1. Reilley Turner
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    Reilley Turner Active Member

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    How to get "Inspired"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Reilley Turner, Jan 22, 2016.

    I've developed a new process of writing that relies heavily on in-the-moment flashes of inspiration, but the one part I'm missing is the inspiration part. How would I get "inspired" so that I can do more naturally flowing writing?
     
  2. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    I find that writing is a lot like sex. Sometimes you just aren't in the mood, however if you are willing, it generally ends pleasurably. I make it a point to be "inspired" every day.
     
  3. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    I can't ever predict it, it just happens. But there are certain things I do to facilitate it.

    Listening to music while walking, jogging, or driving will make the gears rotate. Also reading and absorbing well-written media [books, films, short stories, video games, tv shows] also helps inspire me.

    One bit of advice I enjoy is to "write what you want to read." Unfortunately I don't remember who said it.

    If there is something out there that you'd like to read more about that doesn't exist, write it!
     
  4. Reilley Turner
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    Reilley Turner Active Member

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    Interesting comparison. But what do you do to get inspired? (let me know if i'm making any sense.)

    So basically, just do what ever I mostly do (Music, reading, video games) plus integrate a few others (films, TV)?
     
  5. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    I think they mean that to write better, you have to force yourself to write, even when it just isn't coming.

    I'll even resort to fanfiction or writing critiques if it means I'm writing something.

    More than once I've not been looking forward to writing a scene, but I grin and bear it. Halfway through, inspiration strikes and I just keep typing. Ideas that hadn't crossed my mind before come to the forefront.

    EDIT: By force yourself I don't mean mental rape XD
     
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  6. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Possibly just the opposite ;)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11492867/Boredom-makes-people-more-creative-claim-psychologists.html
     
  7. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    "Creativity" isn't the same when comparing tangrams to literature, in my opinion. It takes a different process.

    I play the alto saxophone, and my creative improvisation process is much different than when I speculate for things I write. Just like how a painter probably doesn't draw inspiration from the prose of Les Miserables.
     
  8. Reilley Turner
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    Reilley Turner Active Member

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    So what I'm getting is that I should write even if I'm not in the mood, and that being bored helps your creativity.
     
  9. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    You could try it, what I posted. I wouldn't take it as a miracle cure or anything or let it dissuade you from enjoying media. Just a thought.
     
  10. Reilley Turner
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    Reilley Turner Active Member

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    It's fine, I just have lots to try now. :p

    I'll watch a boring movie when I'm not motivated to write then write directly afterwards!

    But in all seriousness, I'll try everything I can.
     
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  11. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    If you aren't in the Snowapocolyspe at the moment, I'd recommend walking with non-verbal music.
     
  12. Reilley Turner
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    Reilley Turner Active Member

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    I have plenty of that kind of music! Seriously, I have a lot! I'll check how many songs in a few but I'll try that!

    Edit: 587 instrumental songs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  13. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    It may not be the most healthy thing to say but drugs work pretty well for me. Not that I'd suggest such a course of action anyone else of course.

    The thing about 'inspiration' is that it can mean a bunch of different things. Does it mean sitting doing nothing until you have a great idea? Because for me at least I have a big document full of story ideas (of varying qualities) that I can pick up whenever I have a free moment, and even then I certainly can't just sit and write a whole book in one go. So clearly that's not really what we're talking about. I think what you really mean is 'not pushing yourself to write when you don't really feel anything there'. Which I think is good advice. Forcing yourself to write when whatever you put on the page comes out bad or boring or just bland, well it's frustrating and I think pushing yourself to keep working anyway is how you teach yourself that writing isn't enjoyable.

    As for how to get back to 'the zone' where whatever you put down feels good and you get into a real flow with it and just stop realizing that time is passing, just there with the story... Well, I do drugs. I never managed to write anything even vaguely extensive without it, never managed to make myself focus on anything for longer than a few hours at a time, was always just fussing over word choice and beating myself up for not quite expressing myself perfectly but now, no problems.

    Not that I'd suggest it to anyone else. Just, well, it works for me.
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't believe in inspiration as a regularly-used tool. The things that I've written while experiencing the emotion of "inspiration" have not been reliably better than the things that I've written while not inspired.

    I am trying to work on a related, but different goal for times when I sit down to write: Ways to energize myself. This seems like a more reliably achievable goal. Bright light, music, exercise, an attractive writing space, habits, whatever. I don't have it down yet, but it seems more like a goal worth pursing. At least for me.
     
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  15. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think inspiration is less likely to come in "flashes" for me, more likely to come as a more-or-less constant glow with occasional spikes. "Flashes" makes it sound like the ideas just appear, totally disconnected from anything else, and my ideas are almost all developed in connection with what's come before.

    So, if I'm struggling to figure out what to do, creatively, I'll generally review what I've already done, and the next step will become obvious.
     
  16. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    It didn't occur to me before, but now I'm worried that my "id tag" title might perpetuate a myth. I chose it to remind myself how absurd my perception of creating a story can be, following the realization that only directed focus will bring about a story. So thanks for bringing that to my attention, if only inadvertently, @BayView
     
  17. kateamedeo
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    kateamedeo Active Member

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    My advice - write to get inspired. It's great to read books on writing, watch movies and read. But nothing will get you there except actual writing. There is a famous quote (there's a discussion on who said it and when but that's not the point):
    “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at nine o’clock every morning.”
    The point of this is that you have to write every day, make it a habit. Every day I have lunch and then I have a cup of green tea and sit down to write. Even when I don't feel inspired (seriously, I dread the moment I have to sit down and face the blank page even if I wrote 2.000-3.000 words the day before and finished a short story).
    Every day begins with a struggle to actually start writing (as my dad says, a human being is a very lazy creature). But I set a goal for myself and I write. After a couple of hundreds of words, bam! comes the inspiration :)
    And it's a lot easier if you write every day. It's like working out, the more consistent you are, the easier it is to do the exercises because your muscles are used to do the effort. It's the same with imagination.
     
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  18. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    It's better to train yourself to write regardless of inspiration. Right now in my WIP I can't tell which scenes are better -- the ones I was inspired to write or the ones I chugged through. Also at this point it doesn't matter. Cause when I chug through I get more done then waiting.

    One good thing I like to do in between writing is to scour for photographs on the internet to help me with the visuals and details of my story - I look at Google images typing in everything from places to artwork, and even go to Ebay and look over things for inspiration. A good walk prior to a writing session can also help, especially if you keep it distraction free - no texting.
     
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  19. kateamedeo
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    kateamedeo Active Member

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    Another thing, try to build a routine. I always write at the same time of the day. As I've said, a cup of green tea is kind of a bell for my muse. So now when I make a cup of tea around 2 o'clock for my brain it means writing time.
     

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