It’s incredible how difficult it can be to write anything. There are often days I want to put words to the page but they seem to escape me and I end up just staring blankly at a white sheet of paper or empty Word document. There are plenty of ways to get inspired, but if you find yourself getting frustrated, turn to a book, any book.
It doesn’t need to be a classic piece of literature, although it’s always a great idea to become well-read in the great novels, it just needs to be something that will keep your interest. If you aren’t a self-proclaimed bookworm, then start out with any story that fascinates you.
Experiment with different forms of writing. Never read an autobiography? Find your favorite author, actor, or figure in history and look up whether or not they wrote a memoir. Chances are, there’s at least a biography written on their life by someone if they’re a major figure in history. If you’ve never read a specific genre, be it a mystery, science fiction, suspense, try it out. It might not be for you, or you may find a new type of literature you love.
Expand your knowledge of different type periods and cultures by reading books during a particular time period. For example, seek out literature that was written by those who lived through colonial and postcolonial countries or writers who reacted to the devastating events of 9/11 or apartheid in South Africa. Not only will you be exposed to new novels and styles, it will also make you more knowledgeable on world events.
Not only will reading expand your mind with dynamic characters and exciting plotlines that will inspire you in your own writing, it will also improve your vocabulary and grammar naturally. You may have come across a teacher or two that told you never to use a word that you don’t know what it means. When you come across a word you don’t know, look it up. Absorb its definition and begin using it in your own life.
Literature doesn’t need to be perfect. Getting too wrapped up in whether or not your idea is a good one will overwhelm you. Be willing to step away from it and check into what others have done in the past.
There’s no doubt that writing can be demanding, even mentally taxing, but reading and being sucked into a story will help keep you inspired.