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Ways to Find Inspiration for your Writing

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Ways to Find Inspiration for your Writing
Becca Malachowski ‘20, Arts and Leisure Editor

Do you get writers’ block all the time like I do? Or do you just need some cool ideas to spice up your History essay? It seems like the inspiration for the most rockin’ short story or school paper always decides to flee right when you start to brainstorm the concepts. Well, these tips should help every writer out there, both aspiring and forced.
1.) Get a writing prompt book: I have a couple of these. I got all of mine for 5 bucks or less at Five Below. They have really cool ideas to inject some life into your existing writing or to trigger inspiration for a new writing project. The prompts are interesting and funny (i.e. If you were to write a message in a bottle what would you write and who would you want to find it?; Give some examples of usernames and passwords that the Easter Bunny might use.) and always seems to help get my gears turning again.
2.) Make a Bullet Journal: If you are a creative writer, you probably have numerous journals lying around, some written in and some not. I always had trouble keeping a journal because to me, a standard journal seems like something you are supposed to write in every day—and in longer paragraphs. While that’s not everybody’s definition of a journal, I eliminated this problem for myself by creating what I define as a ‘Bullet Journal’. I don’t put any dates at the top of the pages, I just write any ideas or quotes that come to mind or that describe what I’m feeling or thinking about at that point in time.
3.) Use your life to find Inspiration: This section has a bunch of ideas I use to move already started pieces along. A lot of times I will listen to music that corresponds with what piece of work I am trying to write, or what ideas I am putting down into my bullet journal. I also like to collaborate with others on my writing. I like to talk to somebody who might also be interested in that topic and see if they have any of their own ideas on what I am writing. It’s a good idea to use life experience to enhance your writing whenever possible. A lot of people stick to writing what they know well, and while you can still totally do that, it also wouldn’t hurt to get other opinions and actually spend time with the demographic you are trying to write about.
1.) Don’t always write just for your reader(s): Look, if you aren’t doing as great in a class as you’d like to be and you think you really should just kiss up to the professor, then go for it. But most of the time writing what others want to here will not be your best work. Also, not going to lie, the professor can usually tell if you are just writing what they went over in class or what you think they’d want to here. This doesn’t apply to every subject; a lot of times professors do assign you what they specifically want you to write about, but if you have a choice pick something you are either madly in love with or something you absolutely hate. The passion will jump off the page.
2.) Try to mix ‘discipline’ with ‘creativity’: A lot of people that I have talked to about writing essays say that if they have to write they prefer creative writing because there are too much structure and discipline in essay writing. While this may be true for some classes, you can still mix discipline with creativity. First, write what needs to get on the page. Plan your essay out, or embark on whatever process works for you. For some people that might be it, but for me, if I stop there it looks like my essay was written by a robot. I then edit my work, not just through spell check on Microsoft Word, and not just to check for grammar, but to find the best choice of words for what I am trying to say. It can also be fun to spice up your writing with personality and amusing words that really reflect your writing style.

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Ways to Find Inspiration for your Writing