This week: Boosting CreativityEdited by: Choconut
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"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." - Louis L’Amour
"Start before you’re ready." - Steven Pressfield
"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot." - Stephen King
"The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book." - Samuel Johnson
"You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page." - Jodi Picoult
When sitting down to think of inspiration for this newsletter, it hit me: Why not write about inspiration? I find this the hardest part of writing a short story. I sometimes worry I have a lack of imagination, but that’s not true. Rather, I think most writers will have the same problems now and then. Some days, you just can’t think of a fantastically exciting character whose story you need to tell. Sometimes, you can’t figure out what your fantastically interesting character would do next. That’s okay. We all experience this.
There are ways to work around this, though, things we can do to give out brains a kickstart. Some of them are obvious; some of them might ignite that lightbulb in your heads. I really hope they are useful. I found them a huge help. I’ve put them in a list with explanations where necessary.
Read, read, read. This is so important. Great writers read incessantly. It sparks ideas for our own stories.
Write. Okay, I’m going for the obvious here. But, what I mean is, just write. Don’t even think about what you intend to write, just do it. Free write. Time yourself. It might help to give yourself ten minutes to write about a specific word. Like ice cream, for example. Just write anything and everything you can in those ten minutes. It will help to get your brain into writer mode.
Eavesdrop. This is one of my favourites. Go to a busy place and listen to other people. Watch them, see how their body language works. You can imagine all kinds of stories by doing this. Plus, it can be really good fun.
Use junkmail. It has to be good for something, right? Why not take it and use it to give your character a profession and a thing that they do every day? Imagine their lives. What are their goals? You can get all sorts of ideas from this.
Browse Pinterest or Instagram. Look at pictures for inspiration. A lot of people find picture prompts easier. If that is you, find an image online that inspires you. Describe it. Write about it.
If characters are your problems, you could think about someone with whom you’ve lost touch over the years. Imagine what kind of person they will have become. What is their job? What makes them smile?
Don’t forget the many contests on Writing.com. There are themes covering just about everything if you look hard enough. Check out the current contests by clicking on the link below.
Finally, it can be helpful to have a change of scenery. Go for a walk, go to the coffee shop, do a spot of window shopping. Just a small change can make a wealth of difference to our imaginations.
Try different things, play around with them until you find something that works for you. The most important thing is to just write. No matter what. Even if it is one word over and over. In theory, this can still get your brain firing creatively.
Happy writing, and much creativity to you!
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I'm always interested to hear where people find their inspiration. I would love to know where your ideas come from. Do you build a story around a character(s) or around a plot?
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