Steps for Inspiration Acquisition

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Steps for Inspiration Acquisition


-Travis Martin


            If you’ve ever written anything, whether it be a research paper, a poem, or even a novel then I’m sure you’re more than familiar with the phrase, “writer’s block.” This phenomenon happens to the best of us, regardless of how talented we are or even what topic we’re writing about. Ever since early March, I’ve been working on a new story called Primoris. This short story is so fun to work on that at one time I was certain I’d never have any trouble coming up with detail and placing words on my computer screen. But just today that is the very thing that happened! And that is the very reason I’m writing this article – to demonstrate what I think can be done to cure my ailment (and yours, if you have it).

            Before I list the steps which I intend to take in order to make the words flow like alcohol at a Lindsay Lohan party, I believe it would be prudent to analyze what inspiration actually is when it comes to writing. In my opinion, you have at least two types: Word Choice and Visual.

Word choice inspiration is exactly what it sounds like; it is how well your brain selects words or phrases that most effectively demonstrate the message or image you are trying to convey. Obviously you’d want the reader to picture something in his/her mind that closely resembles what you were thinking as much as possible!

            Visual inspiration is what you see in your mind when creating the scenes for a story, often in no particular order. If you are a creative writer, visual inspiration is the meat and potatoes of what makes your story happen. Without it you’ve got nothing. So, naturally I would conjecture that this is slightly more important than word choice inspiration. Take the Twilight series for example. Although Stephanie Meyer’s word choice inspiration is often lacking (according to many of her readers – I’ve never actually read anything she’s written), her visual inspiration is strikingly apparent. She even has a list of songs that played in her mind as she visualized the scenes!

            So, since tonight I’m having a great deal of trouble getting words down for Primoris, here is a list of things I will do in order to boost both types of inspiration.


1.      Pray. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do. It will certainly affect both types of inspiration, as I believe all inspiration originates from the soul. Who has the most direct influence on your soul?

2.      Take a shower. For me, taking a shower is relaxing, and I have a nasty habit of standing mindlessly under the hot water for long periods of time. But this does allow me the alone time necessary to open my mind to new ideas.

3.      Watch a movie/ play video games. This appeals to visual inspiration. All movies or video games were written by somebody, and will help jump-start your imagination. I believe this is due to the fact that in almost every form of art, the artist leaves something for you to think about that isn’t demonstrated in what is shown. For me, I’m going to choose a video game. By the way, I’m not suggesting that you play them for hours on end, as that will only serve to make your mind tired. I’m merely suggesting a level or two.

4.      Read a chapter from a book. Select a book written by an author who writes using a style similar to yours. This will influence the word-processes in your brain, causing you to think in a sort of “literary way.” For a varied amount of time after you finish, you should notice that proper word choices will come easier as you write your story.

5.      Avoid sleepiness. If your mind is tired, it will be difficult to stay focused as you write. Attentiveness is crucial when writing any kind of story because you want to be immersed in what’s going on inside your head. Believe me when I tell you that I’m plagued with this all the time! It’s the worst! Drink some coffee, drink a Red Bull, take one of those five hour energy shots – whatever works for you. But do something! I’d recommend that whatever action you take, that you do it while completing steps 3 or 4.


Some other things you might consider doing might be: listening to music that reminds you of your story, drinking plenty of water (this seems to help me think clearly), and writing in an environment which you are comfortable in.

Just as the information in this article has helped me, I also hope it helps you! Writing, if done appropriately using proper techniques, can be a truly enjoyable and (sometimes!) easy process.

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