Season 3 Inspiration

Learn about inspiration and capture it

Inspiration is mysterious for both creators and scientists but absolutely essential to the creative process. In this season I will try to de-mistify it and offer you some practices which might be useful if you want to foster inspiration in your writing routines. 

In the next five episodes, you will learn about:

  • the theory and science of inspiration – what it was perceived to be, what it is viewed as now and how can you fit this knowledge in your writing practice to empower your creativity. I learned a lot while researching this episode so make sure you take a look – I bet there will be at least something new and unexpected there for you.
  • procrastination and how we can trick out procrastinating brains to be creatively productive. There I discuss what I call productive procrastination, or consuming inspiring media to ensure you are at the top of your game when your procrastination subsides.
  • dreams and their day cousins, the daydreams. Dreaming opens the door of our subconsciousness and lets us tap into the hidden depths of our creativity. Many of my writing ideas come from things my mind has shown me while I’ve been asleep so I can’t wait to delve into this topic and how it relates to inspiration.
  • how brainstorming can jump start your inspiration and how writing exercises can get you out of a slump and into a new dawn of creativity.
  • the often neglected social aspect of writing and inspiration. There I will talk about the benefits of writing retreats, writing groups and writing friends and how their mere existence around you can be inspirational.

EPISODE 1 Theory of writing inspiration

This episode focuses on the theory and science of inspiration – what it was perceived to be, what it is viewed as now and how can you fit this knowledge in your writing practice to empower your creativity. 

EPISODE 2 Trick yourself out of procrastination and refill your creative well

In this episode, I will discuss a topic which all writers dread to think about – procrastination. It’s the enemy of productivity and inspiration and can leave pretty much anyone feeling like they can’t write. But it’s not all doom and gloom – I will teach you how to trick your brain into doing things that fuel your creativity while still indulging that need to procrastinate for a bit.

BONUS EPISODE 9 Mental Health Traps of NaNoWriMo and how to avoid them

This podcast talks about mental health and writing productivity.  NaNoWriMo , for many, is the epitome of writing productivity. For anyone uninitiated, it’s a global challenge where writers attempt to write 50000 words in thirty days. The 50k is the base wordcount for what qualifies as a novel so, as the NaNoWriMo organization proudly states on their website, people “enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists.”

But while this challenge is a great opportunity to become a better writer, meet new writers and feel a great sense of accomplishment, it can also create the perfect storm of self-imposed guilt, low writer self-esteem and eventually burnout. The idea for this episode came as I was preparing for my fifth NaNoWriMo. Out of the four NaNoWriMo I’ve participated in, I’ve technically only won once, felt really bad about it twice and did well with my writing and mental health once.

I recognized some unhelpful patterns in my thinking, some words I would say to myself that would hinder my progress. I call them mental health traps, because once you start thinking them, your mental health suffers and you’re trapped in an unproductive state.  So I wanted to make this special episode of the Pen Garden for all of you who are attempting NaNoWriMo this year and give you a chance at a strong start, particularly when it comes to your mental health. So here we go, let’s avoid all these traps together.

EPISODE 3 Sleep, dreams and creative inspiration

In this episode, I’m going to talk about sleep, dreams and how we can prime our subconscious to generate new ideas and problem-solve for us.

EPISODE 4 Creative brainstorming and writing exercises

In this episode, I will be talking about how brainstorming can jump start your inspiration and how giving writing exercises a go can get you out of a slump and into a new dawn of creativity. This episode is right on time for when a lot of people doing  NaNoWriMo  start to run out of creative steam. And I’m not saying that in any way to judge, I’m right there with you. Yesterday I had to go back to my semi-complete outline and figure out what happens in the middle of the book. So I had a lot of fun researching and writing this episode and I hope that it will help you as it helped me.

EPISODE 5 Writing friends, writing communities and writing retreats

In this episode, I will look into the often neglected social aspect of writing and inspiration. I will talk about the benefits of finding writing groups and being part of a writing community, why writing retreats are awesome and what types there are, and how to use all that is available online to improve your writing practice by achieving your writing goals and meeting new like-minded people.