Finding Inspiration for ZINES!

Next week, human beings, I have a post coming for you: Why You Should Write Mini Zines. However, this time around, I am going to be talking about how to find inspiration for them.

“But Hannah,” you cry, “wouldn’t it make sense for this to come after the post about why we should write zines in the first place?” Well, yes. But no. Because once you read on, the idea will (hopefully) be rocking around your head all week and you might even Google it before you read my next blog post! (Shame on you.)  Continue reading

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Using Music For Inspiration

Music! Hans Christian Anderson famously said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” I agree, in some respects, but disagree wildly in others.

Music has been a source of inspiration for me for, well, as long as I can remember. I have songs downloaded onto my iPod which were used to inspire some of my earliest works. I still use music now, to accompany my writing, set the tone, inspire me, give me a time scale to stick to when I’m getting my stories from brain to paper.

Have you ever tried using music as you write? Some find it distracting, but that’s probably to do with the lyrics. Why not find a sound you like – white noise, 3 hours of jazz music (actually very relaxing), dolphin sounds – and listen to that as you write? It can block out other sounds as well.

If you’re stuck for what to write about, why not listen to a song? Lyrics alone are usually enough to inspire something, but set against the melody of the song can make them mean something else entirely. Perhaps it stirs a memory you can harness and put into words.

Now this point deviates away from “music” and goes to “why Hannah shouldn’t have YouTube”. If you need a sound effect of something you have never heard before in your life, it can be quite hard to write about… so search it. Search “machine gun fire sound effect” or “knitting needles” or “sound of a tattoo” (yes this is actually a thing and it made my brain hurt). Then put what you hear… into your writing! Simples! – well, simpler than making it up and it turning out you think getting a tattoo sounds like a lawn mower instead. Which, I think we can all agree, would be much more terrifying as it came into contact with your skin.

Perhaps it has never occurred to you to use music, or perhaps you didn’t like it. If you’re either of the two, I urge you to just try it once more. If you get distracted by lyrics, try an instrumental. If you’re still distracted, try listening to it before writing and then writing after. Music will probably relax you, so you might even find writing easier!

Music is a great source of just about everything: love, sex, hate, death, war, life, soul, animals. There’s something out there for everyone, and according to this website, around 2,100,000 songs have been released since 1940. That’s a lot to choose from – and that’s released. You may find your new favourite song from a teen artist who just stuck it up on YouTube to see what would happen. And perhaps that’ll be the story of how you’re next best seller was born: a musical prodigy.


Using Images For Inspiration
Using Words For Inspiration

Sorry…Again

Hi all!

I’m really really sorry about skipping so many days. Basically, I’m exhausted, like so exhausted I can’t do anything once I get home from college (it’s really frustrating) and walking around makes me dizzy, so yeah.

Me

Meant to be writing…not actually writing. .-. I’ve only got 100 pages left on Atonement though, so hopefully there’ll be a review coming your way this Sunday!

The Blog

Obviously no Tuesday post (sorry, I really am) but there’ll be a Friday post and a Sunday post to look forward to. 🙂

Have a nice week all!


 

PS – I’ve decided I’m going to do an inspirational quote per week, so here is this weeks!

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

Evapouration

I quit science as soon as I finished the compulsory exams, but evapouration occurs when something reaches its boiling point (correct me if I’m wrong, but I really hope that A* in Chemistry wasn’t lying). After NaNoWriMo, you can feel all hot and excited (um… all those dirty minded people (including me, I guess) go and wash your mind out with soap! (mm soapy water (maybe just take a bath))) and then it evapourates into nothing and you feel rather deflated.

This happens after most writing projects. What to do, though? Especially if, like me, you’re burnt out from NaNo but still have a novel to finish.

  • Have a cry (or, in Greek, pathos (that technically means suffering, but y’know)). Crying helps, believe me! I had a little weep after I finished my first novella, and after I finished NaNoWriMo, because I worked so hard. You can be happy and cry, believe me! It’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the next hurdle.
  • Have a (little or large) break. I’m having today and tomorrow and yesterday and possibly the day after off from writing my novel. Mainly because I have a script I need to do, but also because it’ll make me really want to go back because I’m so close to the climax oh my gosh. 
  • Write something else for a while – and then go back to the main thing. Pretty self-explanatory. If you want to keep it related to your novel, write a short story about your current set of characters!
  • Do something completely unwriting related like, shock-horror, go outsideThe nature of it all will make you want to scurry back to your writing retreat ASAP.

Remember, writing’s meant to be fun, and after that little evapouration, when you feel like you’ve pulled the plug on your blowhole, it takes a while to heat up again. Just keep the gas on, and you’ll be fine!

Poof.

Keep The Steam Hot

It’s week two. You’re about 6 or 7 chapters in, and you can feel yourself lagging a bit. It’s getting dull, you’re tired, work’s a nightmare, the weather’s abominable and the thought of sitting down and writing for an hour makes you want to tear your hair out.

When you’re running out of steam, in any project, not just NaNoWriMo (although due to the sheer workload of NaNoWriMo, it’s most likely because of it), it’s hard to keep your chin up, the pot hot and to keep on writing. I’m feeling the same way, don’t worry – the only thing keeping me going is that I’m finally getting into the meaty bit of my book even though I accidentally added in an extra chapter.

Here’s some tips to keep going:

  • Bribe yourself. Hey, it works, it’s not deceitful because you know it’s there, and you get a nice treat at the end of it! One thing could be a nice bath every 20,000 words (which would be three this month, theoretically), or watching a film, or a bar of chocolate. I’m using a square of chocolate for when I hit 19,000 tonight (thanks, Classical Civilisations teacher!).
  • Add in a subplot/new character/kill a character/add in something. Adding in something will keep your water boiling. My next chapter (hopefully) incorporates a new subplot, which I am very excited about. It’s keeping me writing. Besides, adding in something gives you more to write about if you’re just running out of things as opposed to steam.
  • Music. Make a playlist for your novel. I find music really helps me to keep writing.
  • Participate in word wars or just time yourself. Word wars are where you ‘compete’ with other people to find out who can write the most in a set amount of time (eg 5 minutes). NaNoWriMo have their own Twitter feed – @NaNoWordSprints – where that’s all they post! I sometimes just time myself, too, and try to do what I can; it adds on the pressure, as when the timer goes off, you stop.
  • Warm up before you start. Just write 200 words of drabble before you begin your novel – it’ll get your fingers hot and your brain warmed up, just in time for your characters to pop in and say hello.
  • Have an end goal. My personal end goal is a marathon of Agents of SHIELD season 2 if I hit 50,000. If I don’t, I only get to watch one or two a week. Man it’s spurring me on! Create a big goal that you actually really want to hit – maybe a trip to the cinema, or a new dress. If you have a reminder about it around you, as well (better make it your computer background!) then you’ll really want to hit it.
  • Get people to make you write. When all else fails, get someone behind prodding you with a big stick when your fingers stop moving.

How’s NaNoWriMo going for you? Or, if you’re not doing it this year, how’s life in general? Good, I hope.

Keep going guys, I believe you can do it!

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

Keep that kettle steamin’ and you can have TEA! Who doesn’t love tea? Even the Daleks do, guys.

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! 😀