This first appeared on The Writing of a Wisoker on the Loose in November 2011.
Looking for inspiration for your writing? Stop looking at writing — or, for that matter, anything written. Put away the maps, the trivia books, the obscure novels you found at garage sales, and whatever you draw inspiration from.
Go somewhere else that’s creative — but where writing isn’t exactly prominent. No libraries, bookstores, movies, or anything else.
Go to a restaurant you never tried before — preferably one that’s either unusual or specializes in authentic ethnic cuisine. Asking questions of the waitstaff, looking up food information online to figure what you just ate, is going to shake up your imagination.
Go to a park — if there are any odd or unusual parks in your area, they can be amazingly inspirational. I’ve seen arboretums, Japanese flower gardens, and more that fired up my imagination.
Go to a craft fair — a personal favorite. You’ll see interesting work, ask questions, and probably spend some cash as well. You’ll also meet fun people and get some insights into creative activities you may not normally do.
Go somewhere inspirational — without a focus on writing. I find it always inspires me.
Why? There are three reasons.
First, being exposed to anything creative will usually fire up your imagination. I find there’s something about being exposed to any creative act or construct that gets me feeling creative as well.
Second, it exposes you to unusual experiences — especially if you go out of your way to go somewhere different and new. That’s a great way to get inspired because you’re not thinking in your usual ruts.
Finally, it’s inspiration that does NOT come from written sources or sources related to writing, which makes you more open to surprise. When you’re not thinking of writing directly, or experiencing it directly, you’re in an open state — and that’s when inspiration can strike!
So get inspired about your writing — by getting the heck away from it.
Steven Savage in his own words:
I’m Steven Savage, and I am Geek 2.0.
OK … that sounds either pretentious or obscure, and I try not to be either too much. So what do I mean by Geek 2.0?
Geek 2.0 is a lifestyle. It’s about taking the geeky values of technology, knowledge, creativity, and media as far as possible. It’s a way of life – and a way of contributing to society.
I believe in taking Geekiness farther – into the next iteration, into 2.0.
Steven Savage is the author of the Fan to Pro blog and books (Unlocking Career Insights With Your Hobbies; Convention Career Connection; Focused Fandom: Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers; Focused Fandom: Fanart, Fanartists, and Careers; Inhuman Resources; and Progeek Rising), has his own web site, and incidentally is the mind behind the popular Seventh Sanctum site. He also writes for Nerd Caliber and Comics Bulletin.