♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Inspiration. Where do you get your inspiration for writing? When you’re
running low on ideas or creative flow, how do you get your inspiration back?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
This topic came up previously and I mentioned in that answer that learning and music supply a great deal of inspiration for me. But, that’s just a couple aspects of how to gain inspiration. As you know, muses don’t always cooperate, nor do they stick with the same devices. If you find that yours does, then that’s an easy muse to work with indeed. Count yourself blessed.
My own muse has grown rather disinterested over the years. Starved of expression, bogged down in necessity instead of frivolity, a muse can get squelched. So what happened there? Writing is a great deal more than just putting pen to paper. Eventually, an author looks to sharing their work. When that work goes out into the greater world, it becomes an entity of its own. As an entity of its own, it can become a target for difficulty (from the well-meaning feedback to the brutal trollings of bored people online). Somewhere in that mix, you can really lose your footing with the muse, and that muse may decide to take a lie-down. Not only that, life happens! Not everyone can just stay at home and write, or tend to their writing needs. Many of us have young families, jobs, and other responsibilities that demand a great deal of our time. Writing often ends up pushed aside for another day. If ignored enough, your muse may make permanent residence on that old couch of yours. To boot, the attitude could get pretty prickly as they choose to ignore you as much, if not more, as you ignore them.
So how do you get the old muse off the couch again? That’s a fabulous question. It depends on a few parameters. First, how long has your muse been on the couch? The longer you get away from exercising the muse, the harder it will be to pull that potato back onto it’s feet. Easier said than done, don’t let feedback beat you up so much that you let that muse rest without regular intervals of activity. I’m speaking from first hand experience. I let the bullies push me around, because I felt so deeply about my work that their words cut that far down.
The only way to escape the depression that such abuse can set you into is to say that you refuse to accept the feedback any longer. You will need to develop a filter to see the difference between the bullies and those who are actually helping. Don’t think for a minute that a title like editor suggests they can’t possibly be a bully. Some people in the publishing industry become jaded by the work, and the filter they once used disintegrates and their humanity with it. There are those who will say, do you blame them, or that they’re justified with the shit show that can be found in the slush pile. Regardless of how hard you find your job, repeatedly having to turn aspiring authors down, you should never lose your humanity in doing so. Quite frankly, every time I see them turn around and publish a work of their own, I’m far from impressed. They may have access to editors, but the story is soulless, and has a lot of problems. But, that’s what happens when your humanity is sold down the river in favor of wallowing in the wrath built on typos.
That leads me to something equally important as not falling into the depression that negative feedback can build: feel your emotions, they’re experiences and authors need experiences in order to write. When you allow depression to draw you down, maybe you call it defeatism or frustration, you’re highly likely to stop doing things. One of the symptoms is disinterest. So now, not only is your muse on the couch, but you’re sitting right there next to them—probably overeating or other indulgences.
As I’ve stated in the past, music a great way to release feelings, or experience them enough that you can work through them. Getting out is a must. Many authors are introverts, and they find crowds exhausting and intimidating. If you plan on producing your writing for public consumption, then you’ll have to get used to people and peopley places. Getting out to experience things will also provide you more to write about. Remember, the best advice about writing is: write what you know. If you don’t know, you can’t write it with the power an authority that’s going to connect to your readers. Readers can always sense a lack of knowledge. Though they may not put those exact words to their review of a book, that’s exactly what you can interpret between the lines of what they are saying.
What I do to get my creative flow back is to get out and do things, experience something, even if it is just a short walk out of doors. If I can’t get out, then I watch a new film, read a new book. Don’t be intimidated. Trying new things can really help break a depression or get you on the road to recovery. If depression isn’t the issue, then experiences will certainly fill your well of inspiration back up.
Yoda said it best: Do or do not. There is no try.
Go do something.
Let’s hop on over to see what the other authors have to say…
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