Your creativity hasn’t left – here’s how you can find it.
Is your writing creativity searching for an escape hatch? Dreaming of great ideas for writing a novel is hard enough, but getting them from mind to paper isn’t without its challenges. Without the right channel to unleash your imagination, your life’s greatest work may never live anywhere except your own mind.
Your ideas for your novel won’t automatically translate into words. This guide will help you discover helpful tips, tools, and practices that will allow you to find inspiration for writing a novel and finish it faster than you ever thought possible.
Only you know the ideas developing in your mind. They won’t automatically leap onto your paper or screen – you’ve got to place them there yourself.
Writing a novel means more than dreaming of a winning concept. You also need to have the right tools that will help you transform those ideas into something tangible before they disappear from your consciousness forever.
Every great writer struggles with what to write from time to time. There’s a natural ebb and flow to writing a novel: one day you’re bursting with new ideas, and the next day you’re not sure where to go.
When this happens, take a step back and just start writing. Pick a writing prompt and start crafting a message around it. Your creativity will find you again, but you’ve got to allow it to happen.
Here is a list of writing prompts to spark your creativity
There’s an entire science behind how scent affects our minds and behaviors. Our olfactory sense is directly connected to our memories, and smelling certain things can trigger even the most distant events from our minds’ archives. Essential oils, in particular, are hot topics in today’s society because of their ability to affect the mind and body.
If you need a creativity or productivity burst, aromatherapy is your saving grace. One study indicates that a Japanese office diffused lemon oil throughout the workplace and productivity for data entry specialists jumped a whopping 54%.
Peppermint oil can heighten your focus, as can cinnamon and rosemary. Rosemary can also help combat mental fatigue. Jasmine and lavender oil are often used to calm nerves. Jasmine oil can give you a boost confidence, while lavender can help relieve tension headaches you might get from spending too much time at your computer or desk.
You can put essential oils in a diffuser to permeate the air. If you’re writing by hand, pick up an aromatherapy diffuser pen that can help you enjoy its benefits no matter where you write.
Stephen King once said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” To be a great writer, you must first be a great reader.
It doesn’t necessarily matter what you read, be it fiction, poetry, blog articles, or Manga. The point is that the more you read, the more you learn about grammar, mechanics, style, tone, character development, and other crucial writing lessons.
Oyster is an app that has been likened to the Netflix of books. You can get unlimited access to over 100,000 books for just $9.95 per month.
If you’re working on a novel (or any other writing project), the two apps you won’t want to be without are Dragon Dictation and Write or Die.
Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use dictation software that can record your ideas faster than you can write them down. Simply speak into your phone, and it will convert your words into text.
Write or Die is a productivity tool geared toward helping writers reach word count benchmarks. You set the desired word count and time frame, and Write or Die will administer punishments, such as silencing your music, if you miss your goals. You can also set it to SelfControl mode, which lets you block time-suc king sites like Facebook or Pinterest for a certain time frame.
There are dozens of productivity apps for writers, but beware that using too many of them can eat into your writing time, essentially killing any benefit you’d receive from them.
A change of scenery can do wonders for writing a novel. Even better – you don’t have to travel to exotic or remote places, either. Your inspiration might literally be around the corner.
Writing your novel in a coffee shop isn’t just a cliche. Aside from having free WiFi, coffee shops are usually prime people-watching spots that can help you get inspired. You might also benefit from the background noise that seems to be a staple in the industry.
Or, if you like the idea of the coffee shop but don’t want the hassle of leaving your workspace, rainycafe.com brings the ambient noise of a cafe to your computer speakers for free. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that a moderate volume of ambient sounds improves creativity compared to high or low noise levels. As a result, you’ll be able to think clearly and focus on your writing.
Companies like WeWork have built their foundation on creating collaboration spaces for writers like you and other professionals. These shared office spaces put you within eye’s reach of other people that you can quietly observe or strike up a conversation with. Plans for WeWork start at just $220 per month for guaranteed workspace in a shared area, much cheaper than you can rent an office somewhere by yourself.
Check your local area for business networking events. You might not meet any writers, but you will certainly be exposed to plenty of people. The more types of people you meet, the more fuel you’ll have for character development.
While family and friends can offer support and encouragement, they simply won’t be able to tell you what necessary traits your character lacks. They can’t help you create consistency in your storytelling. And they’re not likely to detect the subtle differences between crisis and conflict.
Fellow writers can provide a strong sounding board for your ideas. They may offer to be test subjects for chapters of your books. They can help connect you with editors or other professionals in the industry. They may even offer inspirational moments you can put to work in your novel.
If you don’t have an inner writing circle yet, here’s where you can find writers to create one:
Meetup.com is a social networking site designed to connect you to groups of people who share similar interests. You can visit the website to find established groups near you, or create your own and see who joins.
There’s no shortage of writer’s retreats inside and outside the United States.Though it may seem like a vacation, a retreat is more like an investment in your writing career and a potentially necessary step in finishing your novel.
Retreats can get expensive, especially when they’re offering professional services like one-on-one workshops as an activity, but many writers will agree the right retreat is well worth the money.
Retreats are usually centered around a particular genre or goal, so opt for one that’s most likely to resonate with your novel.
The internet abounds with online writing communities that can help you connect with other writers.
Absolute Write Water Cooler is a favorite among writers because of its openness to all genres.
Figment is an engaging paradise for writers looking for writing advice, publishing help, and everything in between.
There are hundreds of other quality forums, some of which are general, while others are more genre-specific. Establish yourself on one or two and start connecting.
Your ideas are yours alone, but every good writer gets a little help from the world around them. Embolden your writing with the right tools, places, and people, and your novel will be almost as good as published.
If you feel stuck, think of the writing prompts to bring back your creativity in no time.