Monday, 29 October 2018

Inspiration: 15 Ways to Get It Happening


by Marilyn Forsyth


Image courtesy of giphy

Where does my inspiration comes from? Everywhere and Anywhere. If your muse has gone missing, you might like to try some of my favourite 'creative juice' feeders.


1. Read books. To be a writer, you have to be a reader. If you read only romances, try something different for a change. I bought a book of Celtic tales recently which has prompted an idea for a new story.


Image courtesy of pinterest.com




2. Read magazines for real life inspiration. Mags like Women’s Weekly have fabulous stories about people from all walks of life. Even headlines on covers are fodder for fresh ideas.








3. Watch movies. Sometimes a piece of dialogue will grab me, or an unusual setting will get me thinking. Movie trailers are good for that, too.


4. Listen to Music. Not just while you’re writing, but any time. I find many song lyrics and themes emotionally evocative.


Image courtesy of giphy

5. Have a life outside of writing. Get out of your cave and into the real world to observe what’s happening out there. People watching is endlessly fascinating and snatches of overheard conversation can stir up ideas. Places like airports have an inbuilt emotional ‘feel’ to them which can prove a jumping-off point for the creative process.



6. Travel. Discover new places, meet new people. Learning about different cultures can open up a whole new way of looking at things.


7. Dream. Sometimes the best ideas come in the middle of the night. Or you can daydream or meditate. Give yourself time to do nothing except to let your mind wander.


8. Go for a walk or a run. Fresh air is not only good for the body, it also stimulates your brain.


9. Human-interest pages on Facebook, Humans of New York for example, are well worth following for unique characters.


Image: author's own photo



10. Keep a notebook to jot down thoughts about an interesting character you’ve met, or to capture that utterly brilliant piece of dialogue that you just came up with. My inspiration for Falling in Love Again came from a note I made about opalized fossils after a visit to Lightning Ridge.






11. Write longhand. It doesn’t matter what you write. Don’t think about it, just do it without pausing for 10 minutes or so. Even thoughts that at first seem crazy can hold a gem of an idea.


12. Brainstorm. Free those ideas bubbling away in your brain. Even if those ideas are only half-formed, at least it’s a start.


13. Awaken your curiosity by playing ‘What if…?’ Or take 2 disparate ideas and make them fit together; cross-pollination can lead to original and intriguing outcomes. Cinderella + Hooker with a Heart did pretty well at the movies. 😉


Watercolour by Marilyn Forsyth





14. Be creative in a way other than writing. I like to paint and draw; using my hands instead of my brain allows my mind to roam.












15. Internet sites that feed your passion are a must. I follow a heap of Medieval-interest sites that constantly provide me with food for thought on characters and settings. Write with passion and you’ll always have fun with it.


There you have it: 15 ways to get inspiration happening. If your muse is giving you grief, I hope one of them works for you.


I never wait for inspiration to strike - I get out there and look for it. How about you? Do you wait for it to hit you over the head or do you go in search? 

Love to Love Kate Forsyth and Sarah Mills' Word of Mouth TV interviews with Aussie authors. Catch up on past episodes here.

Love to Laugh at the Graham Norton Show. Love seeing celebs being themselves.

Love to Learn how to improve my craft with feedback from RWAus competitions. For those interested, the Emerald and Emerald Pro close November 19th.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Marilyn. LOVE your post. I use all your points. I use all of your points, especially music and walking. AnotherAnoth inspiration hits is while I'm driving. And that's great way to keep calm in peak hour traffic. I love decorating for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, so much so I am the decorator for these at work. Making rooms and tables Lok pretty gets my imagination going

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Enisa! So glad you like the post, and that you use all the points. I agree that driving (when you're not being sent mad by crazy traffic) can be a great time for thinking. I know how much you love decorating and can just picture your imagination going into overdrive while you're doing it. ;)

      Delete
  2. Fabulous post. A wonderful list of ways to gain inspiration, Marilyn. I pretty much use all of them. I think the real trick is to have some way of recording ideas straight away so they don't get lost with life interfering. Whether that's a notebook or talking into your phone or writing on your arm. It's too easy to have inspiration and then say 'Oh, I'll make a note of that when I get home." The risk of losing it is too much. If it's written down you can come back to it. And date the ideas too. Some ideas don't turn into books or characters until years later and it's fun to know when and where they popped up. It's also something extra to talk about when promoting the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cathryn! That is such an important point you make about getting the idea down immediately. I've used the 'writing on the hand/napkin/scrap of paper' thing many times (gotta hate it when the scrawl is indecipherable, though). ;) I hadn't thought about dating the ideas - great suggestion.

      Delete
  3. Love all of these suggestions. Sometimes life just gets to frantic and we need to consciously slow down and enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cassandra! Yes! And especially frantic when a wedding is imminent. ;) Have the best time next weekend. xx

      Delete
  4. What a fabulous post! Thanks Marilyn. You’ve given me so many different strategies to try when the muse escapes me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great ways to be inspired! Love your water colour, too. You are a woman of many talents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Alyssa! Although, you being such a prolific author, I can't imagine you needing to go looking for inspiration. :)

      Delete
  6. Hi Marilyn, I tried to post earlier this week (twice!) but the internet swallowed me up, sorry...! I love this post, all the different inspirations and such. Even if you don't write, these are lovely ways to enrich your life. Thankyou!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Malvina! You obviously had a great time with the Dickens Society. It looked like a lovely few days.

      Delete

We love getting comments. Why not leave one?!