New experiences are what get our Anxious Author brains buzzing.
As well as being big readers, us Anxious Authors have a tendency to enjoy experiences over material things. That rush of adrenaline we get from seeing something amazing for the first time sets the cogs turning for a new story. No matter how many stories we already have in the pipeline!
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most countries to initiate a lock-down and for us Anxious Authors, this is a bit of a blow. Staying inside for months at a time is great for productivity but not for inspiration. We need stimulation to create and finding that when staying indoors 24-7 is a tough task.
Finding inspiration without any outside influence is still possible but we need to look closer to home for it. Inspiration isn’t always found in the most obvious places and once we know where to look, we can manage a little better in this temporary confinement. The most important thing is to not rely on one source of inspiration, or ideas can get stale pretty quickly.
If you’re an Anxious Author struggling to stay inspired during lock-down, here are a few tips to help you along:
1. Read your old work
Reading your old work isn’t always inspiring. Sometimes it’s straight-up cringey.
But our old writings are full of nostalgic wonder and ideas we have long forgotten. They can reignite state of minds we used to have back when we were younger writers. While the writing isn’t always that good, the ideas stem from a creative place.
By tapping into that old energy, we can rejuvenate our inspiration. Pick up an old manuscript, give it a read and try not to feel embarrassed. (It’ll happen, push through it!) Fingers crossed there will be some nuggets of inspiration in there to help spark a new story.
2. Hone a new creative skill
Sometimes exercising other parts of our brains can help bring out new ideas in our writing. Calligraphy, drawing or learning a new instrument keeps our creative brain alive while exercising new parts of it. Learning is what our brains do best (other than panic). So, beginning a new creative skill is a great way to keep it engaged. Inspiration is never far behind.
If you’re having trouble kick-starting your imagination, try a new creative skill. Even if you don’t intend to carry on doing it after lock-down, trying something new is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
3. Play video games
You just earned an excuse to veg out.
For me, the best video games to really spark some imagination are open world games. Things like Skyrim, Zelda, The Sims etc. Games that encourage you to create worlds, people or scenarios and give you plenty of control. At the end of the day, that’s what we do, create things and control them with sadistic tendencies. (Don’t lie, even Anxious Authors are mean to their characters!)
Get inspired and relax at the same time. Take a load off and let the ideas come to you.
Thanks for reading! Check out the other The Anxious Author posts for more ideas to cope with author anxiety!