I used to argue against the notion that writer’s block exists. Though I believe that this term is factually incorrect because you can always come up with something, your writing may end up lacking clarity and style, two elements essential to a good read.
Perhaps a more unambiguous explanation is to try to find the right words to build something you’ll be proud of–a masterpiece reflecting your knowledge, even passion for a particular subject. In that case I am right with you as I sometimes find myself needing inspiration.
When help is needed, I like to look at some of my favorites sources of writing inspiration a veritable bottomless well of resources to tap. Here are seven of my favorite methods:
1. Periodicals — Sure, much of what we read today can be found online, but there is something about newspaper print and the four-color look and feel of a print magazine that, well, inspires. Apple’s iPad may work in short order to make hard copies a thing of the past, so I’ll enjoy flipping and folding my newspapers until then or dog earring a favorite magazine article for future reference. Besides, sand and electronic devices do not mix!
2. Weblogs — Blogs have come of age with some operating as the definitive source for a particular subject matter. Easily, for articles about writing I can turn to Copyblogger and Freelance Folder, but some of my most enlightened times have come by reading the writings of an obscure blogger. Naturally, I cite as necessary.
3. Traveling — My family and I just returned from Wilmington, NC where we toured the Battleship North Carolina memorial, stayed at a new hotel, ate out at a different type of restaurant and went to church services Easter Sunday morning. New places, different faces can go far in helping breath fresh life into any writing project.
4. Coffee Houses — One of my favorite places to visit is a local Panera Bread shop. I love the coffee, but I also regularly run into people I know. Those conversations with friends can stimulate me to begin writing as soon as I return home as does “over heard” coffee shop chatter when familiar faces are absent.
5. Outdoors — Call it nature or name it exercise, in any case those times you take strolling around the neighborhood, walking through a park, climbing a hill or running, jogging, biking your way full speed ahead can inspire. When the weather is good I find that breaking up my day by taking a walk after lunch gets my mind in gear.
6. Sensory Stimulus — Some people find inspiration in the arts, others in music while still others in food. A vibrant painting, rousing anthem or the smell of freshly bakes chocolate fudge brownies wafting through the ventilation system can kick start the senses. Or at least remind me that I’m hungry!
7. Dreaming — Have you ever had a vivid dream and just knew that it offered to you inspiration? I have. I’m not the type of person who keeps a pad by his bed, because if the dream is that meaningful, then I know I’ll remember what matters. I’m a daydreamer too and have found that pushing away from the computer and allowing my mind to wander can soon bring me to a restful place, one where my mind isn’t weary from overwork.
How about you? Are there methods you use to stoke the fires of inspiration? Please share!
Photo Credit: Leonardini
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