Many of my friends and fellow writers are at the end of a crazy month, November: National Novel Writing Month. So, I am writing this post for their poor, tired fingers and numb, exhausted brains. Whether you are dealing with writer’s block and a useless brain or are excitedly churning out thousands of words, here are ten specific ways to inspire your muse or at least make your writing time a little bit happier.
- Write using a pen and paper What is this sorcery? Give up on using the computer and typing for an afternoon. When I write in a notebook or journal, there are no distraction with the internet, e-mail, or anything else. Also something about the physicality of the paper helps, and no longer having to stare at a mind numbingly blank white screen is a huge help.
- Write outside It doesn’t matter where you live, but writing outside is always refreshing. If you live in the middle of a city, find a nice park. Even if it is a little bit cold, grab a blanket and a cup of tea. But if your front door is covered in snow, please don’t write in a snow bank and die of hypothermia. Instead, settle for the next best writing spot: next to a warm fire in your fireplace.
- Make yourself a nice drink– something that you don’t normally have Sometimes eating food while writing can turn into a distraction; after all, you can’t type and pick up food at the same time. It is a sad truth. So make yourself a nice drink instead, and yes, something out of the ordinary does help. You don’t have to buy anything; blend some coffee with sugar and ice in a blender, make a smoothie, make your favorite tea, or make some homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows.
- Do something physical (bonus points if it relates to your writing) Try and find something physical to do (maybe something that relates to your novel) and spend five minutes away from your writing. If you aren’t sure what to do, here are a few suggestions: climb a tree, grab some sticks and sword fight with a sibling (or just beat up a tree with it– that works pretty well, too), run laps around the house, run to your mail box and back, or do crunches or push ups.
- Write something fun It is okay, if you are not writing something in your novel or current project. Writing something just for fun helps inspire you to write more of your current project afterwards (only set a time to get back to your novel!) Take two of your favorite characters and place them at a modern carnival, put a magical (humorous or otherwise) curse on your characters and write about the chaos that ensues, or write something emotional and shatter one of your character’s illusions. Or don’t write about your character; write fan-fiction or anything else that it just for fun. Once you get inspired and start writing, then you can get back to your project.
- Watch a scene from your favorite movie or read a scene from your favorite book Remember why you write? Remember what you can do with your writing? Maybe you just need an reminder. Find inspiration from the greats, but make sure to set a time and get back to writing 😉
- Write in a Library What is a better place to write than in silence surrounded by books? Shut off your internet, and find a quiet corner. Just don’t get detracted by books.
- Build a fort and write in it For some reason, I find a change of scenery the biggest help in finding inspiration and motivation for writing. So go back to elementary school and build a blanket fort, add pillows, maybe couple piles of books, and hang some flashlights. Then start writing.
- Write a scene themed on a specific color I know this suggestion is a bit strange, but a friend gave it to me once, and I ended up writing what I thought was a pretty cool scene. So, pick a color: grey, blue, pink, gold, etc. Think about the emotions and symbolism that you can draw out of that color, and use the color for inspiration for your next scene. Maybe it will work for you, too.
- Or just shut up, sit down, and write junk until you make your word count. You’re a writer, and writers write even when there is no inspiration coming.
So what do you do when you have writer’s block and can’t find inspiration? Are you doing Nanowrimo, and how have you done this month?