Some days, I wake up in the morning and I am ready to get work done. Not only do I want to get words on the page--I HAVE TO. It is like every creative nerve in my body is itching to be put to good use. Those are great days.
Then, there are the other days. The days when my eyes barely open at the sound of my 6 AM alarm. The days when I struggle to sit down in front of my computer before mid-morning because there simply aren't any words in my head. The days when I finally do sit in front of the computer and try everything short of amputating a limb to find some sort of creative juice inside of myself.
We've all been there. Regardless of what field you are in or whether it is for your profession or a hobby, some days are simply better than others. Well, I've put together a small list of inspiration for the days when you can't find it on your own.
Music is such an amazing motivator. Whether you are exercising or trying to open the creative floodgates in your brain, the right song can be all the push you need. Here are a few of my favorites (you will need to have Spotify downloaded in order to listen to these) :
Photography has always been a place for me to find inspiration, but this category can be expanded to include any sort of art form you like. Anything that stirs your brain and makes you think is useful. Here are a few of my favorite photographs that have inspired me to write.
Listening to people within your profession or hobby talk about your profession/hobby can be a great motivator to get to work! And the beautiful thing is, the internet is wide and vast and there is a podcast, blog, or YouTube channel for almost any topic you can imagine! As a writer, I love listening to author interviews and podcasts, learning about their writing process and even what inspires them to write. Here are a few of my favorites:
A) George Saunders: On Story, originally launched on Atlantic.com
B) Neil Gaiman's 2012 Commencement Speech which was eventually turned into a book entitled Make Good Art
C) Writing Excuses Podcast
I love a good writing podcast. It can provide you with helpful tips, and help you improve your writing. Writing Excuses is one of my favorites. It is short, very easy to listen to on a commute or an evening walk, and the hosts all come from different genres and backgrounds, creating a really well-rounded podcast. Click the link above to go to the Writing Excuses website, but you can also find Writing Excuses almost anywhere podcasts are available.
4) Great Books
Last, but certainly not least in the list of things that inspire me to write on days I'm simply not feeling it: Books. Reading the well-crafted, beautiful writing of an author you especially admire can help turn the rusty wheels in your brain. A few books I pick up over and over again for inspiration are: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, On Writing: A Memoir by Stephen King, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
However, even beyond the realm of fiction and non-fiction books on writing, some of my best story ideas have come to me while I was reading a completely random non-fiction book. For instance, true crime, history, biographies, psychology studies. While these books have nothing to do with writing specifically, great writing and great ideas can come from a million different sources. Reading a book about psychopaths can help you craft a psychopathic character. Learning about a certain period in history could inspire your next historical fiction piece. You get the idea. Basically, be open to inspiration, and often, you'll find it.
Now that you've seen my list, I want to see yours. Regardless of your profession or hobby, let me know what inspires you to work hard and keep going, even on days when all you want to do is lounge on the couch and binge trash tv.