7 Simple Ways To Get Writing Inspiration
Oh, the irony of trying to get inspired so one can write a blog post about writing inspiration. This is my fourth or fifth or 20th pass at this opening paragraph, and I’m still waiting for the perfect sentence to flow through my fingers and onto this page.
Unfortunately, freelance writers who don’t want to die of starvation can’t just sit around and wait to feel inspiration for writing. If you’re struggling with an article, and your motivation seems to be on sabbatical, here are a few tricks I’ve found helpful when trying to jumpstart my brain.
How To Find Writing Inspiration
Some of these tricks have to do with writing techniques, while others are completely abstract; but that’s the point. Sometimes, the best writing inspiration tricks are ones that change your mindset completely, allowing you to start with a blank page again. Read on to find some inspiration for writing!
1. Do Chores
Let me be very, very clear: I don’t find sweeping to be an inspirational activity. However, part of the problem with trying to write when you’re feeling stagnant is that your mind wanders to other, more interesting things. That’s why doing something that seems truly dreadful – like cleaning grout or organizing the basement – can help drum up the writing inspiration that seemed so elusive earlier. I find cleaning the bathroom to be especially effective; after a modest amount of porcelain scrubbing, I’m ready to write about anything.
2. Read About Something Else
If you’re having trouble getting excited about a certain topic, force-feeding yourself information about that subject isn’t likely to breed inspiration. Like any muscle, your brain should be worked in different ways to stay strong and healthy. And since your brain isn’t actually a muscle, I say there’s nothing wrong with reading a trashy novel or watching some mind-numbing reality TV while you take a break from whatever writing is causing so much grief. Videos of cats on Roombas are also acceptable.
3. Write About Something Else
Similarly, you might be able to force inspiration’s hand by writing about an unrelated subject. Switching from a technical article about computer software to a short story about dinosaurs competing in a spelling bee should put you in a new headspace that could get you past your writer’s block. Plus, think of all the money you’ll make when that dinosaur book hits the shelves!
4. Go For a Walk
Sometimes, gaining writing inspiration is all about getting a new perspective. Whatever helps you add context and new ideas can be a boon to your writing career. If you’re a freelance writer that works from home, then drop the laptop and go take a stroll around the block. Or, even better, head over to the park and people watch for a while. Get out of your own head and into the fresh air. Don’t even get me started on the number of classic novelists that have gained writing inspiration from just being outside…
5. Take a Shower
This tip is two-fold. First, you’ve probably spent way too much time trying to get inspiration for writing that you’ve forgotten basic hygiene best-practices and may have needed a reminder to get ready for the day. Second, getting fresh and clean and looking/feeling great can give you a new perspective.
Getting writing inspiration is similar to being wide awake in the middle of the night and not knowing how to turn off your brain. For me, if I get up, go splash cold water all over my face, dry it off and go lay back down it’s like a fresh start at that thing they call sleep… Maybe it will work for your writing, too!
6. Visit With a Friend
Hopefully you’ve surrounded yourself with good friends and talking to them is uplifting and not the opposite. If so, then take some time to give one a call, or video-chat. You don’t have to talk about your writing projects at all, but sometimes stepping into someone else’s shoes for a day to see what their day is like and how they approach different things can give you ideas on how you might come at your writing projects a different way.
And, it gives you some much-needed social interaction which freelance writers can be seriously short on these days.
7. Fix Bad Work
You know what’s easier than writing a great article? Editing a bad article. Perhaps the hardest part about finding writing inspiration is conquering the blank page. Once you’re 100 words in, even if those words are full of gross typos and weak phrases, there will be sentences that you can build off and change. The idea will start taking shape, more thoughts will pop into your head and you may realize you hate what you’re writing about and become inspired to change the topic entirely.
You can’t really claim to be lacking writing inspiration until you’ve at least tried to write a sentence or two, so stop reading this article and get to work! Just kidding, go ahead and read the last paragraph.
Inspiration for Writing Can Come From Anywhere!
If there’s one predictable thing about writing inspiration, it’s that you can’t predict where you’re going to find it. Instead of using a missing muse as an excuse not to write, take action and try to get your brain working on its own. If you have any thoughts about ways to get inspiration for writing, please share them in the comments!