Lookin’ for inspiration in all the wrong places? When you’re stuck in a writing rut, finding great ideas can be as elusive as the spider which was in the corner one second and gone the moment you turned back with a shoe in hand. For 9-1-1 moments like these, I like to turn to out-of-the-box inspiration.
1. Old Photographs
Visiting grandparents? Check out their old photographs! Something as simple as the expressions on their faces can help. I try imagining them as friends of my main character. It takes the guess work out of physical descriptions and allows you to focus on their personalities.
Not sure what’s going to happen to your main character? Let a tarot card decide! Writing a fantasy novel? Let the beautifully illustrated cards from the game Dixit cards steer you in the right direction. The vibrant colors, the pictures, and the spontaneity of it all can often trigger fantastic ideas.
4. Antique Stores
There’s a teapot with a small crack, but you know it was well-loved. In the corner, an armoire, which would fit perfectly in an old Victorian home. Stroll around. Each object has a history, and with a little imagination, you can add that history to your story.
3. Get Out of Town
Sometimes, wandering outside of your day-to-day routine can give a writer new ideas. During an impromptu drive about an hour away from my house, I came across a barn and instantly knew I had to have this barn in my book. Something about the way the sunlight brightened the red roof made the old building come alive. With that simple act of inspiration, an entire story evolved. No barns in sight? Taking a hike in nature or exploring a quaint town can also keep the ideas flowing.
Sure, it can take time to complete some of these tasks, but isn’t our writing worth it? Do you have any great ideas for beating the writing-rut? Share them in the comments!
Bethany Masone Harar is an author, teacher, and blogger, who does her best to turn reluctant readers into voracious book-reading nerds. Check out her blog here.
Beth--Often reading something good nudges me. Or doing something completely unrelated to writing (knitting, mopping or taking the dog for a walk) allows an idea to slip into my head. The best: talking with fellow writers. When they share their work in a critique session, it almost always reminds me of a piece I could write.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Beth, for this post. Your reflections make ME reflect... as you can see by the previous Muffin post.
Hi, Beth: I'm not sure what happened to the comment that I left. I was moved at the time! Let me just summarize by saying that I appreciated your post, and how it exemplifies the importance of being open to inspiration from all everyday events and artifacts.ReplyDelete
I get inspiration from listening to the news in the car, because some of the stories take me to places I never would have known about otherwise!ReplyDelete
I also get inspired by unique places and things I discover when traveling. Also reading a good book or watching a spectacular movie that gives me all the feels and makes me want to create something beautiful, too. And I LOVE antique stores!ReplyDelete