Inspiration is everywhere. The best writers pull from their own life and what experiences they have gone through, the good and the bad.
It might be hard to let it all in, but that’s a good thing. It actually makes you stronger when you let yourself feel what you are feeling. Dr. James W. Pennebaker of Harvard Health Publishing did an experiment on college students who wrote about either personally traumatic life events or trivial topics for fifteen minutes on four consecutive days. He concluded that the students who wrote about traumatic events visited the campus health center less often, and used a pain reliever less frequently, than those who wrote about inconsequential matters. It is amazing how writing sentences can take your mind off of certain things. All of those feelings and emotions from your trauma create new perceptions of life which make your writing more powerful. By tapping into your emotions and applying it to your writing, that makes it more relatable to people and they connect with you and that’s how you form bonds that never would have happened if you didn’t let all your emotions in. Everything that you go through in life, positive and negative, is actually giving you inspiration for your writing. Without all those experiences and trials and errors and successes, you wouldn’t know much about the depths of life. In order to be a writer, you just have to write from the heart. When you do that, all your true feelings and thoughts come out and make something very powerful and possibly moving to others. Being a good writer is about writing what you know. I never understood that phrase. ‘What I knew’ all seemed so uninteresting and boring but it only seemed that way because I hadn’t had many life experiences when I was younger. I used to imagine scenarios of these heroic characters with complicated love lives because I didn’t have anything to write about at those young ages. As I grow up and go through different things, I realize that I have become that character without even realizing it. At times, my life, like many others’ lives, may be stressful and complicated and crazy, but when I take a step back and think, I realize all of my experiences have taught me so much. Every single person I have met has helped me in ways they don’t even know, and that’s all great material for an epic story. It’s funny how everyday, mundane struggles can actually be great for a story. This is because your own thoughts and feelings and actions are something that people can relate to which is what makes it interesting. Sometimes, I even find myself quoting something a friend or family member said because it just sounds like a good line. Just life itself as you grow up can be interesting enough, even if you don’t think it is. So just try it; write from the heart and see what happens; you’ll be surprised how good it feels. Writing from the heart is my form of therapy. It can help you learn from hard times and see the light in those situations.
All of those internal feelings make for a great character in a story. So I have realized that writing what you know can be so fascinating because it deals with real emotions and that is what makes readers connect with you, and your writing can impact them to share their own feelings and thoughts.
It is so ironic that pain can inspire you. Sometimes when you are at your lowest, is when you make the greatest work. You may not feel the most inspired or motivated at that exact moment, but what comes after is amazing. After going through heartbreaking situations of the love variety, you find yourself looking at things in a new light; and finding beauty in pain. That is when inspiration strikes. To offer an example, I found myself drawn into a certain boy and I don’t really know where the feelings came from but all I know is that this boy is the only one I felt an emotional connection to, for whatever reason. Even though it did not work out like I wanted it to, I still am grateful for everything, the passion and pain, because it led me to find myself and express myself through writing. That is what I’m talking about. As much as it hurt, I wouldn’t take back anything that happened because it helped me realize my worth and turn my pain into something that can help people. I was able to use writing as a healthy way to get through the pain and even wrote some of my best short stories because of it. Heartbreaking situations, like mine, can transform into a story, a piece of artwork, a song, or anything else; your imagination is limitless when you are coming out of a tough time. These become an outlet; a place to understand yourself and channel your frustrations.
If you are patient with life’s timing, you’ll see that certain people and experiences come into your life at different times and leave a mark on you that inspires your best work. Your wounds can turn into scars, if you let them. Open your heart, find your passions, and turn your pain into something you can be proud of.