Saturday, September 29, 2012

Have You Seen My Inspiration?

by Amanda Forester

It is a basic premise that to create a novel, one needs something to write.  To have something to write, one needs inspiration.  To have inspiration one needs...

Yeah, that part gets me too.  I'm in the process of writing my next novel and some days I sit in front of the computer and my fingers fly, the ideas are unstoppable, and I can hardly keep up with my own brilliance.  And then there's the other 363 days of the year.

I often struggle to find inspiration for my writing.  Generally I just stare at the blinking cursor until something comes to me or it's time to go to bed.  This approach may not be particularly helpful for you, or frankly for me, so here are some other ways to find inspiration:

Listen to music.
Get inspired by beauty.
Find a picture of your hero.
Get some exercise.
Take a break.
More chocolate.

I recently saw an interview with Japanese inventor, Yoshiro Nakamatsu, who reports he gets his best ideas while underwater. He says the lack of oxygen to the brain improves his creativity and he develops his best ideas in the few seconds before a person would pass out.  The closest I ever want to come to that plan is plotting my book while taking a shower.  Creativity good, drowning not so much.

So where do you find inspiration?


  1. Lately, it's been coming to me in dreams. I wake up and think about it for a while so I'll remember it when I get up. Speaking of which, must go write!

  2. Every once in a while that happens to me, but it's more like, "I know I had this fabulous idea, now what was it?"

  3. Just looking at those pictures inspires me...some to write...some to do things that would make a holy woman blush for sure!
    I'm a bit like Hemingway or was it of those great men anyway...who said, "I'm inspired eight hours a day!" LOL! Sometimes when I think I have nothing left in my fried brain, it surprises me! Maybe it's a mental image of that hunk holding chocolate!

  4. I had fun finding those pictures! I agree, my favorite is the dude with the chocolate. Can you say temptation?

  5. Hahaha, the hot guy holding chocolate is inspiration!
    I take my dreams, love to love in my dreams =)

  6. Sometimes I close my eyes and put myself in my hero or heroine's shoes. I try to think of my story as a movie. I ask myself what would I like to see happen next?

    Of course that's until my CP reads it and comes back and kicks my arse. ;-)

    Great post, Amanda.

  7. Last thing before bed, I read over my words written that day. If I have them, I write the first few lines for the next scene, or some ideas about where the next scene needs to go. If I have nada (most nights), I write the question:

    Where does this story need to go next?
    I set the alarm an hour before I mean to get up, and when it goes off, I pulled that question into my head: Where does the WIP need to go next? For the next hour, while dozing and composing, something usually comes to me worth getting out of bed and writing down.

    Not foolproof, but functional. I also try to write down those ideas right as they occur, because they'll flutter back into the ether never to be seen again otherwise.

  8. Lexi - yup, I do find a man holding chocolate very inspirational! I sometimes think I've had a good idea in my dreams, but rarely can I remember it!

    Victoria - it's funny you mentioned seeing your stories as a movie because I often feel that way, and I'm trying to write down the scenes as fast as I can while I see it. Sometimes my first drafts look more like screenplays until I flesh it out in revisions!

  9. Grace - those are some good ideas - I think I should try some. I'm not sure about waking up early, not much of a morning person, but I do think trying to capture those moments between dream and wake is when the mind may be the most creative. It beats almost drowning yourself!

  10. Amanda, if you wake up smiling then it doesn't really matter what the dream was. I like to leave my dream men elusive =)