Surround Yourself

When Lin-Manuel Miranda was creating his smash hit Hamilton, he spent some of his time writing the musical in an old Revolutionary War-era mansion in Upper Manhattan. Just sitting in the place where the characters he was writing about had once wandered gave him a much-needed shot of inspiration.

Best-selling author Christina Baker Kline creates an inspiration board when she’s working on a novel. She hangs up postcards, images, and notes to help evoke the atmosphere of the story she’s writing.

Some days, when I’ve been in need of an extra shot of creativity, I’ve actually used a quill pen and brown ink to pen pages of my children’s novel which is loosely set in medieval times. Many other writers find that listening to music of the era they’re writing about puts them in a creative space in which they can summon up the mood or sense of atmosphere they want to convey.

While these approaches are all different, they all have basically the same aim — using a place or objects to help stoke the creative fire that we all draw on for inspiration.

Sometimes just gazing at an image or holding something in your hand can serve the same purpose. The whole idea is simple yet powerful: When you surround yourself with reminders of what you are writing about, they can act as “touchstones” and help spark your creativity. This technique can also be used to jumpstart fresh ideas is you’re feeling stalled or hit a rough patch in your writing.

Have you ever tried this while working on a project? If so, I’d love to hear about it and how it influenced you as we all write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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