Have you heard the quote by Jack London, "I do not wait for inspiration, I go after it with a club." Our problem really is not lack of imagination. As children we're full of it. I can remember my mother saying, "Do not tell fairy stories." As we get older we lose the time or the motivation to 'tell stories' even if we do not lose the ability. What can we do to retrieve that confidence in story telling whether to write fiction or non-fiction? Our imaginations / inspirations are there all the time and simply shifting our focus can open up a whole new world for us.
Here are 4 easy ways to begin to connect again with your inspirational self in writing.
- Start with the words' As I walked down the street
- Take a recent day and write about it
- Play a game of consequences
- Write your name and keep writing it until some words come into your mind
It does not matter if you're writing fiction or factual books, it will work equally as well. What it does is give your imagination somewhere to begin and you may see a scene laid out in your head or remember something that happened to you that you can write about.
This is for you to try if you would prefer to write about something 'real'. It does not matter which day and it does not matter how you write about it. Try choosing one incident in the day and write about what happened. Or you could do a chronological treatment of your day. You may find that something in the day becomes more important than all the other events. Or how about imagining telling your best friend about it? It may loosen up the language you use rather than being formal as you were taught in school.
Did you play consequences when you were young? If not here's how it goes. Write down an imaginary name or profession. Then write who they met, where. After that choose an action they carry out together and finally the consequence of the action. Here's an example: The plumber met the astronaut in New York. They danced at Carnegie Hall and the election was a smash hit. It really does not matter what you write and the sillier the better. What's important is that you let the words flow and do not censor them. It's all helping to stimulate your imagination and inspiration.
If you think this sounds silly you're right but what you're doing is unblocking your mind's natural ability to help you form words. Writing rubbish for a page is worth it when you start to write something interesting that you probably had no idea you wanted to write. Once the flow has started – then you'll be on the next challenge. How to stop!