August 20, 2014

Authors: Find Inspiration for Writing

By James D. Bell

American novelist, John Gardner, once wrote in his On Becoming a Novelist"Theoretically there's no reason one should get writer's block, if one understands that writing, after all, is only writing, neither something one ought to feel deeply guilty about nor something one ought to be inordinately proud of.” Gardner wrote that your emotions can alter your ability to write, and write well. Negative emotions, like lack of confidence, fear and doubt can create writer’s block.  Gardner also said that using our emotions coupled with a hypersensitivity to our surroundings and a curiosity about people can make us good writers. How, then, can we use our emotions to keep the good writing flowing?

To keep my writing fresh and compelling when I was writing Vampire Defense, I needed inspiration. You can find inspiration for writing and blast writer's block at the same time, too. When inspiration wanes and writer's block creeps into the picture, inspire yourself and regain your footing by trying these strategies:

Take a walk - Change your surroundings. Don't sit and stare at a blank computer screen or a pristine page of paper. It could make the writer's-block agony worse. Slip on some comfortable shoes and head outside. Examine the beauty of what you're seeing. A little exercise and nature can spark creativity in more ways than you can imagine.  A hike down a nature trail and an evening by a campfire inspired several of my best chapters.

Experience Art - Unique and complex art can be great inspiration. Seeing local art in person is encouraged; if that’s not possible, flip through art books or even browse online.

Write in a journal - This is recommended for any author. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or something you write in every day. A plain notebook will do, although a nice journal can be motivating. Write down thoughts you have, plot and new character ideas, quotes you find, and pieces of dialog you hear. Go back to this journal when you need inspiration.  I carry a Mole Skin journal in my pocket and jot down ideas whenever they strike me.

Listen to Music - It can be inspiring to download and play great music, from Mozart to Beethoven to the Beatles to Radiohead. Play it in the background as you write, and allow it to lift you up and move you.

Instead of letting negative emotions like lack of confidence, fear or doubt, hinder your writing, you can actually transfer those emotions to a character and use them to help you write your next bestseller. Try these tips and see if they help you discover what inspires you and kick-start your creative juices again. Inspiration to conquer writer's block is all around you--you simply need to take note, then... get back to writing.
James D. Bell is an award-winning author. James D. Bell is a retired County, Circuit and Chancery Judge who practices law in Mississippi. He was the youngest trial judge in state history and received the highest bar association approval ratings ever given to a Mississippi Circuit or County Judge. He is listed in Preeminent Lawyers, Outstanding Lawyers of America, and other lists of leading lawyers. Judge Bell authored the Circuit Judges Bench Book, published by the Mississippi Judicial College, a book that is used by all Circuit Judges in Mississippi, a Law Journal article on Habeas Corpus, published by the University of Mississippi School of Law, as well as a number of guest editorials in the Clarion Ledger, the Jackson newspaper. He also helped write rules of procedure and evidence used in the courts of Mississippi.Judge Bell is a speaker at legal seminars on evidence and trial tactics and at various churches and civic groups on the evidence that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Judge Bell has been involved in some of the most significant cases in Mississippi, and drew on actual experiences when he wrote the Vampire Defense. He is the son of an American Indian mother and a prominent local businessman. He is devoted to his wife, Joanne. They live in Ridgeland, Mississippi and have four children. His book is Vampire Defense. Connect with him via his social media links:Website:

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