Monday, December 12, 2011

Inspiration Prescription

Feeling a little lackluster? Inspiration flagging? Are you the laughing stock of your writing group? Are you currently flashing on Lucy's VitaMeataVegaMin commercial (my favorite!)?

Well be just and fear not (I'm jsut full of fan references today, aren't I? RHPS, baby!)

Okay, let's get down to seriousness (as if I'm ever serious...). Some days, we bloody well can't write a line without deleting the entire document because it "lacks inspiration" (or maybe that's just I...). Sure, you can listen to music, read a favorite book, scan through writing prompts--but some days that just will not work and you wonder: "Why can't I be inspired?"

The ways. We are all so used to the way things work, that sometimes it takes a jolt to really jumpstart us--writers included, as much as we try denounce humanity some days.

  1. Movies: Watch a movie, especially if it's just kind of a trip. Whether it's the wacky, wonderful weirdness of "Monkeybone" or the odd, multicultural mix of something like "Fighter" (Danish martial arts Muslim interracial romance, anyone?), watch something wierd. If you're lucky nough to own DVD copies of your movies, you can even watch something more "normal"--jsut throw on the commentary if it has one and listen to another artist talk--believe me, it helps.

  2. Stage: All right, maybe movies aren't working--try the stage. Go find your community theater, or even a recording of a play, and curl up with your inner Shakespeare, Hammerstein, or Sondheim. Whether it's a classic like "The Taming of the Shrew" (my personal favorite from the bard) or something a little more out there like "Tick, Tick, BOOM!" or "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)". Even something super classic--"Carmina Burana", "Pagliacci", "The Barber of Seville". If nothign else, go for Cirque du Soleil--if that doesn't inspire you at least a little, you might want to check your pulse.

  3. Puppetry: Yes, puppetry. Don't walk away from me, I'm serious! Seeing something so vastly different like a good "Punch and Judy" or the mastery and beauty of "Strings" or any of the thousands of little puppetry shows you can trakc down online or in the store can really get you going.

  4. Fan Fiction: Didn't you hear me before? I told you not to run away! Maybe your lack of inspiration comes from a lack of world or character ideas. That's when you can reach into your fan-fiction bag and write something that somebody else already did the groundwork on. Of course you can never sell it, but these are desperate times, and desperate measures are called for (Sweeney Todd, anyone? Anyone?).

  5. Beg, Borrow, and Plead: If it comes down to it, ask your friends. A simple email of "what should I write" can get you a whole slew of ideas pouring in--maybe not all usable, but one little spark is all you need, sometimes.

Okay, so some of them sounded a little flaky--all you're going to lose for trying is some time, right?

Peace, my lovelies


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