Here’s another trick I use when I have no inspiration at all, especially in case I’ve not been writing for long. In fact, when it happens I find myself unable to write even the simples sentences, to describe even the simplest scenes.
Whatever genre you write, you’ll always need a good descriptive capacity: of places, of people, of emotions, of events. And if you don’t train it often, if you don’t write often, you lose a good part of it. How do you get back on track?
Be inspired by your own memories
That’s what I do. 1-2 times per day, for a couple of days, think about one of your memory. It can be a simple, silly memory or a complicated and very articulated one. Maybe start with the simpler ones.
It doesn’t have to be related to your genre of course. In my opinion, if it’s not your genre it serves you even better.
I did it for a memory I shared with my partner, one of our first ones, long ago. I managed to write 2500 words about it, and it was an event of half an hour.
Now I’ll try to do something else. I just thought of a very silly memory of a couple of months ago. I don’t know why I thought of it, but here it is. Have fun, and get back on track with me!
The “Red Alert” Impersonification
It is afternoon and I just left my office. It’s not far from my son’s school so it takes me only 5 minutes by walk to arrive there. He’s so happy to see me! He runs to me and hugs me as if the world was going to end today.
As soon as we go out, though, he looks at me with pleading eyes and asks for some juice. Well – I think – I may as well get a coffee for me, I really need it. And so we enter in a small coffee shop a couple of meters away.
It’s a famous shop here: they claim they have the best coffee in the city but, if I have to say, coffee in Italy was definitely better. This is too sour for my taste and as such, I usually order a cappuccino instead: the milk improves that coffee heaps.
I order an apple juice for my son and that cappuccino for me, then – here it’s my memory – my eyes catch a girl sitting on the opposite side of the room. She has red hair, red socks, green shoes. She wears a red and green dress, and a red French beret. Moreover, she is reading a book: she is the impersonification of the main character of a story I wrote a year before; and is there, in front of me.
And I look at her for so long that I carve in my memories all those details.