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Inspiration-Finding Your Beacon of Literary Light
Victoria A. Witkewitz
15 July 2021
You are ready to start your first book. The computer screen flashes white upon opening and then it hits you-the dreaded blinking cursor. What will be the first words you type? As you stare out the window, perhaps with a head scratch you wonder what should I write about.
This article will explore ideas of how to ignite a spark of enthusiastic creativity, where you can find it, and how to fully engage in the thoughts to put them into words. Grab a pen and get your brain fired up.
Find your internal compass of inspiration
Did you ever have the chance to listen to a grandparent or older individual tell you a story about their life and all the fascinating chapters with exhilarating plot twists and turns?
Some of the best stories we have to share come from our personal experiences in life. Think about some of the most enjoyable experiences you remember from your childhood such as the friends you made, parties, graduations, and holidays. Perhaps you can recall a time when something rather hilarious made for an epic story you still recall after all these years.
Why are we drawn to autobiographies? For some, it gives a sense of hope, or thrills, chills, and most of all-the real deal. Life gives us undeniably great times, but hardships as well. Learning from those trials not only helps us grow but provides a realization there is potential for us. The story you create may pass the next torch of confidence to another author.
Read, watch, travel, and digest
Do you have your bags packed? Wait, before you buy that next plane ticket, realize you don't have to go far to explore the world existing around you at this very moment.
From social media, television, movies, art galleries, museums, nature, and other places, external sources can be internally digested that may trigger a memory or something you have in common or are interested in.
As you absorb the stimuli of the source, ask yourself these questions to start crafting then drafting some ideas:
1. What piques your interest about this topic? Is it a color, song, and/or memory you can relate to?
2. Utilizing your senses, how does this topic make you feel? For example, if you are viewing a piece of artwork, upon initial observation, what feelings does it evoke-sadness, happiness, guilt, or pleasure? Why?
3. How would you further contribute to this topic? For example, if you are watching a movie about sea creatures, how can you take this topic and create your individual spin? Perhaps you want to write a fantasy about a fictional sea creature, or undertake a research project to learn details to write a nonfiction application.
Unplanned adventures can draw some of the most interesting memoirs. Why is this process so engaging? Without plans, spontaneity allows us the opportunity to be courageous without judgment, thus creating a fluid experience. This gives us a great chance to reflect on a journey that opens our minds to the world around us from multiple perspectives.
Being spontaneous doesn't necessarily mean expensive excursions. For example, taking a drive in the country as a city dweller or vice versa on a weekend, trying a new restaurant on a whim, signing up for a class or new hobby without studious thought can inspire you in new ways.
Go with the flow-let inspiration find you
In this day and age we tend to find it necessary to always "be on" and not necessarily excessively scrolling on a mobile device, but rather feeling the need to do something rather than resting and letting life take care of itself.
It's okay to have periods of time where inspiration does not feel like it's part of your core being. This is a time of growth paving the way and preparing you for the next great idea. At times it may feel that inspiration will simply fall out of the sky and into your lap. When it does, start writing. Even if it is only a few sentences, doodling and journaling can help catapult those ideas into something bigger.
The best stories come from where our passion lies. Writing is a fluid process that requires patience, time, and confidence in your work. Be proud of what you write as your beacon of light will help inspire others.
New to writing? Start a journaling routine. Explore our Writing Projects to get started today.
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