To start, let’s give a more distinct definition of the main term. Here and after, writing inspiration is a way to encourage yourself and give a boost to your brain—it is a way to rev your imagination and put you in the right mood. It has nothing to do with the Muse, revelation, and alike stuff spoofed by bohemian artists, who try to justify their laziness. We are sure you know all the tools we will write about, though we will give them in a new manner, hoping to show you new methods of using old instruments.
It is well known that a person who doesn’t read can’t produce worthy writing. Though being a good inspiration for writing, reading can also be tricky. See for yourself:
True: By reading good authors, you replenish your vocabulary and remember the spelling of complex words.
Also true: You remember successful phrases and metaphors as well, which might look like plagiarism, or worse, like clichés in your piece of writing.
True: You learn to notice the writing tools other authors use to make their texts more structured, understandable, and interesting.
Also true: When you read a lot of great writing, you risk to discover that the best texts have already been published and you will never be able to outshine them.
True: You get acquainted with stunning ideas, which are often brilliant.
Also true: Sometimes, when reading a lot on one topic, you forget which ideas were created in your head (being an accumulation of all the sources you read), and which one you have put into your text almost intact without indicating the forgotten original source.
True: When dealing with exciting writing, you can find yourself reading till the morning light and forgetting to eat.
Also true: You risk to suffer from food and sleep deprivation when passionately reading good writers. When comparing yourself to the masters, you become sure your readers are weeping with bloody tears when reading your work.
2. Watch films and TV series
In your writing, you can use the same tools operators and directors apply in films. Analyze your favorite movies, paying special attention to the operator’s work and the sequence of images. What was at the beginning of a good scene: a zoom on a small detail, or a general skyline? How many points of view does the operator use to make the scene fuller? What are the director’s favourite tricks to draw your attention to an important detail? What makes your favourite film astonishing?
Answers to these questions will help you understand how to hook your reader from the very first page, and how to make the environment’s description tangible and visible. Remember a piece of advice, always repeated at training sessions for writers: show a picture to your reader. Do not describe it in words—let the reader see it. Write as if you were a film director.
3. Learn art
Art can be a great help and inspiration, though only if you know where to look at when gazing at paintings.
There is a popular exercise for writers: choose a complex canvas and describe it in details. Every word in your description should have a meaning. Try to make your text short, but so clear that an artist unfamiliar with the painting could easily repeat it just by listening to you.
Also, try to understand the art. The styles of painting have undergone a grandiose evolution— artists have fostered each of them, filling small details with significant meaning. So, use it! It’s amazing how art can mix with writing. Remember: it’s on the crossroad of the distant disciplines where the innovative works are born. Just for fun, try to rewrite a medieval epic so that it acquires a taste of surrealism. Write a haiku so that it becomes gothic. Rewrite Palahniuk in a romantic style, and Maugham with pop-art inclusions. Add some elements of cubism to the smoothness of Jane Austen.
4. Listen to music for writing inspiration
Have you mentioned how exactly the music of the last century has been connecting its art to events of its time? Of course, music is the product of its environment, but at some point, it synchronizes with society, and that’s how historical realities create new musical styles, and popular music bands influence the self-awareness of new generations.
Inspiration from music can be found, for example, both in lute music of the 18th century when you write a paper on history, and in rhythmic compositions when you need to speed up your work. As a rule, hard rock suits a gym, chill-out is good for measured writing, Nina Simone is perfect when you need to cover a topic on equality, and Thom Yorke helps you to describe the injustices of the world in a more emotional way.
Yet, every music lover considers his or her playlist to be the best and the most motivating. That is why we will not give you links to what we love. You choose what works for you, but don’t forget that you have a strong source of inspiration in music.
Of course, when you describe facts, emotions will be superfluous. Molar masses, statistical data, and mathematical equations don’t care about your feelings. However, if you write an essay or an article where you need to give your opinion, especially on an issue that is important to you, the ability to feel and put your emotions on paper becomes important.
Any form of writing requires the ability to feel, and we can’t say that a newspaper note about the retirement age should be less emotional than a love letter. Nevertheless, it is said that some forms of writing are a direct consequence of the excessive emotionality and sensitivity of the author. There are so many emotions, and you have to learn to feel them all. That is especially important when you need inspiration for writing poems. Only after experiencing the emotional state yourself, you will be able to impose it on your reader.