If you’ve ever found yourself with writer’s block than you understand all too well how frustrating it can be to want to write but lack the inspiration. Every writer, regardless of how successful he or she is, has dealt with creativity ruts. Everyone is different. Some writers may take a step back and busy themselves with other tasks, others may force themselves to sit at their desk until they produce something.
Remaining motivated to write may sound impossible, however, making every attempt to continue finding inspiration is a noble endeavour. So what can you do instead of sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike?
Here are simple tips for remaining inspired as a writer.
Explore more when you read.
All great writers are also readers so it comes as no surprise that reading is an important part of writing. Whether you already have a natural ability to write well or not, reading can only help you to become better at writing. Reading becomes even more important at uninspired times. That is not to suggest reading the works of others to find new ideas. Instead, use what you read as resources for motivation and encouragement.
Furthermore, broaden your range of reading. Avoid sticking to your favourite genre or form. Instead, explore everything and find new things that you love. If you usually stick to fiction try a nonfiction book. Read short stories and poetry written by authors you’ve never heard of. Explore, explore, explore!
There are also great books about writing that may be helpful. ‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’ by Stephen King or ‘Zen in the Art of Writing’ are excellent places to start.
Avoid holding yourself back when you are feeling especially creative. Editing less doesn’t mean don’t edit at all, however, there may be something to the old adage from Hemingway- “Write drunk, edit sober”. Now, the drinking isn’t necessary, however, when you are inspired and writing seems to come easy, don’t interrupt yourself with editing details. Grammar, sentence structure, and word changes can come later.
While many people have the habit of editing as they write, it may actually make it more difficult to continuously feel inspired. Give your mind free rein to explore and release what’s on your mind before you begin to feel less motivated. Looking back over raw material can be truly inspiring.
Get out and live!
Finally, while it may sound like a bit of a cliche, don’t forget that living a fulfilling life is the best way to remain inspired. Don’t hole yourself up and force the words on the page if you’re not feeling it.
At times, all we need is to experience new things. Go for a walk, talk to people you don’t know, and make sure that you’re experiencing new things. Finding inspiration is particularly easy when we’re not constantly seeking it. Instead, observe the world around you and take everything in.
Originally published on Michael Wolkind QC’s website.