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Obsidian
12-06-2011, 11:17 PM
As all artists know, there'll be days or weeks (or months & years) where you hit a dead end. Whether you can't do anything with art like you usually can or writer's block gets to you really bad, running out of inspiration is one of the most difficult parts of being creative.

So what do you do when your inspiration vanishes and your muse goes astray? Do you keep writing & working with your art while knowing that your usually standard is slipping or do you avoid everything creative until you feel interested again? Or do you find a balance where you can have small bursts of genius before the spark goes out again?

Share what you know about finding & keeping that elusive inspiration!

Vindicated
12-07-2011, 08:23 AM
For me it's music.
I can be stuck in a story, or a post I do, not knowing how to move forward and then a song'll hit me and it'll completely determine my mood. It goes so far actually that a very sad song can completely change the happy story I had planned for a character into something completely depressing. So unfortunately for my characters, their fates are pretty much in the hands of my choice of music :-p

Also, when I'm stuck, with no inspiration, I tend to just not write for a while. Continuing and writing utter crap depresses me even more and makes it so I'm even less inspired.
Usually after a while the muses decide that inspiring me is not the worst job in the world and they return :D

Immortal
12-07-2011, 09:48 AM
Strangely enough, I'm victim to music as well for characters in RPGs.

Each one of my characters seems to have their own tastes, too. Marcus really likes Adele and Bright Eyes, really chilled out stuff or emotionally introspective stuff. Then there's Teddy who loves obnoxious pop music, to the point of my discomfort. Tristan loves things like Patrick Wolf and Marina & the Diamonds. Lewis likes electroish punkish dubsteppy insanity. He's the hardest to work with.

But they still give me trouble. Just because I can conjure their voice with music doesn't always mean that they're compliant.

I find we all have our own creative processes and the biggest problem is when you just feel like you can't connect with whatever or whomever you're writing. The only remedy I've found to that is walking away from that for a moment. Sometimes you need to rest and it'll simply come back to you over time.

I find that there is no good way to just make them come back. You have to wait for that spark. It'll hit you when you least expect it, too.

Imzadi
12-07-2011, 09:01 PM
My inspiration is also music. But lately I've come to realise that at times it's easier to write with the music off. It could be that I'm getting used to it with writing so many posts at work where I cant put on music. But it happens that even at home I end up turning the music off because it drowns out my own thoughts. Like for example with quite some of the Gabelene posts that have happened lately (and hey, we're on page 13 :-p) I noticed that I needed the quiet to actually focus and get Gabe's thoughts / experiences down onto "paper" properly.

Then there is the exact opposite, for example with Dary only recently. Daughtry is her music (just as much as for example Nickelback is Menefer) and a few days back I listened to that new Daughtry album for the first time - Dary's presence was instantly and undeniable. I'd kinda been clawing at walls to get her to talk to me lately and Daughtry simply put her back into my head.

Though overall inspiration is a fickle b!tch. There are certain characters I can barely find inspiration for right now. Then there are others that just drown the rest of the gang out. Like for example Gabriel is so strong in my mind and has been for a while now that he does drown out others or simply occupies mindspace usually others roam in. So for example, I cannot find Menefer right now for the life of me.

Stress and being overly busy - OR coding - usually completely kills the muses. Stress usually eventually has me needing to sleep and in order to sleep I cannot post at night so posting is the first thing I take off my list. Concerning the being overly busy - anything that requires even an ounce of creativity takes away from my muses ... and last but not least, coding does it too. It needs creativity of how to do things and where to do them :-p So usually when I code I drop off the face of the RPing world.

Black Widow
12-07-2011, 10:26 PM
I find it harder to post if I have music on. Certain songs or artists will give me inspiration for a character but I have to turn the music off in order to actually write.

I find that I rarely lack inspiration for all my characters at once, I just go through phases of having inspiration for each character. Some characters I find are always present in my mind no matter what - like Sophie, others are harder to find inspiration for - Beth.

I find that the more work I have to do in RL - Essays, Shifts at work etc the more inspiration I have to post. When I have free time where I could be posting I tend to run out of inspiration -_-

Caelus
12-21-2011, 11:42 PM
I'm quite like you Carly, in that I go through phases of being inspired for certain characters. Trying to write them when I'm not feeling them tends to result in rubbish posts that just don't sound like them and I have the other characters banging around in my head in protest. I remember once that I had to post Noah for something, but all I wanted to write was Sky and as a result Noah was sounding like Sky in the post. It was so stupid, but it took me ages and ages to edit it until it was vaguely Noah.

Music I can go either way on. Sometimes I need music as a 'background' sound to help me focus on what I'm writing. Other times it becomes a complete distraction. Then there are the times that I can hear a certain song and it immediately conjures something in my mind - a revelation of a character or the reply to a thread that I've been thinking about. Something about the song/lyrics just click and the reply is all written in my head or I see something in an existing character that I'd never considered before.

Worst thing I've found when I'm totally lacking inspiration is not writing. The longer I leave it, the harder it is to get back into writing. I have to force myself through the dry spell to get my inspiration moving again.

Sobriquet
12-22-2011, 03:52 PM
Music can be an inspiration for certain characters [Gabriel enjoys classical music, it seems] but I cannot post well with music on in the background. It serves as a huge distraction but I can post quite well if I have the television on but am not watching it. Silence really unnerves me so I don't like to sit and write in silence because I find it eerie and just generally comfortable. But, as I said, some characters react well to it. The location of where I am as well generally helped. I like sitting at a desk or a table. I can't write very well with my laptop on my lap.

But sometimes I just feel a character and sometimes I don't. For several characters - Samuel, Elijah, Caeren, Blake - I just know what to do with them. Still, it works the same way as well and if a character just isn't speaking to me, trying to post for them will just be stupid or, as Ecks said, it will result in a post that is nothing like they ought to be. Like if I did four Sam posts and then tried to follow it up immediately with Oliver or Flynn, for example, the Ollie or Flynn post would be weird because it's such a drastic change.

The Riddler
12-22-2011, 10:28 PM
Music is a huge inspiration for me, if I post with Raze I need something heavy and angry but when I RPed as Arden, a retired character of mine, it was usually very light sounding music, like classical rock. If I am to post it's always rock music or metal or anything like that, but then it depends on who I RP as to what bands and specific genre. Punk also works good with Raze :-p