Some authors say discipline is the key. They sit religiously in front of their word processors and pound out at least a paragraph. They know they can always edit and revise later.
Some authors need to feel inspired before they write. To sit in front of a blank screen, staring at a blinking curser does nothing for moral. I'm one of these types.
So how do I stay inspired enough to write? Do I make my mind a blank canvas through meditation? Do I listen to music? Find a muse?
My answer is: all of the above and more.
Here are 4 quick tips on how to get inspired.
- Meditation: I don't mediate to create a blank canvas. I pray. My inspiration is divine. When I talk to God my own voice (soul) is quiet and my mind and heart becomes filled with gratitude. That is when I find creativity flows the best. I see things differently. I appreciate life more. I am thankful for the small things.
- Music: I listen to music to get a sense of what my character may be feeling. Every character in every novel should seem as true to life as possible. I give my characters a past (even if I don't write about their about their choices and behavior will be more believable if I write through their eyes with their past in mind. Music helps to create an environment for me to connect with my POV character. Is my character in a scene that is tense? I may use a sound track from a suspense movie as inspiration. Is my character with another character in a romantic scene? I may use love songs or classical music.
- Muse: Not a lot of authors discuss having a muse. But I have one. Maybe even two. My book jacket and book trailer. Before I start a new novel I will draft a rough outline of my plot with chapter headings, scenes and point of view characters. When I have an idea of what is going to happen (what the main theme is), I will design a book cover. It may not be the one that will make the final copy but it's enough to get the creative juices flowing. I will also do a few book trailers and begin a marketing campaign. In other words, my mind is still busy with the book but the creativity is finding another outlet and that often inspires me to write a great scene. And we all know that a good novel is full of great scenes (after scene, after scene…).
- Character Files: I mentioned before about giving my characters a past. If I'm working on a new novel, not a sequel, I will also make a file on each character. I will give them certain traits (behavior, quirks, and props). I will write down their likes and dislikes. I also find images on the internet that are examples of their physical attributes and even clothing.
Sound a little extreme? To some maybe, but I like to have a good grasp of not only what I'm writing about but who. If my characters are cardboard cut-outs then I won't be inspired to write which means no one will be inspired to read it.
I enjoy writing about each of my characters and their love interests and adventures.
I hope you enjoy reading about them!