Inspirenza

I didn’t know what to write about today. So, I Googled ‘writing advice’, and a quote from Jack London came up:

Jack London Inspiration

Many people – not just writers; artists, even teachers looking for entertaining ways to teach their urchins – suffer from severe case of what I like to call inspirenza.

Are you a sufferer? There’s some ways to tell:

  • When you sit down to write/draw/teach your mind goes blank and you have no idea what to say.
  • You catch yourself browsing social media for ideas. Yes…even Twitter.
  • The outside is scarily looking welcoming.
  • You think you’d rather have a job where you know what you’re doing and it requires little-to-no work for your brain.

So if you’ve caught inspirenza, what can you do about it? Well, let me tell you now, antibiotics aren’t an option and plagarisation will get you sued. You’re on your own (well, apart from the entirety of the writing community willing to help you out).

As Jack London said, you have to go after your inspiration with a club. IE: you have to drive out that inspirenza yourself. So. Cures.

  • Google. Google is life, everyone knows that. Google random words, prompts, whatever. Have fun.
  • Walkies! Take the dog, or if you don’t have a dog, the cat, turtle, even the goldfish (ok maybe not the goldfish) and have a walk. Don’t listen to music – instead, listen to the sounds of the outdoors. Eavesdrop carefully and steal conversations. Look at the flowers and the trees, the people, interactions, buildings.
  • If the hint of an idea comes to you WRITE IT DOWN. The thing with inspirenza is that it can take an instant to recover from, but you can relapse just as easily. Don’t let those ideas get away from you!
  • Ask friends and family. Scary idea, but they can really help. Bounce ideas around (unless you’re JKR who says that that kills them for her). Ask if they have any ideas.
  • If all else fails, grab a club and go caveman style. I don’t mean killing buffalo and going after your PE teacher (as hard as it is to differentiate, they’re not a Neanderthal). I mean just think of something. Just get some words, any words, your thoughts on the page. Set the timer for a minute, 5 minutes. Write. Just write.

Inspirenza is curable. Honest. If it can take a hold of you, you can shake it off. It may seem dark and dreary when it’s hovering over your shoulders like a mouldy blanket you can’t bear to wash, but as soon as you scrub it clean things will be better on the other side.

If you want a real life example, look at me right now: I had no idea what to write about, and I’ve just invented a new word. Anything is possible.

Everybody has days when inspirenza strikes. Sometimes you just have a mind blank. And then you have to fight it off. Go on, try it now! Otherwise this guy will be after you and he looks pretty frickin’ angry.

AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

Said Sirius Seriously

I, for one, am one of those who believe that everyone has read Harry Potter, so if you haven’t… Have fun.

That’s not even what this post is about, actually, so I don’t know why I started with that. This post is about using other words instead of ‘said’, because, let’s face it, that word is boooooooooooring.

I know some authors publish their ‘tips’ and say, ‘Only use the word ‘said’, otherwise it takes away from the story,’ but I think that using other words apart from ‘said’ is the one that makes it more fun.

So, what can you use other than said?

Well, here’s 3 for starters: chuckled, replied, asked. Now, don’t those look more fun than ‘said’? And if you really can’t think of anything other than ‘said’, add in an adverb, like ‘seriously’ (see title).

And I’m not saying that using the word ‘said’ is taboo – I mean, it can be used occasionally, I do sometimes – but please don’t make it every word used to, supposedly, describe the speech. Have you ever read Harry Potter? Though I love the books, so much, pretty much the only word JKR uses is ‘said’. Urgh. Boring.

Admittedly, it did never stop me reading them, but y’know.

So yes, that’s just a few ideas on what to do to improve your writing. If you ever do get stuck on more words needed in place of ‘said’, then why not Google it? There’s a whole world of words out there. Promise.

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