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Article by Wendy McCance
So, there’s this thing I do whenever I need a little inspiration. Writer’s block is tough and after many trials and errors I have found my personal magical formula to deal with it. You see I’m not one of those people who believe you can write your way through until something of importance appears. I’ve tried the technique and my writing is crap when I try forcing a post. The only thing I gain is that my typing speed increases ever so slightly.
What I do when I need some inspiration is I step away from the computer. If my mind is too cluttered to get to the creative place in my head, I get rid of the clutter. I’ll clean the house, pay the bills and take care of any other responsibility that is running through my brain. If I have a personal worry that is blocking the creative process, I will get out of the house and take a bike ride or go for a walk. Now if my head is clear, and I am just at a loss for what to write, well, that’s when the magic takes over.
I have three creative outlets I use. Music, reading and drawing help me to reset my thoughts and get the ideas flowing again. My favorite way of getting back to writing is music. It’s not the lyrics that get my mind flowing with ideas, but literally the sound of the song. It might sound strange, but, it works.
What’s wild is I can point to chunks of writing within this blog and tell you what music phase I was in. For whatever reason I will play and replay music by the same band for quite some time until I get all of the creativity available within the music out, and then I move on. And, I must admit that I get stuck within the music not able to let go and move on to a different artist until I feel my writing is complete and there is nothing else that I can grab from the music I was listening to.
I had a big Fleetwood Mac moment where for several months, I would hear the same songs and new ideas would pop up in my head. Amazing that I stayed within the same songs for several months, but there was just so much I found to write about within that time.
I am astounded by the connection between the music and my writing, but somehow it helps unblock thoughts in my head I didn’t even know were there.
Right now, I’ve been listening to Shinedown. Probably for a week now and it’s helped get my writing which I have struggled with for a year get back on track. In fact, last night I had a thought for a post that was so strong I was tempted to jump out of bed to write it down. Exhaustion won out and the idea doesn’t seem to be residing in my head anymore.
When I draw, I get a lot of the same type of creative movement that I do when I listen to music. I draw and the ideas just come flooding out. I really have to be in a particular mood to draw though so it’s not my first choice.
Reading, on the other hand is a much different animal. I read to clear my head and relax and on occasion a theme from something I have read is worthy of a post, but it’s a direct idea and not the hazy thoughts that randomly come floating into my brain like a dream when I am listening to music.
So, after mentioning what works well for me, here’s the part that has me stumped, I get nothing from social interactions or doing any activities. I seldom find a spark in those situations. It’s rare to find a conversation spurring an idea and it has to be a fairly deep conversation at that.
So, what about you? Have you ever stopped to consider where your inspiration comes from? Are you able to turn it on and off at will by using something like music to get it moving? Let me know in the comment section below. I’m interested in knowing how other people find their inspiration to create.
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