Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Using Social Media as Inspiration

Facebook and other social media can be big time wasters, and we need to make sure they don’t distract us from our writing. But they can also be inspiration. This works at least two ways.

First, that funny or tragic story that your college friend tells may give you an idea for a novel or an article. Even the seemingly dull postings can lead to something more interesting. What about a story of two friends who meet and marry because they like the look of the homemade meals the other photographs and shares on Facebook? Hopefully that would be humor, but it could be tragedy if one is a rabid vegan and discovers that the other was only pretending to be a vegan but is really a meat-eater.

But social media isn’t just a source of story ideas. It can also inspire and motivate you to write and to write well. For example, here are several of the recent quotes found on Facebook writing sites.

·       “Be sure not to discuss your hero’s state of mind. Make it clear from his actions.” Anton Chekhov (quoted on The Writer’s Circle page);

·       “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.” George Orwell (quoted on the Grammarly page).

·        “Novels begin, not on the page, but in meditation and day-dreaming—in thinking, not writing.” Joyce Carol Oates (quoted on The Writer’s Circle page); and

·       “Want to Meet a Great Writer? Look in a mirror.” (From the Grammarly page.)

Both Grammarly and The Writer’s Circle also contain links to helpful articles. You can find both sites by searching for them on your favorite social media. One caution, however. These sites have multiple posts each day, so they can become distracting if you let them. But if you have the self-control to be selective, they can be quite helpful.

Social media can be a distraction from writing. Turn it into a help rather than a hinderance by using it to get inspiration.

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