Every writer needs inspiration and you can’t just sit around waiting for it. Inspiration is an essential part of the writing process, and you need to find what works for you.
Poet Edith Sitwell would lie in an open coffin before beginning her writing every day. Poet Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller used to keep rotten apples under the lid of his desk and inhale their pungent bouquet when he needed to find the right word. Victor Hugo, and Benjamin Franklin felt that they did their best work if they wrote while they were nude. Edmond Rostand and Dalton Trumbo wrote while soaking in a bathtub.
Maya Angelou could work only in hotel or motel rooms. Truman Capote couldn’t begin or end anything on a Friday. Igor Stravinsky performed headstands when he needed a break, and Saul Bellow did 30 push-ups. Haruki Murakmi runs 10 kilometers or swims 1500 meters every day. Children’s author Frances Hardinge will go on a 10-mile hike to work through plot holes in her head.
Here are some other ways to find the inspiration you need to start writing.
This may seem obvious, but all great writers need to read. To get the most out of your reading, read with intention, and take the time to analyse the writing. Pay attention to how the writer writes, how they develop their characters, and even their grammar and punctuation.
If you’re writing a book, take the time to observe the cover to get book cover design inspirations for your own novel. Read the author’s biography, or delve into at any artwork that might be in the book.
Read what you love, but also try reading outside of your comfort zone. It’s when you try new things and experience something different that you’ll often get your best ideas.
Numerous great writers have gained their best ideas from sitting around and listening to strangers. Don’t be too obvious about it, of course. However, a little light eavesdropping never hurt anyone — and it can certainly help spark some ideas. So the next time you’re sitting on a train, sipping on a latte in your local coffee shop, or sitting on a park bench, do a little eavesdropping. You’ll get a look into other people’s lives, hear about the challenges they’re facing and discover new points of view. Listening to other people’s conversations can also help writers with developing dialogue that sounds realistic and raw. If eavesdropping makes you uncomfortable, just be conscious of respecting people’s boundaries.
Keep a daily journal
Just like all parts of our body, our creative mind needs to be exercised. Often, the best writing inspiration comes from letting ourselves be free to create beyond our regular work. Whatever helps you daydream and tap into your unconscious, do it. Multiple studies have shown that journaling is key to jumpstarting your creativity.