My hope is that at least one of you broke out into Chicago after reading that title. Anyone? Here, I’ll even give you the You Tube video so you can sing along.
Why am I running around the house singing (more than usual)? Because it’s time to face facts. Writers can’t afford to “wait for inspiration.” When you’re under deadline, you need to keep your fingers typing, even if your brain and heart aren’t on board.
It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve found ways to spark my inspiration enough to keep my daily word count fairly consistent. When my characters don’t give me their stories, I need to pry it out of their fictional, lifeless hands.
The packages I have with these three minefields of inspiration equals about $40 a month. Worth every penny. Here’s why — Watching, reading, or listening to something that speaks to you will spark your creativity. For an acceptable price, I have access to thousands of movies, television shows, songs, and books.
One of my favorite shows, So You think You Can Dance, just had its season finale. This show is one of the best for getting my creativity flowing. Most dances have a story behind them and the music never disappoints. I’ve found so many songs that have helped me write complete novels just by tuning in every Monday night. Here are some of my favorite contemporary dances from the last two seasons:
I literally could go on for like six blog posts about these dances — most of which are Emmy nominated or winning. There are group dances, hip hop numbers, Broadway, Bollywood, ballroom, jazz, tap…and they are brilliant.
Dance not doing it for you? Maybe an audiobook will. Scribd doesn’t have all my favorites, but they have quite the selection of audiobooks I can download for free to my device for easy listening. You don’t get to keep the books or audiobooks, but you get listen to them as long and as often as you want. They keep me sane while I’m stuck in traffic.
Music is another huge inspiration for me. I love Spotify Premium. I can listen to it with or without internet on my phone or computer. It’s commercial free and had 95% of the songs I want to write to (come on T. Swift, I could use your help right now!) My only dislike is how often it crashes on my phone. If your app fails, simply turn your phone on airplane mode, launch Spotify, and switch off airplane mode for streaming.
Don’t forget movies! I’m not just talking about the Notebook. Netflix (and Amazon Prime for that matter) has an amazing selection of film festival movies as well as television shows. The SyFy television show Haven really helps me get into the mood when I’m writing stories for my paranormal Lynch Brothers Series.
Still not there? Just start writing something, anything. Do a diary, a blog, a food journal, book reviews, anything! Between my day job as a ghostwriter and this blog, I am constantly writing. Even if I don’t get to my romance writing, I’m still strengthening my technique with every sentence.
Force yourself to find a reason why you can’t seem to write. If time is an issue, find a way to dedicate even ten minutes to writing. Wake up earlier or do it on lunch. These ten minutes will add up.
Are you afraid? Remember, no one needs to ever see draft 1. There’s a reason it’s called the “sloppy copy.” You can read my post all about writing drafts here.
If you still can’t get past your roadblocks, talk to someone. A friend, a licensed therapist, a writing coach. Take a few workshops. I promise, one day you’ll hear that one phrase, song, conversation, or see that one movie that will make your mind come alive again.
October 8 is known for:
Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,
Bold. Bewitching. Breathtaking.
Author of Hunting Witch Hazel featured in Falling Hard (A New Adult Anthology).