Finding inspiration is easy. One doesn’t even have to try. Most of the time, it just comes on its own. It’s the motivation that’s the hard part.
Inspiration can take many forms. Sometimes a place or person can inspire. Other times something more abstract like a color, the smell of rain, or even a song can put a writer onto a path of no return. It’s something that cannot be forced. You never know when your muse will show up, so always keep a pen and paper at the ready.
Motivation, on the other hand, is a bitter-sweet reminder that we are all human. We can get distracted, bored, or even just lose interest for a while. Some people call a storyteller’s kryptonite Writer’s Block. I hate this term. I don’t like being blocked from doing something, especially something I love. The sad part is that we do this to ourselves. So, here are a few tips and tricks I use to help prevent Writer’s Block and keep me motivated.
- Caffeine. Tea or coffee? Whatever floats your boat. I like to have a cup of coffee with a little bit of milk and loads of ice for breakfast. I’ll drink unsweetened black iced tea throughout the day, if needed. For a nighttime writing session, I boil some water for hot green tea with a teaspoon of honey.
- Exercise. No, not a writing exercise. I always find time to get a workout done. I like to run and do Pilates. No one wants to stay cramped in the same position typing away at a keyboard all day. It’s monotonous and so bad for your health. Running helps me clear my head, and Pilates helps stretch my body out. It feels so much better when I’m done. I have come up with some really great scenes while running and even while hiking.
- Unplug. Put your phone on silent and in another room, log out of all social media outlets on your computer, and turn off the T.V. You will be amazed at how much you can get done, and how quickly, if you limit your distractions.
- Don’t keep food in your workspace. Have designated time slots for your meals. Whether you write at a desk or in bed, food has no place there. How can you get into a pace if you keep stopping to snack? Plus, it’s messy and can lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle.
- Make a playlist. I find music to be very stimulating. I have a playlist on my iPod called “Inspiration”. I don’t use it to come up with new ideas. I use it to flesh out existing ones. Some melodies just help me put myself in the scenario. Some songs help with character development. Here are a few that have made my ever growing list so far:
“Hush” by Joy Williams and Matt Berninger
“The Mystic’s Dream” by Loreena McKennitt
“The Cello Song” by The Piano Guys
“That’s What the Wise Lady Said” by Angtoria
“Song of the Caged Bird” by Lindsey Stirling
“My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark” by Fall Out Boy
“Sail” by AWOLNATION
“Birds of Prey” by Christina Aguilera
“Dust to Dust” by The Civil Wars
“Any Other Way” by We the Kings
I hope this list helps you. Remember, no one can tell your story except you. If that isn’t motivation in itself, then I don’t know what is. Until next time…