Five Ways to Harvest Some New Inspiration

Tomorrow September will roll in with a little rain in her pockets, a bit of a cool breeze wrapped around her shoulders and new colors for the trees and fields. Reading around the blogosphere, I find that I’m not the only person who is taking this time to rededicate myself to my writing. A good way to get those writing muscles primed is to harvest some new sources of inspiration.  Here are five ways to recharge your writing self:

  1. Go through old journals for orphan images. (Thanks Linda Bierds for this suggestion.) Find little bits and pieces that you jotted down but haven’t used yet and take them out to play.
  2. What? You don’t keep a journal? Then perhaps you can harvest some ideas from old pieces of writing that weren’t very successful. We all have something we’ve written that never really crawled out the cradle. See if you can dress that baby in new clothes. Drastic rewriting might involve switching genres or using just one image in something entirely new.
  3. Read a magazine that you might not normally be interested in. Issues of my partner’s subscription to Science always have articles on things I’ve never even imagined. Even the pictures can spark some new images to play with.
  4. Investigate a new lexicon. In the back of my notebook I keep several pages for new lexicons – one of ship parts, a whole set of financial terms, a list of medical terminology for body parts. Often words that are specific to one purpose have fascinating roots. Researching just one word might give you a whole new idea for a poem or story.
  5. Rent a foreign film. Watch it with the subtitles off. I’m not kidding. See what your brain comes up with for motivation, character, dialogue while floating along in a different language. For best results, pick a movie in a language that you have no knowledge of whatsoever. If nothing else, you’ll see some new scenery and listen to the cadence of another tongue.

The painting is called Rest at Harvest by Adolph William Bougeureau.

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