A lot of people have written to me, asking me for writing advice. Obviously I have a lot to say on the subject, but rather than blopping it all down in one giant chunk–and yes, blopping is totally a word, I am an editor now and I say so–I am going to break it up and post little bits every week. I will aim for every Tuesday, and hopefully I’ll hit my mark; feel free to yell at me if I don’t.
One of the questions that I get asked a lot is where I get my ideas from, and what I do when I have writer’s block.
Okay, so this is really two questions, and I’ll answer the last one first: Annoyingly, I don’t get writer’s block anymore. Maybe it’s because I know that I have a three article per week schedule at xoVain that I MUST stick to, maybe it’s because I’ve found a subject that I truly love talking about, but I can’t remember the last time I got idea-blocked. Writing has always been easy for me, even when it hurts, because I love words and when they’re flowing through me I feel THE MOST like myself. My issue is usually taking what’s come out and editing it into something better, but I’ll get into that whole deal another week.
There was a time, and it doesn’t feel like so long ago even though it’s been almost a year, that after publishing every article, I’d go “Nope. I’m done. I’ll never have another idea again.” But then week by week, I found something new to write about. And then three times a week. And now I feel like I’ll never be able to run out of ideas because there’s so much cool stuff in my head! Creating breeds creating. The more stuff I make, the more stuff I know that I can make.
So now, where do I get my ideas from. I am really lucky in that I have a wide degree of freedom in the articles I write and the angles from which I can approach them. Some of these ideas come from the world; a question that I’ve always wanted to know the answer to, or a subject I want to learn more about. Some things come straight from stuff that I love; I’ve written a lot about Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as well as Star Trek and Doctor Who. Sometimes another writer will suggest something to me; I’m always inspired by listening to the ladies that I work with. And often, the community will straight up tell me what they want to see. Then it’s up to me to think of a unique spin to put on the subject, which is sometimes trickier to do that you’d think.
The world is an amazing place, and there is inspiration literally EVERYWHERE. One of the things that I love so much about beauty writing is that it allows for so much creativity; you can take almost anything that you love and turn it into a story, but that’s obviously not limited to just this area. Keep your eyes open all the time. Look for the beauty and the unusualness in the world. Always think about how you can help someone. Always ask yourself why someone will care about what you have to say, and then show them why they should. Always consider what YOU can add to the conversation that hasn’t been there before.
Keep watching. Keep loving. Feed yourself on music, art, movies, tv, long walks, handsome men, cuddly puppies, things you love, things you’re scared of–everything. Take in as much as you can. Be a part of as much as you can. Engage with people, places and things.
If you do that, your creative well will always be full, even if it’s hard to get the bucket down there sometimes. You will always have something to write about if you are an active citizen of the world.
There is inspiration in everything, if you know how to look.