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Searching for Inspiration in All the Wrong Places

Searching for Inspiration in All the Wrong Places

By Miss Marm

As we gear up for another fiction contest, writer's block rears its scary head:

I know i sound KRazy to you right now but I've tried everything in the universe to get me inspired!! I'm 14 and as you probably have imagined my mind would be filled with crazy imaginings (which it is!). ive tried beautiful music, and songwriting, dancing, reading manga, harry potter series, twilight series, watching movies. And all I come up with is a couple of romance stories and I stop halfway, either cause Im bored of writing it or lack of imagination (Im prone to blanking out at unthinkable times). All I want to do is complete at least ONE full story (is that hard to ask?) and all I need is an epic inspiration (possibly romance) to encourage me to keep on with it!!!

On the contrary, my dear, you don't sound a bit KRrazy! Many writers struggle with this.

I don't think you need "an epic inspiration" to write, though. I think you need two things:

1. Intense interest in the world around you. I love all the items on your things-that-inspire-me list—Harry Potter, music, dancing, etc. etc. But writing is about more than soaking up works of art and getting into the appropriately artistic frame of mind. It's about actively observing the world around you. Try to pay careful attention to things and people, as if you were an alien tasked with reporting on the most minute details of human life. When you notice that waves on the beach sound like bacon frying, you might feel inspired to use that metaphor in a story. When you hear people bitching about a football player whom you happen to know is a pretty good guy, you might feel inspired to write a story about a misunderstood dreamboat.

Yes, appreciating other people's works of art is a crucial part of the writing process. But it's equally important to look outside books, music, and dance, and A) think hard about how the world around you smells, sounds, and tastes, and B) pay rapt attention to human relationships and how they work.

2. Butt-in-chair time. It's always easier and more fun to have a snack or watch another video of a cat with its head stuck in a carton than it is to sit down and work on your story. Here's an old but useful cliche: don't wait for inspiration to strike. Just report to your desk and sit there with your pen in your hand or your fingers on the keyboard. If your butt's in the chair, the words will come.

Sparklers, do you struggle to get inspired?

Topics: writer's block, inspiration, kitties

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