Wednesday, 24 August 2011

What Gets Your Creative Juices Flowing?


Today I wrote. I actually sat down, tapped away at my keyboard and produced a couple of thousand words. And when I read them back, they weren't half bad (in my humble opinion :o). The reason I'm so happy? Despite desperately wanting to move forward with my WIP, I've hardly touched it since the kids started school holidays at the end of July.

Today something was different; I wanted to write. Even though I'd planned to take the kids out for a treat, I took my laptop with me, and while they were occupied shooting each other with lasers, (not real ones I hasten to add!), I ordered myself a large latte, and let the words flow through my fingertips. In fact I was so absorbed in my imaginary world, I succumbed to the embarrassing habit of sticking my tongue out (helps me concentrate...) - I really hope none of the other parents noticed!

So it got me thinking; why was I able to 'write' so much today, when I've struggled to write anything in the past four weeks?

I think it boils down to inspiration. When I feel inspired, the story consumes me and I can't wait to get it down on paper. That inspiration can come from anywhere - a good movie, a great tune, reading awesome books, the list goes on...

Today, I can't tell you what IT was, but whatever IT was, I hope IT hangs around for tomorrow.

So, what about you? What/where/when/who do you turn to for inspiration?

Image creator Graur Codrin 

25 comments:

Christine Danek said...

Hi fellow campaigner. Nice to meet you. I know what you mean about some days inspiration strikes and some days nothing. I love that feeling when it hits. I try to read a ggood book to help, but music seems to be the spark.
Thanks and I will check out your book.

Christine Rains said...

Oh yes, you can't stop it when inspiration hits! My dreams provide me with a lot of material. Simple real life things strike me sometimes too.

Mflick1 said...

Hi campaigner :) Im so happy you were inspired. I get a lot of inspiration from my students. I work with teenagers and they never lack for wacky habits, awkward and intense situations, and I never know what's going to come out of their mouths.

Crystal said...

Ah, yes, the intermittent and unpredictable striking of the muse! I turn to three main things for inspiration: Real life, music and writing prompts that I get from books/the 'net/my writing class. That last one helps me whenever I'm having trouble with the dreaded Writer's Block! Happy writing, and I hope the muse stays with you. :-)

Maria Zannini said...

It's great to meet you, Amanda!

Inspiration seems to strike at the oddest times. For some reason washing dishes by hand and weeding is enough to get me stoked up to write. I think I need that solitary activity to let my mind wander.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Hi Christine(s), Mflick1, Crystal and Maria! - thanks for dropping by and leaving your thoughts. Some great ideas for getting in the mood!

I wish my dreams provided me with material too, Christine. But they're usually disjointed and don't make much sense (hopefully that's not a reflection on me!).

J. A. Bennett said...

For me inspiration has to come from within. if I'm not happy with what's going on around me, it's hard to write. If I'm stressed out about getting it done, I can't do it. I have to be content to do what I can.

prerna pickett said...

so many things, but inspiration seems to strike the most when I'm about to fall asleep. It can be inconvenient at times:-

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

J A Bennett - I think you've hit the nail on the head. I put pressure on myself to hit certain targets and then invariably fail! Not very inspiring!

Prerna, that happens to me! I've started keeping a notepad by the bed so I can jot down ideas and then switch off again..

Laila Knight said...

Hey there, dropping in to say hi. Happy to meet a fellow campainer, am folling you now. :)

Lola Sharp said...

Hi there, fellow campaigner. *waves hello*

The shower usually is my place for figuring out a plot hole issue...for whatever reason.
Also, when I'm driving I get fresh ideas. Again, I have no idea why. Both are fairly inconvenient places...neither conducive to jotting down ideas. (thus notes scribbled on the back of receipts in my car and soggy floors in my bathroom and bedroom)

Yay for having a great writing day. I hope you have another today...and tomorrow...and the next day...

Hugs,
Lola

Andrew Leon said...

I think the real trick to writing is to do make yourself do it even when you're not inspired. Athletes have the same kind of thing, being "in the zone" or whatever, but they have to play whether they're "feeling" it or not. It's great to be inspired, but, in my experience, if you wait to do only when you're feeling, you won't get much accomplished.
That's my 2.

paige brunt said...

i feel the same way. i am in the process of writing a book, and every day it is a painstaking process! i am waiting for that "inspiration" to hit! and when it does, i'm going to capitalize on it.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Hi, Laila! Thanks for stopping by. I'm still giggling over your blog.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Hi, Lola! The shower and the car - hmmm, not good :/ You need a mini-recorder or something so you don't lose those precious ideas...

Sending positive 'inspirational' vibes to all my new writer buddies!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Wise words, Andrew. (And thanks for stepping away from the Magic Eye and visiting another post ;o) Yes, you're right. More discipline needed - that book won't write itself!

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Hi, Paige! - if you're low on inspiration, here's what I've learned from these comments - try listening to good music, reading a great book, having a good dream, working with intense, wacky students, writing prompts, washing dishes, weeding, being happy/not stressed, have a shower, drive your car and if all that fails, make yourself do it anyway!

Phew, I think I covered everything. Thanks everybody!

Lexi said...

My best times for thinking constructively about the WIP are long walks, long baths and long drives - all alone, naturally. Especially the baths. I'd be too squashed if not alone, and possibly up the wrong end with the taps digging into me :o)

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Long walks - great idea, Lexi. Do you take something with you (recorder/pen?) to note down ideas?

I'm still giggling at the bath comment - that would kill the passion...!

Laila Knight said...

Does it ever feel like if during certain parts of the month you'r more inspired or more productive? Sometimes I'm just sparkling with the stuff. :)

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Laila, I definitely have times when I don't want to do anything else but write, and it takes over my world, but then other days I'd rather flop on the sofa with hubbie and a nice glass of red.

It might be an idea to note down in a diary whenever inspiration hits and see if there is a pattern!

Adina West said...

Go Amanda! Well done, you're my champion. Have to say that inspiration for me is often stories like this! And yes, to make it happen, you have to want it...

I tend to work in fits and starts, and will have weeks of nothing and then a burst of creativity. Wish it wasn't so intermittent but that's how it seems to happen.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Thanks, Adina!

It's been great reading everyone's comments, and I'm trying to adopt some of the ideas - last but not least, to discipline myself to write even though I'm not in the mood...

Sending you lots of positive writing vibes...

Shannon Lawrence said...

It varies, but I was most recently inspired by a late night walk which led to my coming home and starting to write a bit after midnight, only to crawl out of my hole at about 3:30 in the morning. I felt a bit foolish, considering I had to get up with two littles in a few hours, but man did it feel good to just pound the keys for awhile!

Fellow UF Campaigner.

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Shannon - when inspiration strikes, I think you have to just go for it! If I force myself to write, I usually end up cutting a lot, or re-working it, but when I'm feeling really inspired - I notice the difference in what spills onto the page!

Bet you were shattered in the morning though!