5 Tips for Inducing Inspiration

We all know that inspiration can sometimes be an elusive creature. People give you advice and say things like “Suck it up, you don’t need inspiration to write, just write, you’re a pansy” etc. Well, pardon me, Oh Wise Givers of Writing Advice, but I happen to enjoy writing (or anything creative) when I’m feeling inspired. But obviously inspiration isn’t always just there, readily available for you to tap into whenever you choose.

5 Tips for Inducing Inspiration | Attempting Authenticity

However, I’ve found that there are several things…habits, if you will…that make it much easier for me to stay in an inspiration cloud so that I can draw on it whenever I need it. I’m not saying all of these will work for everyone, but I am saying that you can actually do things to cultivate inspiration in your life rather than always just waiting for it to hit you.

  1. I start my day by journaling. It’s pretty widely accepted that writing by hand stimulates your brain and stimulates creativity: here’s a cool article on it. Even if I don’t have anything specific to journal about, I just write. But if you need some help getting started, here are a few tips that might help you!
  2. I read every day! It doesn’t matter what you read – just read. I tend to genre hop because I think it’s important for writers to read widely, and I also stick some non-fiction in there. Even if you can just squeeze in five or ten minutes of reading here and there, you’ll find that it will massively help your creative brain. If you need some suggestions, I highly recommend Kindle Unlimited for finding unlimited (ha, see what I did there) books by well-known as well as indie authors!
  3. I get outside at some point during the day. Fresh air does wonders for you, and it’s even better if you take a short walk. It’s just basic science, really! Light exercise increases blood flow, and that includes blood flow to your brain.
  4. I try new things. Part of the reason why we feel like we lack inspiration and creativity is because we get stuck in the same old pattern, the same old routine, and going to the same old places. So try a new coffee place! Take a different route to work/school! Find new music to listen to! There are countless little things you can do to change it up and kick your brain into a different gear.
  5. Find other writer-people. We’re all over the place – blogs like this one, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…there are so many places to find fellow writers who go through the same struggles and challenges. Find your tribe, encourage each other, and draw on others for inspiration when you have none left yourself. (I find the hashtags #writerslife and #amwriting are a good start on Twitter and Instagram.)

So, those are my tips! What do you do to stay inspired?

5 Tips for Inducing Inspiration | Attempting Authenticity

Stars and Mirrors

I am my creativity
no longer do I belong
to myself, but to all
who read me, see me

stars and mirrors
I break apart into words,
images, sounds, music
I am not mine anymore

my breath is stardust
my sighs are laced with
drops of ink, splattered
onto pages of souls

I dissolve into words
all of me is broken up
into little letters made
and erased with one stroke

I am my creativity
stars and mirrors
my breath is stardust
I dissolve into words.

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Soul Machine

gears grind like gnashing teeth
chopping up the bowels of me
blood gushes, thunder rumbles
the soul machine never ceases

once there was a person here
her heart still beat and wind still
roared through dark, damp snakes
the tunnels in her lungs

blood pulsed to a thudding beat
skin warmed and shoulders shrugged
off worries like little snowflakes
sweat glowed, body shivered

the soul machine grunts and groans
scrapes heavy metallic feet on the
icy steel floor, leaking red ink and
words fall to paper like forest leaves

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Coming Back

Yesterday I wrote a post about how I was feeling disconnected from myself and feeling  a little paralyzed as a result. So although I’m never one to “go back” to things (choosing instead to always move forward), I realize that something that has helped me a lot in the past was blogging. Aside from the occasional post about writing, I haven’t been blogging very much, and I think I’d like to get back to it.

Blogging is like art journaling. It’s creativity without pressure. It’s feeling free to let my mind do its thing and not worry about what the result might look like to other people. This blog, right here, is my own little sanctuary of whatever-I-want-ness. Because as much as other people have the right to existence, the right to an opinion, the right to make decisions, so do I. And this is where that has always happened, from when I was seventeen years old. That’s right, y’all, this blog is that old.

And today I need a little bit of me again. So, in the words of Samwise, “Well…I’m back.”

Words About Words

Sometimes when I try to write, it’s like all of my words have dried up. I can’t express what I want to express. For a writer, this is quite the predicament to be in. I don’t want to write just for the sake of writing – to come up with some profound sounding drivel that actually doesn’t mean anything at all. There’s too much of that floating around the world already. It took me a while to be okay with these kinds of days, when the words just won’t come back. It doesn’t make you a failed writer; it doesn’t mean your creativity is gone. It just means that when the words do start to flow again, they’ll come in droves and bring their friends.

Photo: A page from Leaves of Grass by Ralph Waldo Emerson