Inspiration and where to find it
I like to write creatively. Sometimes I can sit there for ages and not type a word, other times I’m so struck with inspiration that I can’t stop and I soon find that I’ve written a few thousand words. It’s the same with my crafts or photography. How you do is all relevant to your motivation and inspiration, which sucks if you’re having a bad day.
Often, you’re only motivated to get on with something if you’re inspired, and when it’s something you’re passionate about that’s fine, but what about when you have a uni essay or work assignment you quite frankly just want to throw in the bin and forget about? Getting inspired is hard, but there are a few ways to get that extra flair when you need it most.
The first way is simply by reading. If you can muster up the energy to click on a few internet articles on your topic, you’ll be amazed at how many new ideas, theories or points of view crop up. Often, you’ll take on someone’s ideas and suddenly be able to come up with your own argument or evidence. BAM – There’s a starting point for a paragraph right there. Never be afraid to copy something someone else has done as long as you manipulate and change it to be your own adaptation of their work. In academic essays, you’d be giving credit in your bibliography anyway.
Method two is to think about your life personally. What is your existing knowledge or experience of the area? If there is a particular, prominent memory or you have had something bad happen, maybe it can be adapted into a story. Maybe it can become an example to illustrate a point. Even if the memory’s a family holiday abroad and you’re writing about equality, for example, you can still bring in what you learned about the other culture and the way they act with one another.
Another great thing you can do is go for a walk to try and clear your head. Sometimes, walking alone and taking in your surroundings can lead to a great thought. There is so much going on around you that you’d probably never realise – until you watch the world go by objectively. Even if you don’t pick anything up from what you see, that distraction from wracking your brain might just switch something on in your head. After all, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s stood in a shop trying to think of what I went in for, only to remember what it was once I’ve already got home. Even something as simple as going for a relaxing bath can sometimes keep your mind far enough adrift.
Because of this sensation, ALWAYS go out armed with a Smartphone, tablet or notebook. That way, when you do get that flurry of inspiration for your topic, you’ll be able to make a note of it for later when you’re back in front of your blank document, sulkily tucking into a packet of biscuits because you’re stuck and fed up of being stuck.