June 15, 2017

Three Tricks to Inspire Your Writing

I mentioned in this post that I haven't been feeling writing about social media and business (though putting together a content calendar for the remainder of the month has inspired a few ideas!). What I have been feeling? Writing about writing. I polled you guys on Twitter and in this survey (if you have a minute, I would so appreciate your feedback— it closes this Sunday), and a lot of you are interested in reading about finding inspiration for writing (not to be confused with finding motivation to write or finding your author's voice).


So, I'm delivering (hopefully) what you want! Because I write both blog posts and creative pieces, I try to incorporate advice for both when I write these types of posts; I'm sure that some of you write creatively, too, so I hope this helps you with that, too.

+ Read prompts, not posts.

When I lack post inspiration, I'll often turn to Pinterest. But here's the catch: I don't read any of the posts I come across. I highly recommend that you don't do that, in fact. Instead, I like to scroll through graphics with potential post titles. "X Lessons I've Learned from X." "X Things You Need to Do for X." For some reason, all these different arrangements of words give me ideas for posts. I'm also not tempted to infuse my writing with ideas based on other peoples' ideas and get to start with a blank slate.

If you're writing on the more creative side, Google "creative writing prompts" or "writing prompts" and pick a few that interest you. You can free write, if you'd like, or just think on them for a bit. They might inspire new ideas or illuminate answers you've been unable to see.



+ Write what you want.

When I started blogging last year, I wrote whatever I felt like writing and did so for the next several months. I didn't start a blog with any intention of joining social media or sharing my content; that part sort of just happened. Fast forward one year and I still write what I want... but only among a handful a topics. There are days when I want to write things completely unrelated to the brand that I've built (or that I think I've built?), but I don't because, well, they're unrelated.

I'm trying to not contradict myself, but I can see how I might be.
Sometimes, you have to let yourself write what you want. Sometimes, the purpose is secondary, and you need to just write. 
Get out all the words and ideas and, only then, read what you've written and decide whether you can angle it to accommodate your readers. In comes the beauty of creative writing: none of that applies when you're not writing for a niche audience (read: writing a blog post).

+ Journal and keep running lists.

I wrote more about why you should keep a journal in this post, but I highly recommend anyone with "writer's itch" (is that a thing? I think I just made that up) keep one. I'm also a huge proponent of physically writing things down and making lots of lists. If you have an idea for a post, write it down (or type it up, if you prefer) and elaborate a bit on what you want to say in the post (if you don't, you might very well forget your great bullet points... I can confirm this).

Also, if you're into it, try a tree diagram. Grab a piece of paper, write down your main idea or just a word, and circle it. Then, add your branches (aka lines connecting circles containing other, related ideas to your main idea). Keep going until you've made lots of connections and your "tree" has lots of "branches."

How do you inspire your writing?

2 comments

  1. Even if it sounds weird... San songs always give me a lot of inspiration. I don't know why, but it works! I also scroll through the graphics on Pinterest. A place full of ideas. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. San songs? I've never heard of that. Pinterest is usually pretty helpful! Glad you liked the post, Melissa :)

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