The wonderful thing about writing is that you can always make something out of nothing. It really is the original perpetual motion machine!
If you have a bad day, or a crap interaction, it immediately becomes fodder for your work. Inane conversations on the bus become a lesson in realistic dialogue. Annoying health problems or injuries suddenly manifest in your character and increase the depth of characterisation.
Today I was really stuck for something to blog about, then I realised I could blog about the fact I could not blog about something:)
All writers seem to approach their work from a different angle, and be inspired by different things. So what to do when you come up blank?
Some writers are inspired by natural settings, by the feeling of the landscape itself. I know for myself, some very weird characters and magical ideas can emerge from a quiet natural landscape, especially during storms and at twilight. At the very least it injects some reality into descriptions of scenery and setting.
Others are driven by the ideas themselves (this is very true for me). I can get inspired by interesting non-fiction, good books, films, and other weird ideas or what-ifs that occur to me in my more wistful moments.
Another thing that often gets me going is to plot out maps and put together drawings of the cities where the story takes place. Others might paint characters (I am total crap at drawing) or spend time imagining the settings of the story to get enthused. You can look for movies, books, pieces of music or art that inspire you for the piece you are writing.
I know many writers who write to music. Many take it even further than this - one writer friend of mine has collections of music for different types of scene. If there is an action scene coming up he puts all his 'action' CDs into the player.
Of course to be creative, you also need enough sleep (a challenge for me I can tell you) and to be in good frame of mind. The quality of your food, the amount of rest you get. Health is often neglected by writers, but has a huge impact energy levels. What do you do for stress reduction? That's important as well. How about exercise? Small amounts of low impact activity have been well demonstrated to have large positive effects. Walk the dog.
What do you do when you look for inspiration? Or do you subscribe to the notorious Idea of the Month Club?