Friday, April 10, 2015

April A-Z Challenge: Inspiration

Back when I was still writing every day (I used to be an author, you know), I was on a constant quest for inspiration, and I know that many aspiring and established writers, artists, and creators feel similarly. Here are some tried and true methods of finding that elusive creative energy.

  • Go out into nature. Nature has always been my ultimate inspiration. Whenever I felt low on ideas, I would grab my clipboard (my preferred method of idea capturing) and head outside. Even sitting on the front porch and listening to the sounds of the neighbor's waterfall combining with trilling birdsongs filtering through the rustling tree leaves never failed to open up a new stream of creativity and provide me with a plethora of new ideas. 
  • Find inspiration in everyday life. You need to see yourself as an idea hunter, and you always need to be prepared to catch those fleeting bursts of inspiration that can come from anywhere at anytime. If you're like me, you might prefer to keep an idea journal, clipboard, or sketch pad on hand at all times. Others might find technological aids more convenient in their idea hunting quests. 
  • Meditate. Sometimes finding a little bit of inner peace and outer quiet is just what your muse desires. Once your creative genius feels replenished and refreshed, let it play! Write, draw, paint, create!
  • Write down your dreams. Our muses work in mysterious ways, and sometimes they like to work through dreams. 
  • Don't be afraid to ask 'what if.' I once got a million words out of "what if dinosaurs were really aliens from space?" (If that sounds silly, it kind of was, but it was also really fun, and it was my initiation into the world of writing. I stayed with that story for a long time, including one NaNoWriMo, one April Script Writing Month, three summers, seven novels, five epilogues, countless short stories, and a bit of digital art to top it all off.) 
  • Learn to see ordinary things in extraordinary ways. If you're stuck for ideas, and your muse is stubbornly refusing to cooperate, take an everyday object and make it come alive. Write it's story. Tell it's history. Make it into a metaphor. Give it sentience. 
  • Look at art. Go to a museum. Dance it out! Listen to music. Read a book. Let the power of art, literature, and movement move you. 
If you have any inspirational tips, feel free to leave them in the comments!

P.S. If you're wondering what the runner up for this post was, it was ice cream. :p

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