Tonight’s guest blog post is brought to you by freelance writer and blogger Maria Rainier.
3 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing Outside of Academia
Writing is an extremely difficult task. We all know this and we all know that there are certain environments that encourage our writing. Discovering writing in an academic atmosphere is a wonderful thing. We are surrounded by other people our age that love writing and do it themselves on a regular basis. We have professors and mentors guiding us through the process, challenging us with new ideas and styles, and we gain constant feedback from our peers and professors. It’s a writer’s dream—we’re constantly motivated to write. In a collegiate setting we are forced to read constantly, talk about writing, write ourselves—everything encourages our imagination and exploration of the word. For that reason, it can be very difficult to find that inspiration outside of those collegiate walls. Since graduating college, I have had a lot of difficulty finding my voice in my writing again. Without that constant outside practice, encouragement, and feedback, I’ve really struggled to get going with my writing again. These writing tactics have helped me find the motivation and inspiration I need to continue writing each day without the academic culture holding my hand.
Start a Blog
Everyone is turning to the blogosphere for one reason or another these days. Blogging can be a wonderful way to find inspiration for your writing. For one, by maintaining a blog you will be forced to write more often. Use your blog as a way to get some writing time in each and every day or week. With so many people entering the blogosphere, there are communities of bloggers popping up in every area. Join the writing blog community and get feedback from your fellow writers online. This is a great way to put yourself into an environment that encourages regular writing and supportive criticism. Moreover, as we all know, good writing is all about regular practice. Maintaining a blog requires that you post regularly and think about your next post at all times. There are many different ways that you can maintain a writing blog. Use your blog as an open thought journal for your writing specifically. Putting your ideas and creativity out into the world is a wonderful way to gain perspective on your writing. If you don’t want to maintain personal blog, pick a topic that interests you and focus on that. Even if you aren’t writing blog posts about your writing, just the practice and consistency of writing posts about something is wonderful for a writer.
Join a Book Club
One reason that writing comes so naturally in an academic atmosphere is because we are required to read literature all the time as students. Reading is the best way to gain insight into the writing process and offers endless inspiration for your own writing. I find that if I’m constantly reading poetry and fiction, I’m much more inclined to write myself. For this reason, it is important that you continue to read regularly outside of the college world. Joining a book club with other writers or peers interested in literature can be a great way to keep up with your reading. Just conversing about writing is a great way to find inspiration and motivation in your own work. Even if you think you can keep up with your reading without the support of a book club, joining club can be a wonderful way to discuss what you’ve read with others and gain different perspectives.
Explore the Real World
Of course, getting out and creating some a real experience is one of the best ways to motivate new ideas for your fiction. When we are in school, we are constantly thinking about our writing and academics. This can make it difficult to find writing subjects outside of that mindset. In the “real world” you can find ways to explore new viewpoints and new environments. If you find yourself struggling to write after you have graduated and are no longer in that academic setting, try seeking motivation in your surroundings. Watch the people around you and pay attention to the situations that take place in your everyday life. This is one of the best ways to create characters and scenes that are universally approachable and meaningful. Take a drive, go to a new town nearby, and (most importantly) pay attention to the things going on around you. There is a lot of inspiration potential in the everyday things we often overlook. A good way to stay on top of these inspiring real world experiences is to carry a notebook with you and keep notes of things that catch your interest. This experience notebook can act as a wonderful blueprint for your next writing endeavor.
Thank you, Maria, I’m all for blogging!
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online colleges, online degrees etc. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
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