5 Ways to Chase Inspiration

Guest bloggers visit my website twice a month on Tuesday and Thursday. If you would like to be part of this, feel free to check out the Be A Guest Blogger page.

This week’s guest post is brought to you by Nicky. Thanks, Nicky!

It’s a funny thing that when you most need inspiration (remembering you’ve agreed to do a guest post that’s due in an hour for example), that illusive entity of the imagination eludes you.

Artists, in general, all understand how difficult it is to describe inspiration and where they draw it from, but writers, in particular, seem to personify it.

Perhaps it’s because we all struggle with it at some point, or because our self-doubt expresses itself so clearly as a separate personality that our vivid imaginations can easily translate it into something that isn’t us.

Whatever the reason, and no matter how you choose to view inspiration, the general consensus seems to be that it’s not something that should be waited upon.

Inspiration is something that should be sought out, chased after, created. If necessary, it should be wrenched from its hiding place and forced to work for you, instead of against you.

With that in mind, there are several tricks that artists and writers, in particular, can use to generate emergency inspiration.

1. Ask a question. It can be about anything. Something that happened to you, something your character did in the last chapter. Whatever question it is, make sure it’s open-ended and can’t be answered with a yes or no.

2. Chat to other writers. Sometimes a discussion about your current WIP can spark a chain of ideas you never would have thought of. Not all of them will apply, but you’ll more often than not end up with motivation to continue that you didn’t have before.

3. Find writing prompts. The internet is full of wonderful sites that offer writing prompts, and if you need one in a hurry, there are apps available for smartphones as well.

4. Observe. As artists, we often look at the world slightly differently, but we tend to forget that when life swoops in and insists on stealing our time. As writers, in particular, observing life as we experience it, gives us a wonderful selection of material to use for inspiration.

5. Just write. Even if you’re 100% certain that it’s going to be useless, write it. We may personify inspiration, believing it to be an uncooperative brat, but at the end of the day, no one likes to be ignored and if you ignore that sulking muse, waiting for it to creep up and offer apologies on a silver platter of ideas… You’ll have a long, long, wait ahead of you.

Instead, write as often as possible, whether you feel it’s good, bad or just plain awful. Because every time you write, it’s like taking inspiration out for ice cream and making it fall a little bit deeper in love with you.

Everyone knows that when you’re in love, you want to spend every moment together, so naturally, you’ll never lack inspiration again. Until the time for your next blog post comes round, anyway.

You can find Nicky on her website.

18 thoughts on “5 Ways to Chase Inspiration

  1. Great post! Reminds me of a quote that I think is by Louis L’Amour, and goes something like this: “if you want the water to flow, you have to turn on the faucet.” So you have to just jump in and start writing, even if you’re not feeling “inspired” quite yet.

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