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Monday, June 29, 2009

Motivation for Monday

How would you like a list of 31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing?

I discovered a new site for writers called Write to Done, and the post bearing the title above was written by Leo Babauta. The article is a full of great ideas to get motivated, a kind of Baskin Robbins for writers.

Here are three samples from the post to give you a taste:

9. Friends. Conversations with my friends, in real life, on the phone or via IM, have inspired some of my best posts. They stir up my ideas, contribute ideas of their own, and they fuse into something even more brilliant than either of us could have created.

13. Nature. Stuck for ideas? Go for a walk or a jog. Get away from sidewalks and into grass and trees and fields and hills. Appreciate the beauty around you, and let the inspiration flow through you. Sunsets and sunrises, of course, are two of my favorite uplifting scenes of nature, and anything involving water is also awesome (oceans, rivers, lakes, rain, rivulets, even puddles.)

21. Writing Journal. I highly recommend this for any writer. It doesn't have to be fancy, or something you write in every day. Just a plain notebook will do, although a nice journal can be motivating. Write down thoughts and inspirations and quotes and snippets of good writing you find and pieces of dialog and plot ideas and new characters. Then go back to this journal when you need ideas or inspiration.

Inspiring Me

Babauta's list contains many tempting ideas. I plan to try several of them.

I'm going to put the first two that I spotlighted above into practice today. I'll be walking to town to have lunch with a girlfriend who is supportive of my writing and enjoys hearing about my progress. Talk about inspiration. I'm sure to return home ready to pour words onto the page.

Inspiring You

I hope you find some of the ideas appealing.
If number 21 is something you'd like to try, I've got good news for you . . .

I'm giving away a black leather writing journal. It's 5x7 inches, has 240 ruled pages and a ribbon marker.

The journal will go to one of those who leaves a comment on this post this by Sunday, July 5th.
I'll post the drawing winner's name here the following Monday.

(Be sure to include an email address when prompted if you'd like a chance to win to so I can contact you, should your name be the one I choose. I don't share the information or add it to a mailing list.)

• • • • •

Of all the ideas listed in Babauta's post, which have worked best for you?
What are some he didn't mention that you've found helpful?


Jarmara Falconer said...

EverydayI take into work a A4 notepad and in my tea and lunchbreak I write down anything that comes into my head. This can be anything from a title for a book or short story, or a piece of dialogue to a whole chapter for my novel, I'm working on. I enjoy write with a pencil and in longhand for my ideas. There is just something in being close to the writers of old which helps to inspire me.

Jessica said...

I like the talking with friends part. I also like to go to bookstores and look at the new books out. Makes me feel determined to write mine. LOL
Pretty journal. I have one like that, only it's pink. :-) But now that I've started blogging and writing, I never write in a journal anymore.

Keli Gwyn said...


I've heard other writers say that writing longhand unleashes their creativity. I still write letters to a few longtime friends by hand. They are so much more personal than a typewritten note. When I'm writing one, I'm transported back to a time when life seemed simpler, which is a great stress reliever.

Keli Gwyn said...


There's nothing quite like standing in a bookstore surrounded by stacks of new books and inhaling the fresh smell of paper and ink, is there? Like you, seeing the titles on the shelves makes me want mine there and inspires me to keep writing.

I've even gone so far as to figure out where my books will be shelved. They'll nestle between Robin Jones Gunn and Cathy Marie Hake's great works. What wonderful company that will be!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Great ideas. Reading is my #1 favorite inspiration for writing. Reading something I like always motivates me to write something worth reading.

Keli Gwyn said...


I love pithy quotes about writing. I've read many on the Internet. I think yours could easily become one people quote: "Reading something I like always motivates me to write something worth reading." Awesome!

sherrinda said...

This may sound voyeuristic, but really, I am not, but the part where he listed listening to other people's conversations and people watching were some that I have enjoyed doing in the past. Sometimes it will spark an idea for a story.
Oh, and I LOVE quotes! They are so inspiring!

Keli Gwyn said...


I smiled when I read the suggestion on listening to conversations when out in public. In a writing course I took several years ago, I was given that very task as an assignment. I was to watch everything a person did, capture her/his words and actions, and then write a scene from the person's POV.

I chose to study a young gal at Taco Bell (my home away from home). She was a real character with witty comebacks and a nice helping of attitude. Getting inside her head with my fictional take on her afterward was fun. I learned a great deal from that experience.

Caroline said...

Hi Keli,
I used to get lots of ideas while I was running but had trouble recalling all the good detail. Now I walk on a treadmill and as I do get my e-mail read and responded to, so I no longer use that method.

I get a lot of good ideas as I drive, thinking about my story and listening to music. I have a paper handy and pull over if need be. (that is I can't safely jot it down)

This is a great post. Thanks!


C.J. Redwine said...

Yay for inspiration! I find music always inspires me. Also, unusual settings or interesting things in nature. I had Clint take a pic of this really cool dead tree lurking on the fringe of the water park we were at yesterday. It's going into an upcoming story!

Edna said...

I barly made the dead line on sumitting a comment for a change to win this nice journal. I keep a Prayer journal and if any one has never done that they need to try it, you will be amased at how many prayer that get answered.


Keli Gwyn said...

Caroline, like you I get ideas while I'm out walking and when I'm driving. Seems like stepping away from the computer at times allows my mind the freedom it needs to get creative.

CJ, I listen to music when I write. Transports me to another world where my characters are happy to chatter away in my head. When I wander our historical Main Street, I'm also taken back in time to the days when my characters roamed the very spots.

Edna, I've got good news for you. You're the winner of the journal. I'll be in touch.