3 Exercises For Tapping Inspiration

Sometimes writers need a little inspirational nudge. Try these exercises to help get you started.
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1. Let people be your prompts. The next time you and a friend or spouse are out dining or waiting to board a plane, work up an imaginary profile of two or three of the persons nearby (being careful, of course, not to stare), based on their clothing, mannerisms or bits of conversation you overhear. What are their livelihoods, favorite activities, fears, obsessions? Imagine them engaged in a crisis.

2. What inspires you to write? Keep a running list of anything that propels you to put words on paper—whether in the form of a letter, a journal entry, the opening lines of a poem or short story. From time to time, choose one of these jottings and build on it until you have a complete draft.

3. Play a favorite piece of music and write down anything that comes to mind. Don’t pause to find the right word or to make your sentences perfect; just let the music work its magic on your imagination.

Want more inspiration? Consider:
Pocket Muse II, Endless Inspiration

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