WRITE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
|Luna Moth in Wandering Jew plants-a front garden find!|
WRITE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD-3 Hacks to Find Inspiration
Write or Live? This is my first summer vacation in ten years. Sun's out, garden’s calling my name, maybe I'll start a new quilt, and a list of daytrips is forming in the back of my brain. Instead, my butt’s in the chair! Like any earnest writer I struggle to find a balance on that continuum called life! I must be isolated to write, but I must also get out there and experience life to gain fodder for my wordcount. What is a writer-girl to do?
Try these three hacks that can be found WRITE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD:
1) LOCAL-MOTION—Take a walk or ride a bike around the neighborhood. NO HUMANS, MUSIC, or VIDEO distractions allowed. Be sure to bring a notepad and your phone. I take photos of trees, birds, whatever strikes my fancy. (See Luna moth above.) I’ll pull the photos up later for inspiration. This Luna moth will make its way into an interlude. I give my mind permission to wander as I try to solve a plot problem or character motivation. Make it meditative. As an idea comes to mind, write it down.
2) ROADTRIP—Take a day trip to a quiet outdoor locale. As a Floridian, I prefer nature preserves over tourist-packed beaches or theme parks. Once you arrive, find a spot, sit, force yourself to be still. Watch a bush or a flower patch closely. In moments, you will start to see movement. Crawling, flying, buzzing, insects are dedicated to their work. Frame the scene, scents, sounds and the textures of nature. Write it down.
|An urban stream next to an auto dealer.|
3) HEADGAMES—Find setting ideas in surprising locations. Have to go used car shopping--take your phone. See stream/tree photo above-note the iron fence in lower left. I cropped out the trash and debris in the streambed, but they may return in my writing. Even a trip to the mall can be productive. Go to the food court, grab a sweet tea, bring a spiral notebook so you look like a student-less suspicion that way. Sit. Comfortable? Good. Now just watch and listen. Pick a victim and assign him or her a name, occupation, special talent. Why did he come to the mall today? Is that person with her an accomplice or her intended victim? Be outrageous, let the ideas roll. Write it down.
What inspiration is WRITE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD? Send me your comments. Be Well!
(This article was originally posted in 2017.)