my blog because i am new to this world and i really needs advicd from a great blogger follow if you like my content.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s