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Stories will not be written easily. A story without a heart is dead, and the only place it will get a heart is from the author.

What to Do When You Lack Inspiration

What to Do When You Lack InspirationWriting is hard.

I believe that’s something we can all agree on. Though we all love it and would pick it over a thousand other things, occasionally there will be a time when your Inspiration Well runs dry.

That is a terrible time.

It’s not like simple writer’s block—oh, no. That is far better, far less detrimental to your writing. Writer’s block is merely a block— you can get past or around it. When you run out of inspiration, it simply isn’t there. 

This happens rarely for some authors, and more frequently for others. I am incredibly thankful that I’m a part of the first category, but even for me there has been times when I find myself entirely lacking inspiration.

This is a sticky problem to fix; you can’t just stroll to the grocery store and buy a package of inspiration. When you lack inspiration, you find it unnaturally difficult to find and acquire.

Recently, a good friend of mine asked me how I get inspiration. Unfortunately, I honestly don’t have a clue. I know how I occasionally look for inspiration on Pinterest, or I remember how inspiration is triggered by something someone said once, but I have no easy way of finding inspiration—which is unfortunately, for life would be much easier if I did.

Fortunately, I do know some ways to help refill your tank when you run dry. It’s not a way to find inspiration; but, rather, a way to plant yourself firmly on Inspiration Highway 22.

Stop writing. Sometimes deadlines force you to plow your way through a story even if you have no inspiration and no idea where it’s going. Hopefully, they won’t—you rarely come up with good material if you truly have no idea what to write. If you have any choice in the matter, decide to take a break from writing for a little while. Since you’ll mostly run out of inspiration when it comes time to start a new story, you should be able to find time to pause.

Walk around. Be active for a little while; drink water; keep your blood flowing and your mind processing things. Get away from your computer screen.

Read a book. Preferably one you’ve never read before, maybe even in a genre you don’t usually read. After you’ve read a full novel of this, you may go back to your favorite books and authors you know.

Watch a movie or a television show. I honestly don’t think it matters a bit what kind of movie you watch. I got an idea for a novel while listening to my younger brothers and sisters watch Veggie Tales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry-Men. If that can produce inspiration, anything can.

Stating it quite simply: relax. Let your mind relax for a little while and expose it to stories. It would be pretty remarkable if you didn’t pick up on some sort of inspiration.


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8 thoughts on “What to Do When You Lack Inspiration

  1. Precious @ Clockwork Desires on said:

    Such an insightful post. Do you have any tips on what to do when writing just doesn’t seem very appealing anymore? I’ve been feeling that way for awhile now.

    • I’ve been feeling that way lately, mostly because I’m starting to dislike my story. I found it was best to take a step back and just brainstorm for a little, letting my imagination take the story wherever. That helped me find some really exciting things to add in.

    • I’m glad you like it! I agree with Proverbs31. 🙂 Take a step back, brainstorm, and maybe remember why you love your story in the first place. Is it because of your characters? Because of the plot? It may also help to find out what you’ve been having trouble with, and work out why exactly you don’t like it so you can make it better. You seem like you want to want to keep writing, so I think you will get your enthusiasm for writing back… It just may take a little bit of time. You might also try playing with other genres or stories that you wouldn’t normally write; you may find that you like those better!

  2. Relaxing is most certainly the best way to fill that well of inspiration right up. Trying too hard can frazzle your brain, which doesn’t help with writing at all, and oftentimes, after only a short break you can come back feeling so refreshed. My favorite way to take a break is either by running or reading.

    • Agreed. Sometimes you just get too wrapped up in your story. And “too much information can make your brain choke,” so it helps to just stop thinking about it. I’ve never been much of a runner, personally, but perhaps I’ll try that next time I’m feeling low on inspiration…

  3. BeeTheOne on said:

    Veggitales is amazing. Very underrated.
    But yes! Agreed on all points! I’m also an artist, and sometimes I doodle to brainstorm. Usually I come up with characters first, story later. Only very rarely is it at the same time or vis versa… hehe. Great advice!

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