Whether you realize it or not, you use other people’s creations to inspire you to create. And when you are struggling to come up with an idea you’re motivated enough to turn into something tangible, you often make the mistake of walking away from everything, in an attempt to clear your head.
Maybe when you’re stuck, you should instead try taking a moment to think about what, if anything, you would love to read/watch/listen to right now.
Does it exist? If so, does the thing that already exists cover all the points and move in all the directions you’re hoping it will?
If not … that’s the door to inspiration — and creation — you didn’t know you were looking for.
Pay attention to particular thoughts like these:
I wish there was an article about …
I’d love to read a book about …
Why isn’t there more out there about …
Whatever comes after that ellipses? THAT is what you should write about.
“But there’s already so much out there about that thing!”
Not from you. Not from your brain, your way of thinking — not in your style.
If you ever start thinking about something that interests you, or causes you to question something, or you’re frustrated looking for something on a topic and can’t find it … you should be the one to make that thing you want to know more about.
After all, you can’t write what you know unless you first make the effort to know. One day I wondered what would happen if all however many billion of us on this planet went vegetarian. So I researched the idea and wrote an article about it.
A curious mind makes for a more prolific writer. Inspiration means something different for everyone — triggered for everyone by something unique. Maybe what inspires you most is seeking out the answers to your seemingly random questions … and then telling the world, through something you create, what you have just learned.
We shy away from this because we think “Oh, no one else is going to be interested in this.” Well how do you know? Your job as a creator isn’t to please everyone. It’s to create things that excite and interest you, knowing that there are like-minded people out there somewhere who will relate.
Don’t hold yourself back if you stumble upon something that makes you go, “Wow. That’s cool. I want to write about that.” WRITE ABOUT IT! That’s inspiration, whether it looks like it to you or not. Don’t let it escape you. Recognize it for what it is and let it carry you into something amazing.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
Hey! I’m vlogging my way through NaNoWriMo. Here’s yesterday’s video.