Sometimes it takes being in the right place at the right time that sparks that genius topic, product or idea—but sometimes you need that inspiration or idea in present time, we can’t always wait for that right place and right time, am I right?! We have deadlines, goals and sometimes just want to get it done! As writers and creatives, often times we are plagued with the cliché of “writer's block”. We can’t seem to feel inspired, we can’t think up any new ideas, concepts…etc. We are just stuck.
Stuck in a tornado of thoughts, which I know sometimes can be overwhelming and can trail so far away from your writing that eventually you close the laptop screen and call it a night.This is extremely discouraging and frustrating (trust me!). What can we as writers do to gain more inspiration and fix those nights where our thoughts are hollow? I am going to map out different scenarios where you can take full advantage of your surroundings and find the most inspiration in tough moments to write your next EPIC article, social post or maybe even novel.
First Stop On The Map - TRAVEL
The secret sauce, but maybe not exactly how we always view it. I’m not saying you have to hop on a plane and fly across the country just to get an idea. Don’t get me wrong, traveling is so awesome, but not always feasible. Instead, hop on your bike, lace up your shoes or drive over to a place in town you don’t normally go. Step outside of your comfort zone and explore different areas. Set up camp and allow yourself to take in all of the sights, sounds, smells, people…etc. It may even be in the least expected place where your ideas click!
The possibilities are endless when you wander into places that are unfamiliar to you—your surroundings become everything. Take advantage of every last thing you feel, experience and see, down to the colors, the temperature and the expressions on people’s faces, the shoes they are wearing; use it to inspire whatever topic it is you are writing about. It is in those moments where our creative juices start to flow.
For me, my writing prompts have come from moments where I have been completely taken out of my element. It is in those moments where I take in every last thing I possibly can. Many of my inspirational moments come with travel.
My most recent travels to my favorite city, New Orleans have inspired me in more ways than I can even imagine counting. The incredible music on every corner, the free-spirited people, the FOOD, the smells (the good, the bad and the ugly)…every single detail down to the broken mardi gras beads in the cracks of the streets. Every ounce of that city brought home with me and when I hit a creative block, I am there, back in the bustle of the sirens and in its unique beauty.
Second Stop On The Map - Use The Digital Fuse
There may be times where we cannot always venture out and we still have to find inspiration in our writing. How the heck are we supposed to do this? You are stuck at home; within those same four walls, you see every day. Your surroundings aren’t going to change much from what you are used to and your dog can only inspire you so much. Looking out the window at the same ugly tree (depending on the season) and the same cars passing just isn’t doing it anymore. In this case, transport your mind.
The internet is a beautiful thing. USE IT. USE IT. USE IT. We can digitally travel anywhere, at any moment in time with just one click! Have you ever wanted to visit Paris…Google it! How about the beautiful beaches of Hawaii...YouTube takes you there at a really cheap price. Take advantage of Google images, Google maps…you name it. Look at photos, see it via video and through multiple lenses. Literally, you can go anywhere, the possibilities are endless. It is when you start imagining yourself in that place, you have fully tapped your creative prowess and you are no longer seeing those four walls, but you are actually sitting on that luxe rooftop bar overlooking Los Angeles or maybe outside the Colosseum in Rome as all the tourist gather and relive the Roman Empire.
I absolutely LOVE to travel digitally. It is my favorite thing to do when I cannot physically get to a place at that particular moment in time or in moments where I am writing a story in a certain setting that I have never been to and don’t have easy access to. For instance, writing about the big apple; I literally would sit and browse the streets of Brooklyn, look at the details of the shops, the billboards, cars… everything. I would hop on YouTube and search for Vlogs of people visiting the city, so I can see it in action and exercise it through their lens. Digital travel can enhance your writing more than you can imagine. I’m telling you…TRY IT!
Third Stop On The Map - For The Love of Music
So we’ve traveled to a part of town we’ve never been, digitally browsed the world, but maybe we need that last catalyst to ignite our fire. Well our last destination on our map to using our surroundings to craft an EPIC story, we are plugging in. Remember the last time you plugged in those white earbuds, into the sleek smartphone that carries our life in it like a travel bag. Then you hit that music app and find that one track that makes you say “life is amazing” Music is the ultimate storyteller; another great form of inspiration, down to the artist, their style, and the roller coaster they can take you on in 3 to 4 minutes. Take it back too, don’t just listen to the top 40 or artist of today…blast into the past a little bit, take a chance with an artist or group you’ve never heard of, open your mind to new music! Dissect the story they are telling. How does it make you feel? How do you think they are feeling? Where is the story taking place? Create your own music video in your head to the songs you listen to and use every piece of feeling and visualization you get from that song. Let it speak to your inspiration.
My favorite artist to listen to, hand down is, The Weeknd and Often times, I will blast into the past and put on 90’s hits, oldies but goodies and yes Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Each of these genres caters to different moods of mine and gets me extremely excited about the task at hand while providing me creative juices.
Let’s face it, we all get writer's block at some point and it takes something different to crack the code and get back to work. When it happens don’t get discouraged, get creative with your way of skating through your topics. I’ve said before and I will say it again, there are endless possibilities when it comes to finding inspiration and kicking that “writer's block” to the curb. Travel, Digital Inspiration and Music are only a fraction of ways to help you craft the Epic piece.