4 Inspiration Tips To Help You With Perspiration

business term on retro typewriterThis month we’re talking about inspiration and perspiration, which really is what writing is all about. You can’t write without at least a little bit of inspiration. And you won’t get anything finished without some perspiration thrown in there as well.

So the question I have for you is: which one do you think is more important?

Some people believe wholeheartedly in the ‘muse’.

I’m not one of those people.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that being inspired helps. (Hey, I love writing in a beautiful setting just as much as the next person.) But…I absolutely do not believe we need to wait for the elusive muse to visit us, tap us on the head with magic writing dust and motivate us to write. I mean, it’s nice when it happens. But what if it doesn’t?

That’s where the perspiration comes in.

Writing is work. Especially when that damn muse fails to show up. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You just need to sit down and write. Even if it’s crap. Keep writing. And then write some more. And…more.

That being said, new inspiration for ideas, characters, plot twists, and fresh stories are what makes writing so much fun. So, here are a few ways I find inspiration when that unreliable muse sleeps in:

1) Talking to other writers
This one is huge for me. Sometimes just sitting down and talking things over is just what I need to get my brain fired up to start generating some great new ideas. Just hangin out with other writers is often enough to get me excited to get back to my desk.

2) Conferences
If you haven’t been to a writers conference yet, find one and go! You can always learn something about the craft of writing and sitting in sessions where they’re talking about setting, or character descriptions, you’re sure to get some sparks of your own for your current WIP. I was recently at SiWC and filled pages of notes for some future projects.

3) Excercise
Sometimes, when I’m really stuck on a plot point that I just can’t work through. I’ll go to the gym, or go for a run. I’m sure there’s a physiological explanation for it, but I couldn’t begin to tell you what it is. Whatever it is, there is something about exercise that generates all kinds of great ideas.

4) Writing
Yup, you read it right. And, this is where the perspiration comes in. There are times, when you just need to write through the hard part. You think it’s crap? Write the scene again. Try a different twist on it. Then maybe a different twist altogether. Put your character through something they’d never do. Maybe you won’t use any of what you wrote. But maybe you will. And chances are good, you’ll loosen up some new ideas in the process.

So what are some of your go-to strategies to generate new ideas and create your own inspiration?

About Elena Aitken

Elena is a work at home/stay at home/write at home mom of twins who regularly loses herself in her fictional characters because their lives are way more exciting!
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Making Time, Writing Process and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 4 Inspiration Tips To Help You With Perspiration

  1. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    I totally agree with all your suggestions. But also, when I need inspiration I pace in my kitchen, talking to myself while I make a cuppa. Or I pick up a notebook and brainstorm longhand. These might be more of writing quirks I have than methods others could use though. ;)

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Trish, I love the visual of you walking around your kitchen muttering because I can totally picture it!
      I also love the longhand brainstorming. Great addition to the list!

  2. Christi says:

    These are all great suggestions that work well. I like to write stream-of-consciousness style for a while to help generate ideas. When you’re brainstorming, no idea is a bad idea.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      so true, Christi!
      When you’re brainstorming, no idea is a bad idea!
      It’s a great way to shake off the dust.

  3. Susan says:

    I take a shower. There is something about the warm, running water that makes ideas come together. I keep a notebook and pen in the bathroom for when I jump out to jot stuff down before I forget it. Or it could be that it is the only place in the house that I have a semi-guaranteed chance to think without media blaring or interruptions (MOM!) for ten minutes. But as it worked even before I had kids, I think the privacy is just a nice side-effect.

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