Everyone, well many people at least, like the idea of becoming a writer. Sitting in a cafe, with a pen and paper, creating notes that will eventually come to a solid piece of work? It’s a romantic image, for sure. But let’s not forget that one of the reasons why it’s such a highly valued craft is because it’s difficult to do. The world would be a poorer place if anyone and everyone could be an outstanding writer. So what differentiates the can-do’s from that can’t-do’s, when it comes to writing? It’s all about the inspiration.
While inspiration is elusive, there are places you can look for it. We take a look at a few places below.
Your Past Experiences
There’s a reason why so many authors look back on their first novel and cringe: they just weren’t ready to write it at the time, and it shows (mostly to the authors themselves). One of the reasons for this is that they just hadn’t lived enough yet. You can’t know everything at eighteen, because experiences are thin on the ground. If you’re looking for inspiration, it’s sometimes worthwhile taking a trip or just otherwise manufacturing an experience. You might just find that you have a story to tell once you return home.
Some authors respond to their own life, their past experiences. Others respond to life itself. If you’ve ever seen The Grand Budapest Hotel, you’ll recall the line about how you don’t necessarily need to come up with stories. People will happily tell them to you, if you care to listen. And sometimes, you don’t even need to listen. You can just observe. No matter where you are, you can always slow down and observe your surroundings. Do it for long enough, and you might just come upon a grain of truth that provides a basis for an excellent story.
There’s nothing scarier than sitting down in front of a blank page, and just waiting for things to happen. Indeed, don’t do it! Rather, it’s much better to pick up a book and read the works of the famous and celebrated authors of days gone by, and especially the ones that you personally admire. It’s not about reading for your own enjoyment; it’s about getting the brain thinking in literary ways. Whether you’re reading some famous Shakespeare quotes or dedicating an hour to a book, you’ll find that you’re more ready to get into the writing flow afterward. You’ll have the right mindset to create a work of your own.
You don’t have to go through the writing process all on your own. The myth of the isolated, genius writer is just that — a myth! If you’ve got people around you who also like to write, talk your ideas through with them. They might just give a level of encouragement that pushes you forward, or tell you to scrap the idea (this is also worthwhile to hear sometimes!). If nothing else, just talking about writing might do the trick.