What Gets You Writing?

January 2, 2012
writing, writers, blogs about writing, writing sites
Photo Copyright By Vernieman
Lately I haven't really been "inspired" to write...

BUT here's the catch (you don't think I would have left that statement just hanging there, did you?)...because I've been writing anyways. It's been a discipline for me. And it isn't like writing hasn't been fun for me, because it actually has been...but it's been something else keeping me going forward.

And since I usually like to write about what inspires me, I thought about how I could write about that "discipline" that moves me forward.  Because, how much could I say about discipline? If I want to write...like, ever...I have to use that particular muscle. That's just the way it is...

So, here's where my writing people came in...

Like I said before, I would be asking these particular questions on the various writing communities I'm in (and if you haven't started following me, and you want to get involved, follow me on Google Plus, Twitter, or like my blog's Facebook page!),

So, I asked my writing communities, "What gets you writing?" And you know what? It's totally different for everyone! Here's what people said...

1) Music

Geoff Bowman (check out his site, "The Composer's Journey" here) told me, "I unfortunately have little control over my own inspiration...I try to write on a regular basis but if it isn't there I just end up with an empty screen."

I can so relate to this feeling, by the way...that awful, awful blank screen...but then I love what he does to overcome that blank screen of (inspirational) death...

Geoff then says to me, "My one savior is music. I make playlists of music that causes me to both feel and visualize the project I'm working on...I'm working on a time-travel related piece right now for example and the song "Mad World" from Donny Darko tends to get my brain thinking aout the kinds of complex views of the world that I need to [think about] in order to write on those lines..."

If you are curious, here's the song Geoff is talking about.

@AmaliaTd confirmed what Geoff said, "...particular songs ALWAYS get me writing. Train's Drops of Jupiter gets me every time"

Here's the song that inspires Amalia's writing:

What music inspires you to write? For me, it's horror music.

2) Schedules
On GooglePlus, another writer wrote a response to my question. Juliette Wade (make sure you check out her blog here!)...told me, "It's important to me that I'm always writing, which means writing every day. Even if it's just pushing ideas forward in my head and not putting anything on paper. I can have a ton of ideas but the thing I need to get myself going is a sense of the core conflict of what I'm writing, and then a first sentence that serves as an entry."

I love Juliette's philosophy, by the way. Even if you aren't writing, but putting ideas together in your head, that still counts! Does writing every day inspire you?

3) Yourself, as a writer.

And then, another writer, Thomas Wilson (check out his blog here) told me, "My stories get me writing, but I usually try and start the day with a meaningful blog post to get my fingers and brain working and then drive back into my stories. I don't let word counts or deadlines interfere with my thinking because it causes negative feelings. [I'm] much more producitve when I am feeling happy and [writing] because I want to!"

How is that for cool? He gets inspired by his own work! Sometimes that torment of leaving characters just stay in the same place as I left them before makes me want to get back to a story! You know, like that Mario game, and Mario shrugs his shoulders at you if you just ignore him. Anyone else get inspired by their own work?

5) Who we know

I love what @lyman_tuttle told me, "That's easy. Attending any family holiday party. Plenty of disorders and dysfunctions to write about for the entire year"

I totally cracked up on that one! Anyone else get inspired by their family get togethers this holiday season?

6) Deadlines

I think what @AprilVak said is right on for a lot of writers! She says, "if not random thoughts that stick in my head, deadlines. I set some for myself that are earlier than the actual deadlines."

Deadlines! I'm awful with deadlines, but they can really push you, for sure! Anyone else get inspired by deadlines? Do you set your own?

So, writers! What gets you writing? What puts that pen to paper? I'm beginning to realize it's so different for all of us...from music to deadlines to the weirdness of the people we know (and love).

Want to be part of next weeks post? Make sure you follow me on Google Plus, Twitter, or like my blog's Facebook page and you will end up part of the post with a link to your twitter account or blog!


  1. Setting goals for myself definitely moves me forward. I get a kind of momentum once I start writing. No music for me while I write. Great post.

  2. Music is the one and only thing that truly inspires me to write. When I hear a song that seems to fit into the story I'm working on or match one of the characters, I put it on my favorites playlist. I even arrange them in order to tell the story, kind of like an opera. And usually, there's one, maybe two songs in particular that provide the germ for the entire story. Fopr my first book, it was Hurricane by Thirty Seconds To Mars. For my current WIP, it's Let You Down & Hate, both by Three Days Grace. Nothing inspires me quite like music -- and therefore someone else's pain -- does.

    Keep on writing. And Happy New Year!

  3. I have to force myself to write because once I start being lazy I get a liking for it.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  4. I'm a firm believer in writing daily, too. It makes it sooo much easier to write on when you have the writing habit already in place and your fingers are itching for their time at the keyboard.

  5. I'm definitely one of those people who believes you can schedule creativity. I've trained myself to write at set times during the day. The consistency really helps me.

  6. Music actually distracts me. When people ask me how to overcome writer's block I tell them to write a word down-preferably a noun and then brainstorm about that one word. Soon the ideas will be pouring out....

  7. What gets me writing is reading what other people are experiencing and writing about. I read something and it reminds me of something I want to express.

    Also, when someone does something to piss me off, I get inspiration to rant! :)

    From me to you girl!

  8. I get inspired by items in the news and personal experiences. I used to be a reporter so I had a deadline I had to meet whether I felt like writing or not so I think that helps me keep writing.

  9. I get inspired in lots of different ways to write - depending on what I'm writing! Music is a definite big inspiration - different styles to write different things!

    Found you through one of the Blog Hops.
    I’m following you now, and hope you’ll stop by and visit our blog sometime too!

  10. When I write, most of the time I can't hear music because I'm concentrating too hard. Nice article - and thanks for mentioning me!

  11. @Tonja - Yes, I find that lately I moved by deadlines - knowing that I've told a lot of people I will have a book done by February really gets me moving. Nothin' like pride being on the line to push me to that end. :)

    @Nancy Thompson - Oh that's so cool you do that!! I love that idea, too! Oh that's so inspiring for me to do that for my first work....oh wow! Very true by the way - music does represent another's pain - so the troubles themselves are inspiring!

    @Mooderino - oh me tooooooo...I love being lazy. I've FINALLY gotten into that habit of writing everynight after dinner and it's worked pretty good so far. But, ah, laziness...I love it!

    @Amalia T. - It's so true, when you get into that habit it becomes more fun! I've recently gotten used to doing it. If I don't, I just let my writing fall by the way side!

    @Kelly Hashway - I've that before! Especially if you just go to that set time each day, even if you don't write anything, you are training yourself to get into that habit!

    @The Desert Rocks - sometimes for me, too. Especially songs with words, then my brain goes way off track. Without words songs, like classical, is best for me. Oh I like the idea of using a noun to brainstorm from!!

    @Diane Carlisle - Me too! I'm exactly the same way, that's half the reason I have just grown to love blogging because you get so many different experiences from different walks of the journey and it's inspiring (and I get competitive)

    Ha ha...ME TOO ON BEING INSPIRED WHEN SOMEONE PISSES ME OFF! ha ha......I love proving them wrong! :)

    @Deb Claxton - Oh that's perfect! I love hearing about old horror stories or rumors that may or may not be true, and those can be VERY inspiring!

    @Jill - Me too! For me, this fantasy story I'm working on, deadlines inspire me. For other things, it can be music that keeps me going, or something else entirely. I'm following your blog now, too!

    @Juliette Wade - I'm the same way! Getting started, music can help, but after a while, it's just in the background of my mind!

    Thank you for responding to my question!! :)

  12. I'm the same way when it comes to music. A lot of times when I'm writing, a certain song comes into my head during a particular scene and it just sticks.
    Madonna, oddly enough, came to mind in a couple scenes during one story... 2 actually, the third is there because the song is called "Angel"... saying that "you must be an angel." It's almost an inside joke because the character in question was one in his past life.

    Music was such a huge part of the making of that story that I burned a 12-song soundtrack, with songs either in the story or could be associated with it.

    These days, what gets me writing and I'll limit it to my fictional endeavors, I get a lot of my inspiration from movies. Particularly the ones that had me wondering "I wonder what happens after the screen goes black" or "is there a way I can change this characer's path so he doesn't end up the way he does?"

    Or even dreaming about something that's so vivid or emotionally powerful that I'm driven to put the pieces together to figure what brought these characters together to this one place. But that's a very rare occurrence.

    But usually the driving force for me lately is that I can't get something out of my head or shake an uneasy feeling I have, so I gotta write it down, make sense of it and I can move on. Usually it works out pretty well


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