Some writers have no problem coming up with new ideas, and may have so many they could never write them all. Other writers might stare at a blank screen for hours hoping for genius to strike but the muse just doesn't want to cooperate.
In either case, a mindset of creativity can often lead to inspiration. After all, if like begets like in life, maybe creativity begets creativity... whether it's directly related to our writing or not.
Creative Pursuits to Stimulate the Muse
- listen to music outside of your normal genres; it could inspire new ideas
- pay attention to the lyrics and think of a story the song could be telling
- sing out loud, make up songs, or try playing an instrument
- compile a playlist of music that goes well with your WIP or that inspire your writing in general
- search the internet for great works of art to ponder
- create your own art: pencil sketches, clay, painting, graphic design or chalk on your back patio-- the point is artistic creation
- find artwork that seems to fit your characters and what they would draw or hang on their walls
- design your WIP's cover art, or create visual interpretations of scenes from your story
3. Writing- ...not in your WIP and without an audience in mind, but writing for its own sake:
- flash fiction (either using a writing prompt or just with whatever comes to mind)
- characterization pieces that won't go into your WIP, but will help you get to know your character, either as backstory or reactive writing (what would your character do if she saw someone drowning? How would your character react to being pulled over? How about if someone asked to copy his homework or do something illegal at his or her job?)
- descriptive writing for the sake of the art of writing, and that won't go in any WIP you're working on; a paragraph about clouds or honeybees or pebbles on the beach-- the freedom of writing something no one will see can often lead to work you're proud enough to show off.
- read poetry from classics or contemporary poets. It's actually quite beautiful
- try writing poetry, even if no one will see it
- try different styles of poetry. Poetry can be fiction (a poem about a kitten alone in the woods, a poem about a girl lost at sea, a poem about a boy on his first day of school) or non-fiction (nature poems, or poems about something you've experienced personally); it can rhyme or not; it can have rules about syllables, cadence and iambic pentameter or not; it can be stark, descriptive, flowery, emotional-- basically it can be anything.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Indulging in our own moments of creativity outside of our WIP might help us tap into new thoughts and ideas, so share some creative pursuits of your own. Is there anything you do to foster the creative process?
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Diana Paz is a web content writer and aspiring YA author. She was born in Costa Rica, grew up on Miami Beach, moved to Los Angeles in high school, and went to college in San Diego. Basically, she's a beach bum, but she did graduate from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts. She loves old movies, epic fantasy, all kinds of music, and heading to the beach with a good book. Preferably sipping a caramel frappuccino. Find her at her blog:dianapazwrites.writespot.com or on Twitter @dianapazwrites