9 ways writers in Nigeria can find creative inspiration
Every writer needs to find inspiration in order to produce inspired works, because no matter how much you love writing; there’ll always be days when it feels like you just can’t seem to put anything down. Its a problem we writers face every time, wanting to write with every fibre of our being, but lacking the necessary inspiration to get started or keep going. With that in mind, you’ve probably faced times when you struggled to find inspiration to deliver a writing piece, whether it’s to put together a blog content, or to write a scholarship essay, or even the first few pages of a book you’re writing, it can completely slow down your writing significantly.
So, what to do when a writer’s block sets in?
Here are 9 ways writers in Nigeria can find creative inspiration.
- Enjoy writing.
The best way to stay inspired in a job is to have passion for it.
You need to actually love writing and find it enjoyable. See why its important to enjoy what you do, and do what you enjoy? If writing isn’t your muse, its probably going to be really hard to come up with great writing ideas. If you don’t enjoy writing, there’s no way you’ll ever be able to create anything worthy of recognition, or something others can find inspiration from for that matter.
Top British essays were conducted by writers who loved their subjects. So, you have to love what you do and think about the joy it brings.
All good writers are readers — First. The importance of reading for finding inspiration cannot be stressed enough. Read everything, and read often. No matter how talented you are, your writing will always be made better by reading and absorbing other works. Reading becomes especially crucial when you’re lacking inspiration. That is why it is good to read extensively in the genre or style you intend to write in. Don’t however limit yourself to that alone; whenever you’re not writing, try to read on other genres and forms. Explore fiction and nonfiction, short form and long form, poetry and short stories, magazines and blog articles; just feed on as much work as you can.
- Read works by writers you love
- Read blog topics you are interested in, and that may generate great ideas for your writing.
- Pick out a book from your library. Skim to get an idea of the content. Then see what ideas you can generate based on this.
- Set a deadline for your writing.
Setting a deadline for writing can help push you into inspiration, because it is sometimes easier to find inspiration when you are under pressure. By making yourself accountable to a deadline, you are more likely to get things done faster. This is a great way to beat writer’s block. Set the goal to write 1000 words per day, one article a week, or whatever works for you.
- Try something new.
To get inspiration for your writing, why not try something new? Trying something new will give you a new experience. From the experiences you have gained, it’s easier to derive thoughts that can lead up to the ideas you need for your writing. Try doing different from what you are used to; perhaps a new hobby, or it could be visiting a place you’ve always wanted to go but couldn’t up until then, or maybe learning a new skill — anything at all that can help provoke spontaneous ideas. Although there are writers who can actually sit in a room and come up with an engaging and thought – provoking work, some others like us must have to have had an experience that led to a really inspiring work.
If you have been working on a novel, try to work on a poem instead, and instead of completing your poetry collection, try writing a short story about some recent event in your life. Instead of writing your autobiography, write about the interesting kid you met in a commercial bus. If you’re stuck on the end part of your murder mystery, try writing an inspiring story about your mentor.
Sometimes a fresh start is all you need to get the creative gears going. Open a fresh page and start working on something different.
Your brain will think in different structures, when you try new and exciting writing mediums, which helps the free release of inspiration.
- Join a writing group.
As I already mentioned, reading the work of other writers can be a good source of inspiration. Even better — spending time with other writers can open up your creative tank.
A few ways to immerse yourself in the writing committee include.
- Joining a local writers group
- Attending literary events, workshops, and classes.
- Participating in online forums such as Facebook groups for writers, or writing groups on WhatsApp.
- Exchanging work with other writers for feedback and critics.
There’s much insight to be gained from hanging out with other writers. While the craft of writing is supposed to be a lonely pursuit by nature and necessity; there are however times when it can lead to frustration due to a lack of experience and prolonged isolation. When this happens, you may need to reconnect with the real world through connecting with like-minded individuals in the writing community. Through building this kind of network, you get to talk about your shared passion and love of writing with other writers, plus here, you’re exposed to people who are battling the same troubles as you are. This creates a sense of belonging and can easily allow for bonding that promotes great writing ideas and a flow of inspiration.
- Write first — Edit later.
Typically, you may want to write and edit simultaneously. You need to work on curbing the habit. You’ve probably seen this sage advice, ‘ write drunk, edit sober’. When it comes to writing, don’t hold back. Whenever the creative tank opens, let it flow. Whenever you sit down to write and the words just seem to be flowing effortlessly, almost as if you couldn’t control it. Have you ever found yourself feeling suddenly compeled to scribble down a phrase, thought or stream of ideas, even when you have no idea the direction it’s leading? Whenever these moments come upon you, don’t interrupt it’s flow for anything. And when the tendency for such things as; correcting grammar, correcting tenses, rearranging a sentence or changing a word, shows up; don’t yield to it. It’s tempting to want to edit when writing, but the truth is; this is neither the most inspiring nor productive way of doing things. When you’re writing, you should allow your mind free rein to explore and develop ideas; however during editing, the judgemental part of your brain is being activated. When you’re editing, you enter a much more critical mindset, applying logic and rules of writing to strip your work of unwanted elements. It is better to focus on writing, get everything out even if it doesn’t make sense. When you learn to suppress your tendency to edit as a writer; you inadvertently give room for an increased capacity to write resulting from an unhindered uninterrupted flow of thoughts.
- Listen to good music.
Listening to music is magic. It has the power to trigger inspiring thoughts and ideas. I personally draw a lot of writing inspiration from drowning myself in good music.
You can try listening to different genres of music, because sometimes, even when you don’t gravitate towards some genres of music, you find that you somehow draw inspiration just by passively listening to it. This is the reason films opt for music tracks throughout crucial scenes. The reason being that it evokes some feelings of sympathy for the plight of the character in the movie
You need to take sometime off your routine and spar with nature. Go for a walk or a jog, or a picnic. Take sometime off and get away for a bit to absorb the beauty of nature and to retrospect. Appreciate the beauty around you and let all the inspiration flow through you. Sit out in some recluse area and reflect on life — and everything life.
Nature offers you a space for connection and reflection.
- Understanding yourself.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? As a writer, you need to be able to play out on your strengths and downplay on weaknesses. By doing so, you will remain at the very top through producing the best of your work. Structure all your writing process around your strengths as a writer. For example if you’re most creative at midnight; then you need to sleep in the day, so as to dedicate these hours to your writing routine.
So, when you set out to write, make sure that first you understand how your mind operates, stuff that easily motivate you, what time of the day suits you better, what is the best way to express your thoughts on paper etc.