Has the pen dried up? Is the keyboard covered in a layer of dust? Are you watching the soaps on the TV instead of writing?
What can you do to kick-start your writing when the only thing that inspires you is the cupboard full of chocolate?
Whether it is poetry or prose, here are a few ideas to get you writing…..and remember, it doesn’t matter what you write to start with. That is not your mission! Your mission is to write, because that is what you love to do!
1. Get a notebook: small enough so that you can take it with you everywhere! JK Rowling wrote notes and ideas about her characters so came to her novel with something. Even if you do not have the aspirations to become the next JK, having a notebook is useful as it is there beside you to write down your thoughts, observations and ideas. For me, writing always starts in a notebook. It never starts on the laptop. I have a cupboard full of old scrappy notepads which I can pull out anytime. Put it beside your bed at night and take it out with you!
2. Get a routine: set yourself a goal and stick to it. Important in all walks of life and particularly in writing. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you commit. It may be 500 words a day or half an hour a day.
3. Get reading: be inspired by the great artists past and present. The past revisited in modern clothes has been the inspiration for many authors, Helen Fielding, for one!
4. Get exercising: no need for sweat pants, just find a writing exercise that works for you. You may write continuously for 5 minutes without stopping, or writing with your non-dominant hand (very odd, I’ve tried that!). Pick a title of a book that is on your shelf and write something about that title…..I have a book on my shelf called Human-Computer Interaction (Jenny Preece). It’s my partners and I have never read it. But it could inspire a novel. Just imagine the possibilities!
5. Get social: google your local area for a writing group or contact your local library who will be able to guide you. They are not for everyone but worth joining at least once.
6. Get experiencing: all your experience feeds your imagination. Children’s birthday parties, shopping, travelling, eating out….whatever is part of your life can help your writing. Be open to what is happening around you (but don’t be so obsessed that you observe and don’t ‘feel’.)
7. Get researching: experiencing the world can be research but you may need a little more. If you have a desire to write historical novels, for example, you will need to ensure that you are correct with all the little details! Google scholar is a great place to start!
8. Get shelving: it is said (though I cannot remember who said it) that a poem should be put in a drawer for six months before it is redrafted. I know that poems are not ready for human consumption on the first draft. I made that mistake once; and never again!
9. Get dreaming: when writing prose (and I guess poetry to a certain extent), there is always a story behind the story. Do you know what it is? The back story, or the details you aren’t sharing are important because they add an authenticity to your own writing. The more you know your characters, the better. So, don’t just dream about the story but create a life before the story began.
10. Get blogging: telling the world what you are doing (without giving away the details) can help. Remember, it is a blogging community and the support is there for writers if you reach out for it!
Above all, enjoy writing!
Good writing today!