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For as long as I could remember, I was always the type of person to have notebooks filled to the brim and electronic folders overflowing with poems and stories. I would write about anything and everything, anyone and anytime I could find a pen, piece of paper, or had access to the Notes section of an iPhone. Recently, when I found myself looking at the dates at the top of my last pieces of personal writing, I was shocked. It had been months, almost a year, since I had written anything new.
I’ve been busy with school work, internships, and writing for different websites and magazines, like Mad Sounds, and somehow found my personal writing put on the backburner. When I finally sat down and gave some attention to an aspect of my life that was once so full, but was now almost nonexistent, I found myself frustrated that I could not get more than a few words out onto the page.
While I am still finding it tough to return to the way I used to write, there are three things that I have been doing recently to help get the creative juices flowing again.
1. Trying new things and visiting new places
Whenever you’re looking for inspiration, there’s no better kickstarter than going somewhere new or trying something you’ve said "no" to in the past. Going to new places, trying a new hobby, getting a new job, etc., are all great ways to meet people. And as most writers know, new, interesting people are the strongest foundation for good writing.
2. Reflect on the past
While this is sometimes an unhealthy habit, reflecting on the past can help bring up some new ideas for pieces to write. You don’t have to think about negative relationships or the worst days of your life, though. Simply recalling memories of days you had a ton of fun, went on a road trip, saw something cool on the street, etc., are all great places to start.
3. Don’t force it
The one thing that will make it harder for you to write than ever before is forcing yourself. While it’s good to put forth the effort of getting inspired, sometimes, the words just aren’t going to flow. Take it easy, relax, let your mind wander. It’ll happen eventually.