Writers tips

How To Find That Elusive 1% Inspiration

A graphic designer friend of mine told me that she uses Pinterest to find design inspiration. I said, but there’s so much stuff in there, it’s chaotic! She said, that’s how I find it. In a world of chaos, I will find something that jumps at me!

Isn’t that a stark contrast to authors and famous writers who find inspiration in peace and tranquility, in surreal and serene scenarios?

Well, if you ask the muses, they will probably say inspiration can come from even the most unimaginable sources. Including Pinterest which I call an organized chaos, actually.

Jack London said it perfectly: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club!” For me that means, with full gusto and armed with an open heart.

Still stuck

But what if you’re really stuck in a rut and you can’t seem to channel your inner muse? What then? We all have to start somewhere. If your neurons aren’t getting wired too tightly, look into this writers’ tips list of inspiration sources. These have worked wonders for some of the best ones out there, hopefully, you included!

  • Stare at something blue or green

Let me go scientific on this. It may sound funny but research says that blue and green are the best colors to influence creativity. Maybe because the sky is blue and green means growth.

  • Try laughing

A positive mood can construct a background for creativity. Try it! I’m hysterical now and see how far I’ve gotten!

  • Meditating really helps

Try a relaxing moment where you just shut out and shut down everything. Even the purring of your hard drive should be off. And just listen to the silence.

  • Create something with your hands

Our fingers are so used to typing, it could use a little bit of knitting perhaps, or clay molding. This activity is a welcome distraction for a while. It doesn’t need thinking so you are refreshing your gray matter.

  • Spend time outside

Go for a swim, take a hike or go camping under the stars. The fresh air will relieve you and feed your spark box.

  • Do some heavy exercise

A quick jog around the block or about 35 hits to a punching bag – anything that will strengthen and flex your muscles will free your brain of activity. After a hearty sweat, you develop a certain sense of purpose.

  • Change places

If you have the capability and time, go abroad and look at the new cultures you will find. Creativity can come from intercultural experiences. Those immersion groups are always a good source of inspiration and a sense of awe.

  • Make a stash

Create your own storage of all your ideas, feelings, observations, worries, hopes and impressions. Or just about anything that comes to your mind. Don’t we all wish we could just download our instant thoughts so that they never get lost? (I heard Elon Musk is already developing this). These ideas will be useful someday for scenarios or characters.

  • What activity excites you

What tickles your fancy or stirs up your emotions? Old habits can make you recall something from the past that inspired you. It could be something very normal or it could be something really weird. Dan Brown (author of Da Vinci Code), would find inspiration by hanging upside down. He says it helps him relax. Charles Dickens couldn’t write if his hair was out of place so he constantly ran a comb through his hair. I can imagine how relaxing that is.

  • Get some sleep

Get some shut-eye and wake up fresh. Believe that the next day will bring in fresher ideas after a good night’s sleep and it will happen.

  • Your muse will come

I can tell you a thousand reasons NOT to start writing, but start anyway. In one of those lines, your muse will appear by your side leading you on. Why? Because you never stopped looking for inspiration even without her.

It’s all about emotions

These are some great writers’ tips. But one should never write uninspired. There is no audience at all for uninspired writing. Because then, there won’t be any emotions involved. And it is exactly those emotions that can be transmitted from author to reader.

Thomas Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. Still, you can’t have a hundred percent without that fleeting bit of 1% inspiration. So put on those positive jeans, flex those creative metacarpal bones, don your thinking-cap-cum-light-bulb and start writing! Remember, if it doesn’t give you pleasure, it’s not worth writing.

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