I don’t know about you, but whenever inspiration strikes me, I get a tingle all the way up my spine. It’s like some cosmic force has presented me with an idea and it’s all I can do to hold on while it runs away with me.
It’s a good feeling. Most writers live for this feeling.
And writing when it’s not around is hard.
To be honest, writing this blog post is like pulling teeth. I’m not feeling particularly inspired today. I’d rather go read or try my hand at song writing again or watch some random YouTube videos. I want to write this blog post but the inspiration (ironically) just isn’t showing up.
And I think it must be a rule that you can write about something with more clarity when you’re not immediately faced with it. So today, we’re talking about inspiration: how to handle it, what to do with it, and how to prepare yourself for the times when inspiration is nowhere to be found.
When Inspiration Hits
Before you spring into action with the tips below, allow yourself the chance to revel in the feeling of inspiration. Take two seconds and let yourself be grateful and excited that inspiration decided to grace you with its presence.
Then get to work!
Let It All Out
When inspiration strikes, drop everything (as much as you can) and record whatever comes to mind. Whether you record yourself talking, scribble it down in a notebook, or type a flurry on your computer, just get it all out of your head.
Keep typing/writing/talking until you can’t anymore. Follow all rabbit trails, random character names, weird plot points, creature ideas, plot bunnies, everything.
Start to Structure
After you’ve let everything fall out of your brain, it’s time to get sorting!
Begin to categorize character ideas apart from creature ideas, timelines and outlines, and begin to brainstorm meshing your main plot with possible sub plots.
Create an Outline
This is where the work begins. While the idea is still fresh in your mind begin to create a rough outline. Include your main plot points, how you want the story to end, how little minor plots will interact with the main plot, if there will be more than one book.
Add to it as you go. Inspiration works a bit like dominos and will continue to come to mind if you’re giving it a place to grow.
The fun part! Lay out your scenes and start writing the ones that came to mind! If you had a dream that inspired the story, write the dream, if you heard something in conversation that piqued your interest, write the conversation the phrase it inspired!
Create an Inspiration Board
If you’re really feeling the juices flowing, get thyself to Pinterest and make a board! Add photos and quotes of things that make this new idea come alive to you. If you see writing prompts that you want to incorporate into your story, add those to the board.
Imagine costumes, settings, characters, quotes, anything!
Set Yourself Up When The Inspiration River Runs Dry
While you’ve still got that inspiration flow running through you, give yourself a few minutes to prepare for when the inspiration flow is gone.
It’s a scary thought, but by writing an outline, creating a Pinterest board, and utilizing a few other tricks, even if inspiration is entirely gone, you’ll still be able to write.
What you want to do is create a space where you can be reminded of and motivated to write every day. Whether you print a picture of what you think your main character is like off the internet and put it in your notebook, or you allow yourself five minutes of daydreaming time every day about your new idea, find some small, easy way to keep yourself inspired and motivated even when inspiration is MIA.
What do you normally do when inspiration strikes? I’d love to know in the comments!