All writers struggle to find inspiration at times. It may be when you first begin to write, or it may happen suddenly despite a long and successful period of writing. You are not necessarily unable to write – it just feels as though what you do write is not up to your usual standard. It is not creative enough and building a plot or forming a poem is not impossible, but merely becomes bland.
This is something that you must be able to overcome as a writer, whatever you are writing about. I would not call this “writer’s block” as much as a “creative block”. You need to find something to get your creative juices flowing again – to put that spark back into your writing.
Inspiration can come from many places. In order to find something that inspires you, it is important to understand how you, as an individual, operate. Are you stimulated by the visual (photographs, art), by sound (conversation, music), by memories (yours or somebody else’s) or something else? It will likely be a combination of factors, though you may find one stimulus more helpful than the others.
Your creative ideas will not return to you immediately. Your search may take some time. You need to be able to rebuild (or begin to build) the excitement within your writing that will only happen when you are inspired.
There is a fantastic tool that is closer than you think: as I said above, ALL writers struggle to find inspiration at times. This is why it is incredibly helpful to get involved in writers groups. Not only can you meet other people (whether physically or online) who are like-minded and share your interests, but you can also bounce ideas around with them. This can help you to develop your writing and explore the different ways that you could take your basic plan.
There are some great writing groups online, such as on LinkedIn and Facebook. I am a member of The Writer’s Connection on Facebook, which is a lively group where people post poems, stories, links to their blogs, prompts and tips.
If you have close friends who are interested in writing, and who are willing to help you work on your own writing, then they can be another great resource for creativity and inspiration. Other people can make you consider options you had never even thought about and give you an alternative perspective. In fact, why not return the favour? You may find that thinking up ideas for someone else seems easier than thinking up your own ideas, and inspire yourself in the process.
Or, if you’re bolder than I am and lucky enough to know a local writing group that meets regularly, then you may find discussing your difficulties in person will give you even more of a creative boost. Being surrounded by other writers helps to create an inspirational environment – and there you can challenge yourself to fight against a sudden lapse of creativity.
Remember that when you are writing alone, the only one working on that annoying problem is you.
This month’s theme is INSPIRATION. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of finding inspiration, then please post a link in the comments or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Inspiration.