A to Z Blogging Challenge: I is for Inspiration

Is it only the 10th of April? It already feels like it's been a really long month. Today, I'm writing about inspiration. I is for Inspiration, but can I digress for a minute or two? I know this is about the A to Z of Nanowrimo, but I have some other inspiration themed stuff to share.

I'll let you into a secret. When I started writing my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts, because I was doing two challenges on two sites, I had a preference. At the start, I preferred writing about my wish list. It was fun and let's be honest, it's basically just me writing about my daydreams. However, my site broke and I was affected by the whole Pipdig drama. If you haven't heard about that, feel free to type the word into a Twitter search and you'll see what's been going on. I had their themes on both my sites and was hosted by them over on Rock Paper Spirit, which in itself was a problem, but then my hosting plan just...broke! Suddenly, it became clear why I love Blogger so much as a blogging platform. It's so easy to use and easy to fix. Suddenly, I felt inspired to write on Blogger far more than I was inspired to write on my self-hosted Wordpress site.

a to z blogging challenge


So, that's all I have to say about inspiration for blogging and for this challenge. Let's crack on with the Nanowrimo inspiration.

It can be really hard to get inspired and it can be even harder to stay inspired. We've all been there. You start off all enthusiasm and caffeine-fuelled writing sprints. Then you get to about half-way through the challenge and your enthusiasm wanes. You push yourself to keep going but you find you have nothing to write about. Your story was finished a couple of thousand words ago and how did you ever think you were going to squeeze 50,000 words out of that plot? 

I'm currently a creative writing student and one of the first things we learned as part of our degree course was how to get inspired. There were some tips and tricks they taught us, such as freewriting and clustering. Freewriting is something I'd like to write more about in the next few weeks, after this challenge is over, so you might be able to see a link over the word if you're reading it after April. If you haven't heard of this technique before, it's essentially just putting the pen to paper and letting your thoughts run out. You don't worry about grammar or coherence. You just let your imagination flow onto the page. The point is not to write something of publishable standard. The point is to write something. That's pretty much the whole point of Nanowrimo!

nanowrimo inspiration


The other technique I mentioned is clustering, which again I would like to write about in more detail soon. It's like a spider diagram. You take a word or concept or idea and write it in the centre of the page. You draw lines out from there and put a word that links to that word on the end of each line. Then you do the same for that word. Before long, you're eight legs out on the diagram and you've come up with words, phrases or ideas that have no direct link to the original word and it can draw out some surprising links. If you haven't tried this as a technique for unblocking, I'd give it a go.

How do you deal with lack of inspiration?

Tomorrow I'm going to be writing about J for July, which might sound like it isn't linked to Nanowrimo, but I assure you, it is! Over on Rock Paper Spirit today I'm writing about Interlagos, which is something that will probably forever stay on the wish list since it's impossible for me to go there. Head over to find out why.

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