Positive Writer

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How To Breathe New Life Into Your Writing

Note: This is a post by Joel Key. Joel is a writer and physiotherapist who inspires his community to make positive changes in their lives. He has just created a new campaign called ‘Write for Life’, which raises awareness of worldwide illiteracy. To learn more, visit his site at www.joelkey.com.

Writers can sometimes run out of new material. There’s no shame in admitting it. Creativity is not a bottomless well. All writers at some point, struggle to find the next headline. You may feel your writing has gone stale.


Maybe you’re simply struggling to breathe life into your writing.

It’s no wonder, when blogging requires you to post content three times a week or more. Not forgetting that the content has to be of superb quality and extremely helpful for its readers.

Which begs the question – how can writers, and bloggers specifically, continue to create top notch content, and avoid rehashing old topics?

And where on earth do really successful bloggers find their material?

Your online imagination

Much of the advice concerning how to generate ideas for new posts involves where to search on the Internet. Common suggestions include checking out other blogs, participating in forums, and joining facebook groups in your niche.

All of these methods work well.

Despite being insanely useful however, the Internet doesn’t always provide the inspiration a writer needs.

It is, after all, merely a fabricated version of reality. We use the Internet to document our real life experiences, populating its virtual space with our interpretation of events.

Living through the Internet

Writers, by their nature, are obsessed with the romantic image of sitting alone in a room, trying to solve life’s riddles. The Internet allows this perception to become a reality, connecting writers in some form to what’s going on in the real world, while never providing an exact replica.

It’s so easy now to experience life from your living room. To remain plugged into events from the comfort of your armchair. There’s almost no need to go outside.

If all we’re doing is living through the Internet, racking our brains for new things to write about, we’re ignoring the biggest source of material we have.

Real life, and the world right outside the door.

Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs knew that (even if they didn’t have the internet!). The ‘Beat’ generation of authors knew that to write from the sidelines wasn’t good enough.

They needed to be the protagonist of their prose, the flawed heroes in their remarkable stories. They needed to live the kind of lives that would ultimately breathe reality into their work.

As a writer, there’s no substitute for first hand experience. It creates the kind of writing that’s otherwise so hard to fictionalize.

Go out and get inspired!

The best way to fuel your writing ideas is to get out and do something completely different. I’m planning to go on a Jack the Ripper walking tour in London. Maybe that will spark a darker side of my writing imagination!

If you’re struggling for new writing material, I recommend getting away from the computer, and experiencing real life. Say yes to some of those opportunities that you’ve missed because of work.

Take friends up on their offer of a drink. Attend a writing group and talk to other writers in person. It can provide excellent material for a new post.

Merely take a walk, and observe the ebb of flow of life. It’s a wonderful way of stimulating your creativity.

Writers who are struggling for inspiration must stop looking within themselves and start absorbing the world around them. Say yes to the opportunities that could make a brilliant post!

Are you ready to breathe new life into your writing? Share in the comments.

About Joel Key

Joel Key is a writer, journalist and blogger. When he’s not indulging his passion for motorcycle adventure, he’s finding inspiration through writing over at www.joelkey.com. Follow Joel on Twitter.

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  • Phoebe

    Loved this article. It serves as a great reminder of why it’s so important to experience life. Too often we are stuck behind our computers and left grappling for new content. There are about 30 people I know suffering from this right now! Can’t wait to see what inspiration your Jack the Ripper tour conjures up! Thanks again!

    • Thanks for reading Phoebe. Real life does indeed inject a certain magic into writing, and only by borrowing from past experiences can our creations be truly authentic. I’m going on the Jack the Ripper tour tonight, and can’t wait!

  • Enjoyed this post. We need to replenish so we have something fresh to offer. Even a walk outside can accomplish more than mulling over the same old, same old. Thanks for posting.

    • So true Anne. I’m currently living next to the Thames in London, and I find that walking by the water is a huge source of inspiration for me. It allows me to approach my writing with a clear mind and fresh perspective.

  • Noel

    Love this post Joel! Very helpful. Strongly agree that not all sources of inspiration are on the internet. Earlier in the office, I was able to come up with a blog idea based on a conversation with an officemate. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Noel. It’s amazing the kind of inspiration that life can throw at you when you’re least expecting it! Good luck with the post!

      • Noel

        thanks Joel. Love this site. keep it up.

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  • Joel, Great post. The Internet, for me, can sometimes lead to inspiration overload, where I go down many rabbit holes and don’t always take action. However, getting away from the Internet allows us to find inspiration in a more grounded and concrete way–we live and connect to it with our senses. The writing becomes more tangible and grounded.

  • Guest

    Exactly Jackie. The Internet can be a attention deficit machine. There are plenty of useful sources of inspiration but remaining focused on that inspiration is the real challenge. In real life, you can’t merely change your scenery with the click of a button. You’re forced to connect to your experiences, however challenging they may be.

  • Shay West

    I like the idea of the Jack the Ripper tour! 😀