Writers are an incredibly unique species with the remarkable ability to find a story in every place, everyone and everything. I truly believe that writers, and all creatives, truly see the world in a different light. One that is more brilliant, more beautiful and sometimes more brutal. But it’s this view that gives us our power with words and so today’s blog post focuses on how we can find inspiration in our other creative hobbies and passions.
Stating the obvious to begin with, but reading is profoundly important when it comes to being a good writer. In fact one of Mr. Stephen King’s most famous writing quotes states that “if you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” He’s not wrong. Reading teaches you the art of good story telling, structure, plot devices and so much more. Reading can lift you out of writing slumps and fight away writer’s block. All of this will leave you feeling more inspired to get your own words down
Photography is a brilliant way to find inspiration. Going out and exploring beautiful settings is a breath of fresh air and can really help get your creative juices flowing. When you develop a hobby in photography you start to notice small and intimate details which are so valuable when it comes to writing effective description. When constantly advised to ‘show not tell’ when writing a novel, developing an eye for detail can add depth to your story.
- Playing an Instrument
Learning to play and regularly playing an instrument, required discipline, patience and concentration which are great transferable skills for novel writing. For many musicians, writing music and lyrics is a form of storytelling in itself. Playing an instrument also allows you to connect with your emotions. For me, personally, I loved playing the guitar, and definitely felt more creatively inspired for doing so. You can even learn to play guitar from the comfort of your own home, thanks to teachers offering online Skype lessons! So, you can still easily find time to write.
Whether you love to draw, paint or sculpt visual art is another great place to find inspiration. Working the creative side of your brain will benefit any outlet, not just the one you’re working on at the time. It can also be helpful to use art to map out your worlds, draw your characters and create a visual representation of any aspect of your novel. Again, art improves your attention to detail and is a great way to explore emotions.
As well as hobbies being a great outlet, having a broad range of interests can help you to add depth to your characters. In my opinion, the things we choose to do in our free time say a lot about who we are as people, what makes us tick and what makes us happy. Your characters should have hobbies and interests, even if they don’t impact the story much. It will make them feel real and add layers to their personalities.
What hobbies do you pursue outside of writing? Do they inspire you or do you prefer to keep them separate from writing? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below and let me know what you think.
(or reading, or taking photos, or playing music or drawing!)