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What helps you to write/feel inspired?
Do you do writing exercises or just wait until inspiration strikes?

I usually feel inspired at this time of the year with all the autumn changes going on around me, but this time round I just feel lethargic and full of cold. I've tried all my usual tricks- reading through all my old letters & writing new ones, listening to mix-tapes, reading books, zines and going on long walks, but every time I sit down to write..nothing. A page full of doodles, but nothing of any worth.

I guess one of my biggest problems is ignoring my internal editor and just being happy with getting something, anything out. I think my self-doubt is plugging everything up.

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hmmm you said you tried reading other zines but what i do is kind of make an exercise out of something someone else did in their zine- a to z lists, writing on certain topics/responding to a piece in their zine that interested me, etc. a few zines sometimes write things and then even say they think other people should try writing them- like "mermaid"s list of "happiness is..." (based on everything is illuminated's list of 613 types of sadness.)

i can't really think of any other suggestions. i generally just don't write until inspiration strikes either.
I do a ton of free writing. Free writing is where, for a certain amount of time (say, 5-10 minutes) just HAVE to keep writing. You can't take your pen off the paper and think, you don't worry about spelling or grammar or even if it makes sense, you just write. I love this because I just let go and follow my train of thought, and sometimes write about experiences I totally forgot about! It usually results in some really rough, raw writing that sometiems makes sense but often doesn't. Either way it's a great starting point!
Drugs
Only joking :)

Andrew Culture said:
Drugs
i do a lot of this! i try to sit down with my computer in my lap about twice a week and type until my brain is empty. sometimes i make myself a cup of tea first, sit in silence, take some deep breaths, and then i just type and type and type. it helps so much!

Samantha Trees said:
I do a ton of free writing. Free writing is where, for a certain amount of time (say, 5-10 minutes) just HAVE to keep writing. You can't take your pen off the paper and think, you don't worry about spelling or grammar or even if it makes sense, you just write. I love this because I just let go and follow my train of thought, and sometimes write about experiences I totally forgot about! It usually results in some really rough, raw writing that sometiems makes sense but often doesn't. Either way it's a great starting point!
I give myself permission to write a lot of crap.

That internal editor is really bad news!

I find that if i can make a start, I can always revise my first try into something better. Of course, revision is the part of writing I like best, getting started the hardest part for me.

It's taken me a long time to realize that the first thing I write is probably not going to be great and I will have to work to improve it. I think so often we only see the best, revised, completed work by other writers and we think all that good stuff magically came from their pens or word processors on the first try. I think that is ever, if rarely the case, and I think it's great when writers can share their process with each other so we can see that we're all just struggling humans.
my friend just showed me a book he made by pre-binding it, and it was only like 15 pages long or something, and then he gave himself the task of simply filling those pages with whatever came to him. I like that idea for when facing a big, blank, empty journal seems way too daunting. Make yourself a few-page book, and let yourself doodle if that's all that comes to you. Also , i like practicing cursive. it gives me the feeling of writing, even when I have nothing to say. Just copy down something you like and make swirly letters..
i find that if i just wait for inspiration to strike i don't get anywhere. so i like to open a random book to a random page, pick a word that looks of sounds interesting and write whatever that word makes me thing about. whether its a memory or just random similar words of a description, its a fun exercise and sometimes you end up with some cool material. :)

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