Sometimes I sit down to update my blog without a specific post idea in mind. While I do have a few ideas floating around in my head right now, I wasn’t really in the mood to write about any of those topics today. As I was searching for inspiration, I started thinking about inspiration itself … The things that inspire me to write, both in my blog and creatively.
Music is definitely my number one source of inspiration when it comes to writing. While it can inspire some of my posts (like my monthly playlists or this post about the way Elliott Smith’s music can bring back so many memories for me), I typically rely on music more when I’m writing creatively.
If I’m working on a short story or novel (something I really need to start focusing on more!), I usually try to come up with a soundtrack for what I’m writing. It really helps me stay focused on the plot, characters, and overall feel of the story (plus I’m a nerd who thinks it’s fun to put a soundtrack playlist together).
If I’m writing poetry, some of my go-to artists are Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Tori Amos, and Fiona Apple. That’s not to say I don’t listen to anything else if I’m in the mood to write poetry, but these artists consistently have the best lyrics (at least in my opinion) so I can’t help but feel inspired to write something when I listen to them. It’s actually kind of interesting when I look back on my old poems because many of them were so clearly influenced by these musicians.
As for blogging (or writing in a personal journal, for that matter), if I’m using music for inspiration, I do one of two things. I either spend a lot of time listening to music that I completely relate to in that moment (or that accurately describes the feelings I had during the time period I’m writing about if I’m sharing a story from my past), or I just listen to whatever I’m currently obsessed with. I tend to go through phases when it comes to music, so while there are a lot of bands and artists I really like, I might spend a month (or more) pretty much only listening to one or two artists or albums. I also go through periods of only wanting to hear specific songs, so I just play them over and over and over. It’s a sickness.
A lot of the time, though, my main inspiration for blog posts comes from other blogs. Sometimes a blogger I follow writes a really interesting or funny or thought provoking post that inspires me to share my own opinions or experiences on a similar topic. (Or, you know, it at least ends up in my “Ideas” folder to be resurrected at a later date.) And, though it’s common sense, I feel the need to point out that I never steal post ideas or content from other bloggers. People obviously put real time and effort into creating content for their blogs, and I know I would feel horrible if someone just copied and pasted something I’d shared here without even bothering to link back to the original post. What I’m talking about is reading something that sparks something in my brain … Something that motivates me to sit down in front of my computer and at least start typing out a few new drafts. Sometimes it doesn’t lead to anything substantial. Other times, though, I end up with something I can actually be proud of.
These aren’t my only sources of inspiration, of course, but this at least gives you a glimpse into some major influences on my writing (and blogging). If anyone reading this feels like sharing, what are some of your main sources of inspiration?