Let’s drop a little nugget of truth to start off today: It’s a lot easier to hit “play next episode” than it is to sit down and spit out a thousand words of imaginative prose. There are times when my creative fire is blazing. Bust most of the time it’s barely a spark. I have to decide to stir the coals, add some kindling, and get that baby roaring back to life! I have to choose to get motivated and create. Demanding excellence in my writing is difficult. It takes effort and pain to discipline my time and stir that creative fire.
A friend of mine once told me that you either consume, or create.
So how do I stay motivated to create and not just be a consumer?
To be honest, it’s not a fight I always win. I know I have some amazing stories inside me. I can’t wait to share them with the world. I have to find a way to motivate that drive, stir up the creative, and squelch the consumer.
Today I want to share three ways that I stir up my creativity and get motivated to put words on the page.
I’ve mashed together dozens of movie soundtracks in search of the perfect mix for different stories. A little Leaving Earth from Mass Effect 3 gets my scifi juices pumped. The full orchestral sound and heavy hits of The Battle from the movie Gladiator put me smack in the arena, ready for Elysium.
A good song can really stir a scene for me. There’s a scene in one of my stories that involves a foot chase through a busy starport. My three main characters are being chased by local security and a band of smugglers. As soon as I heard the song Upgraded by Capital Kings, the scene took on a new intensity. Now when I hear that song, I see gun shots marring the pristine white walls of the swanky bazaar, and hover cars roaring past.
When I can’t decide where to start, I lean towards openin0g Google Music to the Two Steps From Hell radio. It covers a wide array of songs, from upbeat symphony/techno remixes, to sweeping film scores.
I have written a few pieces of flash fiction off seeing an image that sparked my creativity. It’s a great place to start if you’re needing to warm up, and get in the zone. For starters, I get all of my blog pictures from a website called Unsplash. Unsplash provides free photos that can be used for commercial and noncommercial use. There are some amazing photographers out there, who capture some breathtaking views. Here are couple of my frequently searched tags for motivation:
Another place that I find inspiration to create is from Instagram. There are some amazing artists out there! I’m lucky if both arms on my stick figure are the same length…. Check out these accounts and follow the artists that they promote.
My love for writing came from my love of reading. My first original story was written in the fifth grade (it was terrible), but I took inspiration from the Lord of the Rings, and the Redwall series. From middle school through college (and now) I dove into many video games with compelling stories. The Final Fantasy series is always full off rich worlds, and deep, flawed characters. My first Gameboy game was the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Recently I’ve been playing a game called Battletech which tells a science fiction story of kingdoms lost, failure, and giant robots battling for supremacy of the stars.
A little convention called E3 is happening right now, and I’ll be honest… I may have freaked out a little when I saw this title screen.
Inspiration can be found between the covers of a book, with a controller in your hand, or in the beauty of a snow capped mountain.
Inspiration is easily found. Motivation is the hard part.
Take your inspiration and let it motivate you to create something new. Write a goal on a sticky note and plaster it around your house. Make commitments to your creative process. Is what’s inside you worth putting out there? In case you don’t know the answer: YES!
Do hard things. Punch today in the face.
What motivates you? What are some places you go for inspiration? Is it a song? A website? A book? I’d love to hear from you! Catch me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and let me know how you find your inspiration and stay motivated to create.