When you love literature and expressing yourself, it’s inevitable to fall in love with the act of writing. And when you’re first starting a new poem, story, or novel, it’s so exciting to explore the new world with characters who intrigue you. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to feel inspired. Whether you’re in front of your notebook with a blank page in front of you not knowing how to pen those first few lines of a poem or in the middle of your novel and suddenly stuck, it can feel hopeless. But remember: this happens to all writers, even those who’ve been writing forever. While there’s a lot to be said for discipline and writing every day (keep doing that!), sometimes what you need is to find inspiration.
By trying out one of these strategies, you’ll eventually find the inspiration you need. It’s all about being creative and open-minded because eventually, one of these ways of finding inspiration will work.
Reread your favorites–and then new books
Chances are good that you fell in love with writing yourself because you first fell in love with writing in general. Whether it was the fun adventures of Katniss in The Hunger Games, or Nathaniel Hawthorne’s linguistic complexity and exploration of old American culture, something made you think: “I want to be a writer.” And revisiting these authors will inevitably inspire you, and remind you of the reasons why you wanted to write in the first place.
Once you’ve done that, it’s also smart to read new books that will surprise and enchant you. In the same way that a business innovator like Tom Zaccagnino might go to an industry event to learn about new tech advancements, you need to be aware of literary trends and experimentation. So check out the most recent book display at your local library, or join a book club. And with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription service available at $9.99 a month, you can read cheap from home, too.
Break your habits
If you’re feeling uninspired with your writing, chances are you’re feeling uninspired when it comes to other parts of your life. It’s easy to get into a writing rut, especially if everything’s the same day after day. So by switching up your habits, you’ll suddenly have new writing material. You’ll hear the words in your head so clearly that it’ll feel like they’re being whispered to by one of the muses.
For some writers, this means traveling to a far-off destination. For others, it means joining a gym and getting pumped before sitting down at the desk to write. Whatever you choose, it’s smart to try out different strategies so that the next time you’re stuck, you’ll know what to do. If you’re lucky, you’ll get inspired with the right idea, and sell 2.2 million print books in the US just like Paula Hawkins, the author of The Girl on The Train, did back in 2016.
Get a writing partner–or join a writing group
Sometimes, we need accountability to do the things that matter to us. There’s a reason why gym buddies exist, and the same goes for writing buddies. By simply planning to go to a cafe with a friend to write, you’ll feel the pressure to do it as you listen to your friend scribbling away a story in their own notebook. Anyone can write a great story if they commit to it–which is why Mike Omer, an ordinary computer engineer, managed to get his most recent book ranked tenth on Amazon Charts back in July 2018.
For this same reason, joining a writing group can inspire you, too. Especially if it’s a writing workshop in which you’re expected to submit pieces of writing every few weeks, you have no choice other than to write. What will inevitably happen is that you’ll see other writers doing things you enjoy, and discussions will make you understand the craft in a different way. Additionally, if you’re looking to succeed as a writer, it’s not a bad idea to enroll in an MFA program or take a writing course with a publisher like Faber & Faber. Since Faber & Faber began their novel-writing course in 2009, 62 graduates secured publishing deals as of August 2017.
Whichever of these strategies you choose to use, one of them is bound to work for you. Get creative, have some fun, and if you need to step away from your computer or notebook for a little while before diving back in, that works, too.
How else have you found inspiration?