Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Writing 101: Forcing Inspiration

A lot of people who like to give advice to writers say that you have to write from your own experience. You've got to write what you know, they say. Some authors even go out to experience life before they write. But I find that the best way to write is just to sit down and write. That doesn't leave a lot of time for living. Never worry. There's another way to force inspiration to come to you, and you can still pull from your own life experiences...sort of. Because the way I'm going to tell you to do it, you don't actually need to have the experiences that you're going to write about. 

The Writer's Life for Me 

People ask me where I get my ideas, and my answer is always the same: by asking questions. You don't need to have a bunch of life experience to write about. To be a writer, there's really only one thing you need (outside of a rudimentary command of the English language): an imagination. If you've got that, all the rest is going to take care of itself. Well, with a little help from me...naturally. 

You can be inspired by your life. If you ask yourself enough questions, you'll find tons of inspiration in your own life even if you've barely done anything, or nothing at all. You know how people always tell you not to ask what if? When you're a writer, you should be asking it all the time. 

What if you had said yes that time when you got asked? What if you had studied something else in school, gone out with that person who asked you? What if you had stolen that money, or returned that dress, or ditched class that time to go to the beach with your friends? What if you had a snappy comeback that time? Ask the questions. Imagine scenarios. Think about it. 

And when you do it well enough and put it all into your writing, you can almost live a double life. Except much safer, and without all the risks. Live the life that you wanted to live...on the page. Forcing inspiration is easy when you consider all the paths you may have taken, and imagine yourself walking down them.

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