Today’s guest blogger is Brandi-Ann Uyemura, the associate editor for Psych Central and a freelance writer with a penchant for all things inspiring. In her guest post, Brandi shares with us some tips for finding inspiration.
5 Quick & Easy Tips to Inspire Writers
How long can you stare into the eyes of your computer before you’re officially brain dead? There are only so many shows to watch, online sites to visit and tweets you can tweet before you’re back where you started from — uninspired and losing speed fast!
On September 29, 2010, writer Aaron Sorkin talked about his new movie The Social Network on The View and revealed a few secrets about his writing style. Things like his penchant for showering for inspiration. Without the gratifying experience of crumpling up his writing from a typewriter, Sorkin said he took a shower to recharge — sometimes up to six a day!
With that being said, there are tons of ways (quirky and creative) to bring back inspiration to your writing. Heck, if showering does it for you, I’d say it’s worth a try! Here are 5 quick and easy ways for writers to get inspired:
Stop what you’re doing! Ever try sleeping when you’re not tired? It’s near impossible, right? The wrong word in the equation is “try.” If you’ve been “trying” to write for an hour, put down that mouse, and get away from your computer. Do something that has nothing to do with writing, if just for a little while. (That means no reading or watching TV either.) While it’s tempting to keep up the momentum of what you’re doing, writing when you’re trying will be writing you need to delete later on. Save yourself that extra editing time, and stop while you’re ahead.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but ideas may. There’s something about the outdoors that inspires creativity and invention. It’s how Isaac Newton came up with his theory on gravity. A recent research study suggests that being in nature can also sharpen your mental skills. So what are you waiting for? Go outside and take a breath of that fresh air.
Meditate. You’ve either heard the benefits of meditation (relaxation, increased ability to cope with stress, etc.) and don’t believe it or you just don’t have the time, but there’s a part of you that knows you should be doing it. Meditation is important to our mental health, yet it falls down on our list of priorities. While taking a break by indulging in a favorite television show or shopping online could temporarily relieve you of the pressure of a looming deadline, meditation is much better at alleviating long-term stress. It just takes five minutes, so you really have no excuse. Confused about how to get started? Just breathe. Listening to your breath for five minutes is enough to get you on the road to inspiration.
Give into your inner child. Do something crazy. Well, not illegal crazy or dangerous crazy, but something that makes your heart skip a beat. When you engage in activity that’s body and mind encompassing, you can’t think about that book waiting to be written at home. And that’s a good thing because you’ll leave a space for inspiration to seep through. The best part? You’ll have fun too. And goodness knows we writers need a bit of fun every once in awhile.
Do something outside of the box. This could mean different things to different people. It could mean that you take a different path on the way home from the market or you invigorate your taste buds by trying ethnic food. For me, it means reading a book I would never think of reading, like a 600-page biography. For you, it might mean writing a piece in the eyes of a character you despise. When we do something outside of our comfort zone, we open up the possibility for something new, adventurous and exciting to come into our lives. Try it, and you may end up being your own source of inspiration.
If you’re still looking for ways to get more inspirational ideas, come see my blog The Inspiring Bee or read this awesome article by one of my favorite authors, Martha Beck, called, “Creativity Boost: How to Tap into Right-Brain Thinking.” Then, go on and get inspired!