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Surrounded by inspiration

Cheryl's Musings: Surrounded by inspiration

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Surrounded by inspiration

My surroundings have an amazing ability to influence my thinking--and therefore my writing. This is why I try to convince my family to move back into the mountains, occasionally. I write much better surrounded by beauty. Or maybe we should head straight to the Caribbean?...

Yeah. Not happening this week.

Meanwhile, I've had to discover other tricks for the cash-strapped writer to surround myself with inspiration for my current WIP. Here are a few favorites:

  • Collages: I started making collages with my critique group and completely hooked. The process of picking out pictures (and string, feathers, beads, etc., if you're really creative) unlocks brain pathways that I don't access merely by stringing words together. The result is a groups of images that both reflect and expand my vision of a story. When I'm working on a book, the collage hangs above my computer, where it serves to inspire and focus me on characters, setting, and ideas.

  • Wallpaper: Computer desktop "wallpaper", that is. There are tons of free images you can download from sites like National Geographic and set as the backdrop for your computer screen. Writing about fantasy? Download a castle photo to spur your imagination. Sailing? Fishing? Tigers? You can find gorgeous photography spanning almost every topic.

  • Digital collage (shown above, for two characters): When I'm trying to visualize my characters, sometimes I find it helpful to find pictures of real people. Using free photo album software such as Google's Picasa, it's easy to put together a collage of images to aid character creation.

I'm also a fan of other hi-tech visual reminders such as Post-Its, index cards, and bulletin boards...Whatever works, get your story in front of you!

:) Cheryl



At January 15, 2009 at 1:04 PM , Blogger jenn said...

Good tips! I just downloaded some new San Francisco wallpaper from National Geographic to help keep me rooted in my setting. Thanks!

At January 15, 2009 at 1:25 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Thank you! BTW, I love your avatar :).


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