We all have days that feel like our creative muse has abandoned us. When we’re out of inspiration, motivation, or ideas, it’s good to have a backup plan. Hoarding those good vibes while they’re flowing helps us keep moving forward on the tough days. Here are a few things to save when they come your way.
1. Song Lyrics
You know that feeling when you hear the perfect line in a song? Next time that happens, write down the lyric so you can recall that feeling later. Maybe it’s a line that perfectly sums up your life, or maybe it just makes you feel good. Either way, write it down on a scrap of paper or in your phone’s notes app to remember it later. (And don’t be afraid to sing out loud!)
2. Happy Moments
A compliment from a stranger. Success after so many failures. A warm family moment. We rarely forget these moments entirely, but we can’t always remember them when we need something good to latch on to. Keep a journal or a list of these moments so that when you’re feeling down, or when everything feels like it’s going wrong, you can pull out that feeling and keep it close.
Fortune cookies are fun in the moment, but they’re also fun to look at later! Did things turn out the way your fortune predicted? Plus, those little fortunes make great writing prompts. When you’re low on creativity, they can spark a story and get your pen moving again.
Tom Clancy said, “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” Newspaper headlines are a true testament to that fact, and when you’re stuck for ideas, a shoebox full of saved headlines will give you more plot lines than you can possibly write. Cut them out and store them away, and when people say your stories are too farfetched, just tell them they’re based on real life.
A perfect sunset. The best meal you’ve ever cooked. A day with your best friend. We all snap photos on our smartphones, but how often do we look at them? Print out your favorites and keep them close so you can remember the best days and moments when life becomes too heavy. Better yet, dust off the Polaroid camera.
Make Inspiration Last
Inspiration is something that happens in the moment, but if we recognize it, we can hold on to that inspiration and motivation. Don’t feel like you have to wait for inspiration to strike—use the moments and ideas the world has already given you. And remember, these aren’t the only things you can save. Get creative and let your life influence your writing.
Photo by Robert Couse-Baker