Finding Inspiration in Variety

I listen to a few different podcasts these days. One of them is Felicia Day’s podcast (still allegedly in beta – it’s really good though). In her recent episode, she mentioned something about how to get inspiration as a writer. Specifically that: to write what you know, you need to do a lot of weird and different things.

Now I don’t really like or believe in the write what you know adage – I think it gets a bit muddied when what it means to say is write the thing you want to say, which often is what you know. It’s also a good cautionary tale to be careful when you’re writing things you know less about, which is good. Basically I think it’s okay advice but needs better wording.

Anyway, it was the idea that to find inspiration you should do other things that got me thinking. Because I’ve not had a lot of the ooh, I want to write X thoughts recently. I’ve not felt inspired. Part of that is stress, and part of it is not having things to stimulate my brain into the curiosity of it.

I’ve been pretty stressed by this at points. I’ve had to do a lot of reminding myself that it’s normal to have ebbs and flows, and I pushed pretty hard with writing for the first half of the year. It’s normal to need a step back. Or even just to have a bit of a period where I’m not as keen to do something. I’m still writing almost every day, thanks to here.

But even though these reminders have mostly worked, I still think I need to do something about it. Because it would be much nicer, you know, not to have to give myself these reminders at all. And I want to write – I keep getting twitchy because I haven’t written anything. This isn’t a figure of speech. I crave it now, like I do chocolate.

Combined with this need, it’s the time of year when we start thinking about resolutions. For the past few years I’ve tried making – and failed keeping – a resolution to go out and do things I’ve never done before. Understandably. It’s hard even without factoring my anxiety disorder in.

This time I want to do it, though – not just for the experiences or the challenge, but for the inspiration it could bring to my writing. Because the best parts of Oracle? They’re things inspired by stuff that I did. There’s a huge part inspired by my sister-in-law’s hen do (a statement which will give you a very different instinctual picture to the truth), and it’s my favourite portion of the book.

But…why wait until January to start this?

I’ve got a plan for a new blog series which will hopefully help as part of this, but I also want to do more things that I am keen to do – not just that I’m doing to challenge myself. So every time I see an opportunity to do something interesting and different, I’m going to try and take it. Starting next week.

Because next week I’ve got to go into London for a Christmas event – and if I’m going to go all the way up to London, well, I might as well go for more than 4 hours. Translation: if it’s only 4 hours I might flake out, because that’s how long the round trip takes, so I would be sad.

So stay tuned for my adventures into museums for inspiration – I’ll let you know in the next couple of weeks how it went!

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