“Inspiration exists, but may I find myself working” , said Picasso. However, there are times when the work is not enough and we get stuck, either because we can’t think of what to write about, or because we can’t find the best way to continue. In those cases, where do you look for inspiration?
Each writer is different and not all of us are inspired the same. There may be those who need a lot of fuss for inspiration and those who need absolute silence. But there are certain places that tend to be more conducive for writers to appear to us muses. Here are my favorites:
1. Airports and stations
They are places where there are always people on the move. There we will find farewells and reunions, with emotions on the surface, with constant changes and a lot of energy circulating waiting for someone to capture it to inspire new stories.
2. The gym
By gym, I mean sports spaces. It can also be the pool, the walk where you go for a run or a bike ride, etc. Sport in general is a good drain brain because it relaxes, starts the brain and oxygenates it.
Beach or mountain, whichever you like best, but a walk in the fresh air is a relaxing and introspective method that helps you think clearly.
4. Museums and exhibitions
They are perfect places to open up to new experiences, learn things and find new ideas. Never go without a notebook and a pen.
Music can be a great starting point for your search for ideas. Go to a concert, grab a CD and put it on the car radio while you drive, plug in your headphones while you walk or lie on the couch to listen to that jazz record that you like so much. Anything goes!
6. The theater
Not only because of the stories that the works tell, but because the proximity between the actors and the audience generates an energy that is very difficult to find in other artistic manifestations. The theater is a place where you usually leave with your batteries charged and your head boiling, ready to produce ideas.
7. Bookstores and libraries
And books in general. Sometimes, when we can’t think of what to write, it’s better to close the notebook and start reading. Not one book or two, but all that are needed — fiction, essay, theater, poetry, etc. — until we have accumulated so much that we begin to produce from what we consume.
8. The web
Sitting at the computer is like opening a window to the world. Sometimes it can be dangerous because it makes us waste a lot of time navigating aimlessly, but other times it can be a source of inspiration.
For example, there are pages like Free Historical Stock Photos, where we will find a huge collection of old photos ready to give us ideas.
9. Children’s books and dreams
I have separated children’s books from books in general and I have put it with dreams because sometimes, to find the answer to our inspiration problems, what we have to do is think differently, like in dreams or in children’s books.
Reading books like Alice in Wonderland or the works of Michael Ende , for example, exposes us to different reasoning where things are never as they are supposed to be. The world upside down, as in our own dreams. A fantastic exercise to take our creativity a little further.
10. Your pillow
A very interesting technique to solve problems related to writing is to go to sleep thinking about that problem that we cannot solve. For example, while trying to fall asleep, ponder how that character you are writing about should react or what should happen next for the plot to make sense.
By doing this, we are sending the questions to our subconscious, and while we sleep, it will work on its own. It is possible that something occurs to him and he wakes us up in the middle of the night with the solution – in that case it is better to have a notebook near the bed – or that at the beginning of the next day, while you shower or have breakfast, the response suddenly occurs naturally. It doesn’t always work, but it does sometimes. And for the effort involved, it’s worth a try, don’t you think?
11. A blank page
Finally, one of my favorite places to find inspiration is a blank sheet on which to use the automatic writing technique. If I want to find new ideas to write about, I usually use a creative trigger to get it going.
If, on the other hand, what I am looking for is an answer to continue with a story that I am developing, what I do is pose at the top of the page the question or questions for which I cannot find an answer and then start writing solutions without thinking. It does not matter that they seem absurd, it is a brainstorm that will later be polished.
Sometimes mixing several of these resources also works. For example, start with the blank page and then go for a run, or to sleep, or for a walk. If nothing has occurred to me yet, I try the blank page again and surely have new ideas waiting.
Well, here are my eleven places to find inspiration. What do you think? Do you agree on any? Do you have any others that are not mentioned here?