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Advice for Writers: 3 Ways to Stay Inspired

Some writers find it easier to visualize abstract ideas when they can see them.

Inspiration is what all creators strive for, but the muse isn’t always willing to speak. Even polished, published authors will struggle with writer’s block, especially after a long and successful career. Unpublished and self-published authors can overcome this roadblock Here are some ways to stay inspired even when you think you aren’t.

Take Some Breaks

Sitting in front of your screen can get tiring. Even if you are afraid of forgetting the wonderful ideas you’ve brainstormed, don’t be afraid to take some well-deserved breaks. It’s easy for writers of all stripes to worry about deadlines, and even easier to fall behind on them. Even so, giving your mind time to rest and recharge can help you find your next source of inspiration. You’ll find that you are more creative and, in turn, more productive. Plus, breaks will allow you to think about something else for the time being. Try writing in fifteen-minute bursts and then take a break for fifteen minutes – for example, spend three-quarters of an hour writing, and then another fifteen to recover before moving onto your next writing task.

Create a Mind Map

Some writers find it easier to visualize abstract ideas when they can see them. In this case, a mind map might be useful. Color code different sections of your mind map for each idea, with a special color reserved for the main idea that you are brainstorming around. This method allows you to track the progression of how an idea develops, whether it is for a plot twist, some character development, or how to get past a scene that you are stuck on. This technique can be useful for both fiction and nonfiction since both modes tend to draw on the same literary techniques to tell a coherent story. Don’t make the map too complicated, and add notes to refer back to later.  

Try Writing Prompts

The writing prompt is such a classic technique that you can probably remember learning it in school, especially for timed essays on standardized tests. Look for sources online or in bookstores for collections of prompts with different themes or ways for you to interact and nurture the seed of a story into something greater.

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