This article was originally posted in January 2019.
“I’m bored! What should I write next? Uh……potato chips?” these are all lines you can say (preferably not the last one).
But when you find yourself either thinking or saying this, you realize that you have just lost your inspiration, your creativity. You have… Writer’s block. The absolute worst adversary a writer can have. Writer’s block will curb your imagination, make you sweat as you stress out, and give you headaches. How do you get past this challenge? How will you get your inspiration back? What will you do?
I got Writer’s block before.
One typical day, I was typing away on my computer. I typed away. I rested my hands for a few seconds and then placed them back on the computer keys. I prepared to type. But then I paused.
I needed more, new fighting styles and more characters. But how would I think them up? I cerebrated this, grasping at empty air. HOW would I think these up?
Just then, my little brother Alvin ran over and tugged my sleeve, energetic and hyper. “Let’s go to the park!” I looked at my computer and turned it off. Maybe I would think of something later. Then I left the room.
At the playground, Alvin and I played tag. I was it. I weaved through the trees and flattened pinecones in pursuit. And as I chased my brother in our game of tag, I spotted something that nearly gave me a heart attack. It was a Daddy Long Legs, perched on the rough bark of the tree next to me. SPIDER!
A Daddy Long Legs spider. A spider. My feet felt heavy with dread. My mouth opened, but only a shrill, “SPIDER!” whimper came out. Oh yeah, did I mention that I have arachnophobia? It’s fear of spiders. I backed up and closed my mouth, afraid the spider was going to leap at me. It went from there.
Later, at home, I was sitting in front of my computer, trying to think up a new idea for my book’s many plots. … Suddenly I remember how scared I had been in front of that spider. I couldn’t stand a single, tiny, hairy, Daddy Long Legs spider. It would be horrible if the spider was giant, had huge claws and pinchers. Scary. From what I knew, most people hated spiders - wait!
I had an idea. Or as one of my characters would say, “LIGHT BULB!”. I needed a new character. A scary character, a minion perfect fit for an army. Perfect.
A giant spider, for my book Saving Maui, had just been born. After all, what’s scarier than a giant spider with claws, pinchers, hairy legs, and a burning gaze? Inspiration! Yes! This was the best. My heart fluttered. I waited for more of my creative juices to come flowing out.
But none came.
I still needed to find better moves and fighting techniques for Pia in the final battle against the villain Slate of Chaos. And fortunately, lucky me! My parents wanted me to do Kung Fu at that time. I didn’t think much of it. My parents pestered me consistently. Daily life was like, “Amy, dear, why don’t you try some more sports? All your friends are doing stuff like… oh, I know, Kung Fu will be perfect for you!”
My dad especially wanted me to try. “Come on, Amy,” Dad said once, half-bragging. “When I was your age, I had mastered many Kung Fu kicks. For example, Hi-yah!” He jumped up and kicked the empty air. When he landed, he had a hand over his back. “Owww… I think I sprained a muscle…” Guess what happened next.
Due to all this “pestering” about Kung Fu, I gave in and my dad took me to a Kung Fu class. I watched as the other Kung Fu kids warmed up, practiced kicking and doing cool moves. I joined the learned from the master. To reference this, I also went online to check out videos on Youtube about Kung Fu. I figured I might as well check Kung Fu out to see if it seemed cool. I asked my friends who were good at Kung Fu. During this time I found actors like Jackie Chan and weird moves he did and some cool techniques. It was fun to explore the internet for Kung Fu tips and lessons.
By the time I had finally gotten all I needed to know, I was overflowing with information. I could just about make up anything wacky, weird, and crazily cool. Looking back on it from now, I consider these moments the moments I had of inspiration. My “Oooh!” moments, my realization. Inspiration impacted me in many ways.
When I take walks outside, ride bikes everywhere with friends and family, I observe the great nature outside. I once saw a blue jay hopping from branch to branch on some low trees. I loved its navy-blue feathers. Pretty. What if there was a bird with rainbow, sparkly feathers?
I approved of sparkly, and the Magicaw was quickly thrown into existence. You can find it in my book The Moondust Adventures.
Inspiration has impacted me in many ways.
Most of this includes when I’m outside in nature, playing with friends, I get all kinds of ideas. It's easy to make our games more enjoyable for everyone when we put our brains together.
So next time, when you see something that inspires you, dream on. Create all kinds of things from your imagination. Share your ideas with friends and classmates.
Open your heart, and realize that Inspiration is Everywhere.