Looking At Suggestions For Desperate Writers & Artists Seeking The Thrilling Spark Of Inspiration

Discovering Thoughts And Ideas For Bright Sparks And Brainwaves



Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash


This is the question that plagues all writers, most of the time. I wrote in a previous post about how to find ideas for your writing projects. You can read that post here.

In this post, I thought I’d give you some more.

The thing is that ideas are one thing, but being inspired about them is something completely different. In this post I will look at several different ways in which we can find inspiration.

As writers, we are in a constant search and quest for inspiration. It is what sets us apart from non-writers. We are always seeking out those little falling stars of sparkle, which we can add into our writing.

Inspiration can be found anywhere, even in the smallest of things. Think about standing in a queue at the supermarket till. You have someone in front of you, and someone behind you. What is their story?

One way to spark inspiration can be to try looking at things from a different perspective. For example, how would a child, or an elderly person see a situation differently? How would an animal see it?

When I first watched the Tinkerbell movie, I let the DVD play through and found there was a bonus feature, talking to the artists responsible for making the movie artwork. They were told to get out of the office, and to go out into nature, where they could look at their inspiration from different perspectives. For example, one of them laid on the floor, to see what the world looked like from a fairy’s height.

Another thing you can do is to keep a running list of ideas, quotes, and inspirations. You never know when you might need them, and looking back over them could just provide that spark that you’ve been looking for.

As well as a list, take photos, look on Unsplash for images that can provide inspiration. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. While I’m not exactly sure that I agree with that, I know that there have been times when a specific image has conjured up the inspiration for a story in my mind, and in those times, that image might well be worth its weight!

If you’re really struggling for inspiration, try stepping away from your desk. Go out, meet friends, go for coffee/tea/your choice of beverage. Take a walk in nature. Do what those Disney artists did.

Something I learned from Shaunta Grimes is to write down ten ideas a day. If you do this for thirty days, that’s 300 ideas, and while you may decide that some of these are absolutely useless, you’re bound to find a few gems in there.

Another thing that I have found very important to do is to put my inner critic back in her box. My inner critic’s name is Muriel. I wrote about her in this post.

The one thing that is almost more important than anything else, is to write every day. Another of Shaunta’s ideas is to set yourself a teeny tiny goal. Write new fiction for ten minutes each day. Do this, because in the long run, habit is more important and far more reliable and dependable than being inspired. You can be as inspired as you like, but if you don’t show up and do the work, then that inspiration is just stuck inside you like a butterfly caught in a jar, pattering out its life on the glass.

And THE most important thing of all… DO NOT GIVE UP!!

You are a writer. You can do this, no matter what anyone says, as long as you (to quote Dory) “Just keep on swimmin’”


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


In The In-Between

A Short Dramatic Piece

The curse of the blank page is something that shouldn’t plague me.

I am a writer.

Words are my thing.

They free me; so why, do I somehow feel so completely trapped.

As I stare at the blank page, so fresh with all number of possibilities, I wonder why it paralyses me like this, when it is meant to be the very thing that frees me.

Looking away from the screen and around the room, I glare at the sunlight gleaming into the room, and blazing off the page, making it seem even whiter than normal.

I didn’t want to give in to it, but the words simply wouldn’t come, and as the time ticked down, slowly bleeding my life away, I realised that I really had nowhere to go from here.

The feeling crippled me, making me feel impotent; broken.

I couldn’t breathe.

I couldn’t imagine another day like today…

and that’s why I did it.

That’s why I am now laying in a hospital bed, in a coma, with only a slim chance of waking.

I know I should feel bad; wrong, even, but the only thing I feel is regret. Regret that I am laying here in this bed, rather than cold, in a casket in the ground.

Some people would say that it’s selfish, but really, when it comes down to it, if they haven’t lived the same life as I, then, do they really deserve to be able to comment.

It’s strange here; oddly white, and my body feels like it’s once removed. Which, I guess it is, in a way.

Once removed from me, and once removed from the world outside.

Should I be happy?

I’m not honestly sure. In fact, the only thing that I know for sure, is that I did not choose the state that I am now forced into living in.

People generally fall into two categories when it comes to this. One group believes the act to be selfish. The other believes that the act should be pitied.

I was never sure which side I would fall on.


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Writing Space

And How To Set One Up

June 12

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I read a question that was asked on Quora earlier, about how to make a writing space. It got me thinking. There are so many different kinds and variations of writing space, which all depend totally on the individual’s personal tastes.

Some people like a very empty, clear and minimalist desk, with just their computer on it. Some can only write long hand. Some use a mixture of the two, and some like a very busy, almost cluttered work space.

I think I probably fall somewhere near the last category here. My writing space is in my bedroom. My bedroom takes up the entire top floor of the house. I have it partitioned, so that I have a craft room and a dressing room on one side, and then my bed, and writing space on the other.

So, my writing space, basically consists of a square of tables, with a small gap so that I can get into the middle, where my chair is. I have multiple screens, so that I can have all the things pertaining to my current wip visible whenever I want it.

I also have a number of books. Many are on book shelves, which surround my writing space, but I also have several piles on the tables, and these are the ones, which I tend to refer to while I am working. I also have a number of notebooks, and any number of pens and pencils lurking on my desk.

The thing is that sometimes, I like to work on a screen, and sometimes, I like to go a bit more old school, preferring to use pen and paper.

I strongly believe that there is room for both, and I generally just try and see where my mood is leaning. The only thing, in my mind, which is non-negotiable, is that I must show up.

We can spend as long as we want creating the perfect space to write, but if we don’t actually show up and get the work done, then really there’s no point in any of it.

I guess I’m not really answering that question very well, but I don’t think that there’s any kind of magic formula for a writing space. As writers, we’re all so individual, and it is only through some level of experimentation that we will find what works for us.

But really, when it comes down to it, all we really need is ourselves, a willing mind, persistence, dedication, and something with which to capture the words dancing within us.

What do your writing spaces look like? Let me know in the comments.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Accountability

And Why It’s So Important

Photo by Renáta-Adrienn on Unsplash

For a long time, my life wasn’t my own, and revolved around someone else. I’m not saying this to try and get sympathy, or because I resent it, but it’s just the truth. This is the life of a carer. This was my lot.

The thing is that now; as I am becoming accustomed to not being a carer, I am having to re-learn what I’m doing with regards my own personal goals, and I am having to re-learn how to structure my time now that I’m not having to fit things in around my caring responsibilities.

Just lately, a very good friend of mine began studying again. She has been using timers to make sure that she is getting a certain amount of studying done per week. This seems to really be working for her, and so I decided to try a similar sort of thing.

However, I have found that working with a weekly target doesn’t seem to work for me. If I have a bad day, I can talk myself into the idea that there’s no possible way of my meeting my targets, and so I give up and start again.

So, this time, I am trying the same tactics, but I’m totalling up my hours for the whole month, and I’m hoping that this way, I can actually stick at it.

Accountability is so important here, especially with us writers, whose only goal setters are ourselves.

So, I’m posting this here as a practice in accountability, and this is my promise to myself that I will write another post on the 20th of June, where I will hopefully be able to tell you that I have succeeded and hit all of my targets.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Journaling

Journaling

And why I keep one.

I have kept a journal in one form or another, since I was about ten years old.

I remember when I first made the decision. I had told my uncle that I wanted to be a writer, and his response (apart from telling me that there would be lots of rejection), was to tell me that if I wanted to be a successful writer, then I would need to start the practice of keeping a journal. I stated that very day, in a little, spiral bound notebook, where I had to write the date myself.

I don’t look back at those journals often, but its a nice feeling, knowing that they’re there.. pieces of my younger self, preserved in paper form, within a book.

My way of journaling has changed, grown, and developed over the years. At first, I only used words; Now, though, I use a mixture of words, poetry, and images. I’m still learning about new, and different journaling techniques. I don’t honestly ever think that I’ll stop learning, and you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Over the years, my journals have been supporter, confidante, and friend, sometimes when I felt like I had no-one.

The thing is that having a journal means that you always have a way to get all of those horrible, messy, nonsensical thoughts out of your head, and, trust me-it really works.

I don’t know if you already journal, or if you’ve never even considered it, but I would really, highly, recommendit. It is a lifelong practice for me, and I can honestly say that it has only ever served to enhance my life.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Timescales In Writing

Timescales In Writing

An Experiment

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I’m taking a writing course, and at the moment, I’ve been looking at genre fiction. The thing is that, while I’ve looked at genre fiction before, and I know what it is, something in the notes made me realise something that I’ve not really considered before.

That something, is time. Most of my writing projects have taken place over a seemingly infinite time period. What I mean here is not that I allowed myself infinite time to finish a piece (obviously, that would be ridiculous) but that the stories themselves don’t seem to have a specific time frame for me to work with.

I plan to change that. Today, I begin planning a novella in parts. Seven parts, to be exact. The idea is that each part will cover one day. The story will, therefore, be told in the time span of a week.

I have a few ideas bouncing around at the moment, but nothing particularly concrete, and you know what? I’m actually okay with that. While I will plan the story, I am quite happy to give my imagination free rein to come up with the story that it wants to tell. My only restriction is that it must all happen within the space of a week.

I don’t know how long it will take me to write this, but I will keep a log during this time, and hopefully I will update you soon.

Have any of you ever come up against this? Have you written something set within a specific time frame?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Bluebells

Bluebells

A Sign From Nature

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

About seven years ago, I began writing a project. This became a novel, which I actually completed. I put it to one side so that I could get some distance before I went back into redrafting.

Now, life got in the way and I spent a bit more time away from it than I’d planned, but when I went back to it, I found that the ending that I’d written had gone missing. I was heartbroken (if you’re a writer, you’ll understand this), and I simply gave up on it, leaving the now, unfinished manuscript where it was.

Now, this is where it could have ended, and I thought it had. Until Good Friday…

I’d had some new bookshelves installed, so I took the opportunity on Good Friday to sort out some of my books and notebooks (who doesn’t love a nice, neatly ordered space?).

While I was doing this, I happened to find two notebooks, with the original manuscript for my long- forgotten novel. I was happy, but simply shelved them once more.

The following day, while out for a walk with my furbabies, I saw a bluebell on its own, just beside the path. I smiled at it’s beauty, but thought nothing much more of it.

The day after that, I saw two bluebells, and the day after that; a cluster of them. Then, while I was on the phone to a friend, she mentioned that she had millions and millions of bluebells in her garden.

I expect you’re wondering why these bluebells were so important to me…

Well, the thing is that the main character in my manuscript is named Bluebell.

Some might say that this is a coincidence, but for me, I choose to see it as a sign; a sign that now is the time to go back to this project, and to start redrafting it, so that’s what I plan to do.

I’ll post little updates on how it’s going, here and there, but the message I wanted to share here is to not ignore hints, no matter how subtle they may be. Notice everything, and when you feel that little prod, trust your instincts.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo

The Beginning

Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Well, yesterday, I began a month-long writing challenge. National Novel Writing Month that runs throughout the course of November, has been going for a number of years now. I have participated several times, but this year, I thought I would try their spring challenge, titled “Camp NaNoWriMo”.

The principle is basically the same. You write throughout the month of April. You have support from a huge network of peers, who are also doing the challenge. The difference is that you set the target. You can write anything you want, or finish off a piece you’re currently working on.

The thing is that there is an added freedom in this challenge, which isn’t there with the November variant. So, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m hoping that it will jump start my steps back into writing, and that I can actually get something fully drafted by the end of the month.

So, I’ve picked out my projects, and made a start. One is the story of a teenaged girl whose father is arrested for being in a relationship with one of his students, but this isn’t just any student, it’s her best friend. The story picks up just as this becomes public knowledge and Allie (mc) sees her father arrested. We will then follow Allie as she walks the path of a pariah; a girl marked with a sin that is not hers.

I’m really looking forward to getting on with the story and to writing freely for a while. I don’t intend to plan too much, because the story has been inside my head for a long time, and I have a fairly confident knowledge of where it is going to go.

I also intend to work on a middle grade fantasy about a dragon school; a dark YA fantasy about a girl who can pass between her world and a world inhabited by daemons; a short story for the writing course I am doing; and the novel that I’ve been working on for the last year.

I know it seems like a lot of projects, but my mood is very unsettled at the moment, and after talking with a good friend, who is a huge inspiration to me, I have decided that it’s okay to have multiple projects to work on.

I’ll keep you guys updated, and if you want to join me on the journey, drop me a note in the comments. J


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Introduction

Introduction

Commonplace Book Project

Photo by Joao Cruz on Unsplash

Recently I have been following @shauntagrimes Commonplace Book project online. I highly recommend that you check it out, if you haven’t already. I have found it fascinating how one simple thing quote can lead down a rabbit hole of research.

The whole idea is incredibly inspiring to me, and seeing as I want to start dedicating more of my time to my writing, I thought I would take Shaunta’s idea and run with it.

There are so many quotes; so many beautiful words in the world, and so many that I have found great comfort, and meaning in, which I would like to spend some more time exploring, and I think this would be the perfect place to do this.

So, from now on, I intend to publish regularly in this publication, and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy researching and writing it. 🙂


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Descriptions

Descriptions

Adventures In Novelling

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

As a writer, descriptions are something that is fairly important to me. I am constantly trying to come up with new ways to talk about things.

There are so many words in the English language, and so many of them have been placed together in certain patterns in order to describe things, but really, what we need to do is to try and look for any possible different ways to illustrate the images that we’re trying to create in the minds of our readers.

Sometimes I find that these words are more forthcoming than at other times… and sometimes, trying to find that ‘right’ combination of words is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

The thing is, that there’s no telling when the good and bad days are going to come. All we can do as writers is to be constantly trying to expand our vocabulary, and to be ever vigilant to try and catch the words when they float by us.

Something that I am going to try and do is to keep a collection of phrases… snippets of words that come into my head, in the hopes that I will one day, be able to say that I have found the exact ordering of words for the description that I want to write.

The thing that I find with descriptions, and it’s something that I am as guilty of as anyone else; is that I only ever seem to utilise one or two of the senses, rather than looking at using all five of them.

As writers, we need to be overly careful to make sure that we use every one of the senses, because this is the way in which we experience the world, and so, it follows that it should also be the way that our characters experience the world; to not do so, is to render our characters almost as disabled in some way.

So, when writing our descriptions, we must try and make sure that we talk about what our characters can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. These little details are the sorts of things that will add flavour to our writing.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.