Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Writer Wednesday

How to Track Down that Pesky Inspiration
By Stephanie Greenhalgh

UGH!  I can’t help but stare mindlessly at the computer. I finally have the time to write, yet nothing, not even a glimmer of something is coming to mind. How can that possibly be??? This morning on my walk alone, I had four great ideas! What happened to them? Where did they go? What were they, again?

Often times, this is what my writing looks like. That pesky little inspiration can be a tricky one to hang onto — evasive little minx that she is — (yes, I’m certain she’s a woman). There are a few places she haunts with some sort of regularity: my workouts or walks, the car (only when I’m driving) or while I’m showering. Why you ask? Well, duh! It’s because I don’t have a pen or I’m unable to quickly cement the idea somewhere referred to later. By the time, I make it through the hustle and bustle of the day and get to my laptop, guess what? Nine times out of ten, I can’t find my way back to the great ideas I had earlier. So what is a girl to do? Whine? Wallow? Slam her head on the desk and wait for that evasive inspiration to frolic on by once again?

Well, no, that would be a ridiculous waste of time. Inspiration is all around us and it’s more about finding a way to tap into it. My best ideas come from anything: a picture, a dream, a glimmer, a silly thought, an outrageous experience.

Ideally, inspiration would tickle my thoughts during the subconscious and then in the morning there would be a great awakening of feverish thoughts, followed by a day to do nothing but write. Let’s face it. That is just not practical. So it’s important to look for inspiration in everyday items and make them extraordinary. A shoe can be a name: Betula. A particularly vivid and twisted Facebook post about a dream can turn into the beginning of a story. A fantastic coat on the website of a darling boutique can be the perfect cloak. A silly broken branch can be some sort of special magical tool. It all comes down to making the most of what you have and having fun with it!

Still feeling uninspired? Step away from the computer and do something that you enjoy: spend time with your children, gab with a good friend, go out to dinner, have a glass of wine, or hit the gym. It’s not about doing the things on my list; it’s about finding your inner passion and making your own list. If that still doesn’t work, find a good book and curl up on the couch. Happy Writing!

Stephanie Greenhalgh’s novella “The Twistedly True Tale of Ruby Hood” is set for release with Write More Publications March 2013. 

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