As writers, we sometimes need fresh inspiration. In this video, I talk about three different ways to get inspired.
GET OUT IN NATURE
This is essential not just for writers, but for everyone’s overall mental health. Step out and feel the damp earth beneath your bare feet. Artists and philosophers have spoken about nature’s majesty since time immemorial.
Joseph Campbell – author of the fantastic The Hero with a Thousand Faces (affiliate, and below) – said, “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
Philosopher Alan Watts said, “Man is as much attached to nature as a tree, and though he walks freely on two legs and is not rooted in the soil, he is by no means a self-sufficient, self-moving, and self-directing entity.”
My favorite quote about nature comes from John Muir. He said, “In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
TAKE IN NEW ART
Specifically, I mention listening to music, but a stroll through a museum or art gallery can be just as inspirational.
When I first listen to a new album I read along with the lyrics. This adds to the feelings the music evokes. I try to take what I’m feeling, and think about what the artist could have been feeling, and put it into my own words. Give it a shot. Use the singer’s words to inspire yours.
If you need some music inspiration, check out the The Midnight’s latest album, Monsters …
… solo stuff from Tyler Lyle (one half of the duo behind The Midnight) …
… and The 1975 debuted an album recently that I’ve yet to listen to, but I think that’s gonna be part of #selfcaresunday.
READ THE WRITERS YOU LIKE
Seek inspiration in your literary heroes.
Once a year, I reread Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It recenters me. I’ve been itching to reread Campbell’s Hero. Treat your favorite books as how-to guides for writing.
You can also take a page out of Hunter S. Thompson’s book. To get the feeling of what it was like to write like F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway, he would type out whole pages of The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms. Thompson allegedly typed the entirety of Gatsby more than once just to get the rhythm. Why not try with one of your favorite author’s most beloved books? However, if your favorite author is Stephen King, I advise against trying this technique with It. Although, now I’m feeling some kinda way about rereading that two-ton tome…
What inspires you, dear reader? Do you have any music recommendations to share? Let me know in the comments below!