Imagine if writers could perform a magic trick to gain inspiration?
They could not be magic tricks, but lots of the writers on this list have tried-and-true techniques.
This post enables you to in on the secrets of how professional writers manufacture inspiration (hint: it’s not simply reading and going for a long walk).
When the gears of your brain get stuck, make reference to this list and pick your 3 favorite techniques. Try them and leave an email in the comments about which one worked best for you personally. For more information about Great American Writers For Inspiration you can visit our website.
Great American Writers For Inspiration
1. Haruki Murakami
Inspirational Activity: Enter a strict routine and exercise
When he’s writing a novel, Haruki Murakami gets up every morning at 4 am, works for five or six hours, runs 10 kilometers or swims 1500 meters (or both), reads for the rest of the day, and then goes to bed promptly at 9 pm. He holds this routine for six months to a year, using this repetition as mesmerism to remain inspired. (“I mesmerize myself to attain a deeper state of mind.”)
2. Ransom Riggs
Inspirational Activity: Start a collection
Ransom Riggs first started collecting old photographs as a youngster because he loved photography, but he couldn’t afford prints of his own. Soon, he noticed a pattern in the images he was collecting (“Edward Gorey-esque Victorian creepiness,” he calls it) which sparked an idea for a book (not necessarily fiction) about the photographs. His editor at that time suggested he make it fiction (which he previously never written before), and so was created Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
3. Daniel Handler
Inspirational Activity: Don’t forget the ordinary
Daniel Handler gets most of his ideas, he says, by noticing everyday things and considering them in different ways. He says, “I’ll involve some idea or see something or a meeting will strike me in a particular way. I’ll string it along immediately and think of where it might lead and where it might go. I believe of a story.”
4. James Salter
Inspirational Activity: Travel
During his tour with the army air force in WWII, James Salter kept a notebook before he ever knew he wished to be considered a writer. Later, he revisited it to create his first book, The Hunters.
Of course, you don’t have to join the military to get inspiration for writing, and today that he has retired from active duty, Salter travels frequently and uses just how it helps him “[look] at life in a different way” to get inspiration. “There is absolutely no situation just like the open road,” he says, “and seeing things completely afresh.”
5. Marilynne Robinson
Inspirational Activity: Keep a running set of figurative language
Marilynne Robinson’s inspiration for Housekeeping came from a series of metaphors she randomly wrote during her Ph.D. After her dissertation, she “go through the stack of metaphors plus they converged in a way I hadn’t expected.”
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