This may surprise you.
But I’m one of those RARE writers who needs a touch of inspiration to get the muse off of her ass and the creative juices flowing. Why would I need to be inspired, you ask, when I get to spend hours on end with crazy people…in my head??? Well, here’s another little secret, sometimes the literary industry can be a real downer. I mean valium downer. At least 12 times a year, I’m on the verge of quitting. Of those 12 times, I quit at least 4 times for a total of 6 hours, give or take 15 minutes. Sometimes I’m just a plain old Lazy Maisy. Sometimes I need a positive way to procrastinate.
Whatever your reasoning or situation, have I got some information for you!
Nine times out of ten, when I need a kick in the tukus to get going, I will look toward reading books about successful people, reading books by successful people talking about their journeys, watching documentary type shows that talk about people’s creative journeys, watching documentaries about writers, struggling writers, especially.
Two of my favorite writers to watch on video are Anne Rice and Stephen King. Hands down some of the best advice or writers on YouTube.
When it comes to movies/documentaries (rented on Amazon Prime), some of my favorites recently include:
- Anne Lamott Bird by Bird (the documentary)
- The Writer’s Room and The Chair (excellent TV shows, might be on-demand)
- Guilty Pleasures (documentary on the romance genre)
- Bad Writing (documentary)
- Made in America (Jay Z and Ron Howard documentary)
- Author’s Anonymous (a HILARIOUS movie)
Best written TV/Cable shows? The Wire, the Sopranos, The Good Wife, first 3 seasons of Scandal.
Other times I’ll read books. I’ve read two biographical non-fiction works in the past two years. Both were about Steve Jobs–Jobs by Walter Isaacson and Becoming Steve Jobs–Schlender and Tetzeli (hope I spelled them correction. Ultra energizing and inspirational. Why? Because he was an odd misfit (no writers or authors can relate to that), he had a vision that few people understood until the genius was obvious, he was hugely successful, and even HE got rejected. He didn’t just changes lives, he changed the world. All because of he followed his passion and stuck to his vision even when other people didn’t get it. He was the “writer” of the technology world. An artist for certain. What could be more inspirational than that?
Then other times, I’ll take a class. I’ve taken a few through the Romance Writers of America which I’ve enjoyed. But my most favorite of all in recent days has been James Patterson’s MasterClass.
For $90, you get to watch a series of videos, 22 I think between 7 and 20 minutes long (viewed at your own pace), in which Mr. Patterson (or Jim as I like to call him because we’re buds like that) really talks about the entire writing cycle. From outline to publishing. He gives a lot of great tips on writing, how to structure your book, working with partners, just a little bit of everything. They also have lessons that you can participate in and a couple of different forums where you can engage with other writers at varying stages in their careers.
This gave me the last blast of energy I needed to finish my 8th book. I highly recommend it to other writers.
So, the next time you’re in need of a little inspiration, pluck a few items off this list and tell me how they work for you!