Kai Chronicles

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5 ways to find writing inspiration

10 Comments

typewriter pic

I’m still on my writing (semi) hiatus but I am always looking for inspiration. I feel if I force it too much, I think crap. I then pitch crap then get rejections flooding my inbox. Thinking crap = writing crap. And I don’t want that.

What I do want, is passion, motivation and inspiration. Here are my top 5 ways to gain such.

1. Read books. 

Obvious choice, yes? Yes, of course it is. Can there be a decent writer in the world who does not read? I think not. I have just received my very own copy of Stephen King’s writing memoir, On Writing. This book has been mentioned and recommended at many writing sessions and I’ve finally invested in my own copy.

I’m not only reading books about how to write. I think ANY book that raises some emotion,  offers time for reflection, makes you laugh or just plain motivates you to be the best person you can be is a good book.

I read a lot of books about spirituality. I am currently reading Marianne Williamson’s bestseller, A Return to Love, a book I have owned for many months now. It’s fitting how I picked it up when I really needed to hear its message. Imagine reading a book that you feel has been written just for you. That’s how I feel about it. I love Marianne Williamson too. The day I met her, I was on cloud nine.

Me with Marianne Williamson

Me with Marianne Williamson May 2012

2. Watch movies about writers/writing

In April, I watched The Words starring Bradley Cooper. It’s a movie about a struggling writer who ends up finding a day job after his efforts go unrecognised….I’m considering that myself. But….he does return to writing and produces a bestseller. I won’t say more, and yes there is a twist. I loved this movie so much that when it was over, I got up at 11pm and  wrote 2000 words of my novel. My husband didn’t like the movie much at all. He just didn’t “get” it. Maybe I should watch it again. It may inspire me to return to my novel (which I haven’t written a word of in over 2 weeks!).

Here are some other fantastic movies about writers that I love and plan to watch again in the near future.

  1. Misery
  2. The Shining (cannot watch alone)
  3. Secret Window
  4. Miss Potter
  5. Shakespeare in love
  6. Limitless ( this one freaked me out a bit)
  7. Julie & Julia
  8. The Rum Diary
  9. Closer (not really about the writer but a FAB and sexy movie)
  10. The Help (LOVE the book more than the movie)

Want more choice? Check out this list.

220px-Secret_Window_movie

3. Study writing blogs

I will admit, I don’t do this enough. There are some very good ones that offer so much information that it really should be part of my daily routine. My intentions are good and I hope to make this part of my writing ritual soon. The more time I invest my time to these educational blogs, the more I will learn the craft of writing. I’ve recently realised that I will never learn it all. It’s a continuous journey this writing thing. Yes, I said it – JOURNEY. Why do some people get so hung up on that word? Like it’s such a cliche? It’s a word people.

Here are a few writing blogs that are great (and ones I need to study)

  1. Write to Done
  2. The Write Practice
  3. The Creative Penn
  4. The Renegade Writer
  5. Jeff Goins Writer

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4. Be an active member of an online writers’ group

I am a member of the very exclusive Facebook group for grads of the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Writing for Magazine and Newspapers and Travel Writing course. The information, contacts, inspiration, motivation, praise and love we share is invaluable. I am very active on this forum and I been motivated to pitch to a magazine off the back of another writer’s success many times. If you want to be a writer, I suggest getting involved in a writers group ASAP. It doesn’t have to be online but I find in today’s society where everyone is connected by technology, it’s an easy, fast and convenient way to stay in the know with your peers.

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5. Free-write

Again, this is something that is a must for writers, preferably daily. I must get back to freewriting. My career depends on it!!! If you do not know, free-writing is when you sit down, either with fingers on keyboard or pen on paper and write everything that comes to mind. NO stopping is allowed. If you get stuck, you write….I don’t know what to write but Im feeling like if I sit here long enough typing something brilliant and helpful will come out. The idea is to just keep going. Set a timer and write non-stop for your allotted time. You never know, an idea for the next best seller may pop out!!

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Has this inspired anyone to pitch an idea, free-write or watch a movie? 

 

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Author: Jennifer Morton

Freelance travel and lifestyle writer | photographer | coffee snob | INFJ | yogi wannabe | Canadian expat | will write for money

10 thoughts on “5 ways to find writing inspiration

  1. My personal top 5 list:
    1. YES, read books/watch movies.
    2. Listen to music and try to piece stories out of them- perhaps that’s a scene in the book you’re writing?
    3. Have coffee/drinks with friends.
    4. Go for a hike or a walk in nature.
    5. Look at writing you’ve done in the past and compare to what you’re doing now. What have you improved? What can you change?

    Thanks for sharing this post! It made me think of my own personal list.
    Also, I have a new writing blog that I created after self-publishing my first novel for the Kindle. Please check it out and share your writing experiences with me!
    http://gdalexander.wordpress.com/
    -G.D.

  2. as you know, I’m going through the same thing at the moment. Oh, and Closer- amazing movie- The Blowers Daughter takes my breath away.

  3. Great list and I agree with them all. I haven’t seen that Bradley Cooper movie, I will have to track it down.

    What about joining a writing challenge? I joined one for June…it is a write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days (average of 1667 words per day). I was then inspired to write 1500 words today.

    • Oh yes. I have “won” NaNoWriMo for two consecutive years and it is great for making you write. I’m looking for ways to inspire me to write with little effort not because I have a must do 1667 word count a day. Some of those days I found myself resenting the process, and that’s not good.

      What challenge is going on in June? I may miss NaNo this year so maybe I could do the June one.

      • That is fair enough. I am using it as a kick up the behind because I am letting other things (like my blog) get in the way of finishing a first draft. I can understand it may become a pain though and I might be dancing to a different tune next month ha ha.

        It is JuNoWriMo – they have a twitter account. I hadn’t heard of it before and just came across it the other day.

      • Thanks. I’ll check it out. It’s not that difficult but like everything else, you have to be driven to get it done! Good luck!

  4. Hi Jen,
    I did want to watch “Words”, but didnt with my husband because like yours, I doubt if he’ll like it. But will try and watch it on my own for inspiration.
    And reading books is also great. Am reading “Burial Rites” by Hannah kent right now, and just her story and the story of her writing the book is inspirational!

    • Hi Zohra,

      Thanks for stopping by. I absolutely loved The Words. The end will have you thinking (wondering?).

      Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m always after a good book, although my unread collection is growing.

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