Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Five Ways to Get Inspired

How do you get your ideas? Does inspiration hit, and then you sit down to write? Or do you ever have moments when you want to write something, but you just don't know where to begin?

Here are five great ways to inspire yourself when you need a little outside help:

1. Eavesdrop. Listen to people's conversations in public. You might hear a word, phrase, sentence or dialogue that inspires you to write a story about what is (or might be) happening.

2. Play with words. All you need is an old magazine, a newspaper, or a stack of junk mail, and a pair of scissors. Cut out interesting words and phrases from the article titles, ads, and headlines. Cut out more than you think you'll need--at least twenty or thirty. Then, randomly pick five or six of the words, and try to work them ALL into a short story or poem.

3. Image inspiration. There are pictures everywhere that you can use in your writing. Magazines, newspapers, books, the internet, billboards, television ads, and museum exhibits are a few of the places you can find images to inspire you. Choose an image that attracts you and write a story or poem based on what you see.

4. Mine your mind. Even when you think you don't have any new ideas, you might have some old ones. Dig around in your memory a bit, and you might find inspiration. Look at old stories, poems or essays you've written. Flip through your diary or journal. You might find an idea or two that you haven't written about yet.

5. Help from friends. When you are really stuck, think about asking another person to give you a writing prompt. A friend could give you a line of dialogue with which to start a fictional conversation. Or a list of six random words to use in a poem. Or simply a question to get you thinking differently. The possibilites are endless!

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