The awesome Oliver Dahl, who has self-published two books from his Dreamers Adventures series with CreateSpace. When he asked me to do a guest post on inspiration, I thought... sure, why not? You can read it here, or keep scrolling down because I have conveniently reposted it here.
Inspiration… it's what all creative people thrive on, but when you can't find any, it can become the bane of your existence.
The nice thing for me is that I don't normally have to search for inspiration due to my over-active, hyper subconscious that is always planning new stories. It's great–except when I'm trying to fall asleep, but that's another story.
When I can catch some z's, my dreams are almost always about my stories, ones I'm already working on and new ideas, too. My issue most of the time is that I'll get distracted by shiny new ideas while writing a WIP, and have to take a break to write it down, or else I'll forget. I now have 6 stories going. One is waiting to be edited, I'm writing the sequel (or trying to, but I really want to work on a different story), the third in the trilogy isn't started, I have one story that's half-finished, and two that are waiting in the wings. Ah, the pitfalls of being an easily-distracted author.
Anyway, where does my inspiration come from? My emotions. Most of my story ideas are born from an overwhelming feeling or situation that have really happened to me. That's my starting point. Well, most of the time. Other times it's just me rambling in my thoughts and I stumble across an interesting idea and start asking a million "what if" questions until I've formed a coherent plot sketch.
For those who have a hard time finding inspiration, don't worry too much about it. Try taking a break and doing another hobby that makes you happy, or at least relaxed. If it's not writing related, that may be best, but even writing a different WIP (if you have multiple going simultaneously), can help get your creative juices flowing, and in the process, a new idea may hit you. When I'm stuck, I read, sing, dance, and watch a lot of movies. By the time my break is over (which may take a few days), I feel renewed and ready to tackle writing again–even if it's gibberish just to get me going.
What's your creative process for finding ideas?
I'm a self-published author (because being a college student wasn't hard enough!) and spend most of my time doing homework. I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
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