Getting Ready for NANOWRIMO – Inspiration! (or: Kick That Muse)

Maybe you’re having a little problem getting your muse to cooperate and you just can’t get that Plot, Character, or Outline down.

Is your Muse distracted?

You probably have a ton of writing websites bookmarked. You’ve read articles on how-to-write and you’ve researched for days. That might help your skills, but it’s not really very motivational. I find that the best motivation is reading or viewing things that inspire me. Can you remember the first book that inspired you to write? Maybe it was a movie. If you are having trouble putting together your “what ifs” for a plot, go back and revisit those things that inspired you.

Maybe those old things just aren’t doing it for your muse anymore. No problem. There are plenty of sites out there on the web waiting to inspire you. Here are a few:

Elfwood – This site is FULL of amateur, semi-professional and professional art and stories in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. The home page of the site has featured content. There are tours and a search engine. If you know you want to write about a Demon from the Seven Hells, type that into your search and just browse through the results. There is art of every kind of medium you can imagine as well as a library full of stories both long and short. You’re muse will be salivating in no time.

DeviantArt – Don’t worry, it’s not really ‘deviant’ art. This site is famous for the tons of quality amateur art. It also features a search engine and is not limited to genres.

Word of the Day – Sometimes all you need is a word to get you going. offers a word of the day to help you build vocabulary and get your mind juices flowing.

This next one is a little dangerous:

Slang Dictionary
– This is actually one of my favorite books. It’s a huge 1450 page book with a ton of slang and etymology. It has has word histories and origins. Reading a few of these might get that muse perked like a kitten drinking espresso. The only danger is that it is so interesting, it becomes a huge distraction if you don’t limit yourself. There are a ton of slang sites online that can substitute, but this book is one of my favorite reference books that actually ends up inspiring more than referencing.

The most important thing about inspiration is to find yourself a renewable source. You need something you can come back to again and again. Something that won’t get old. Once you’ve found that, milk it for all that it’s worth! Start a routine that includes an element of inspiration for when your muse has abandoned you. Revisit and update it as needed.

Please feel free to post your own inspiration/muse kicking sites, methods below!

Good luck and good writing!