So you are working on a story, a novel, or a journalism piece, but you are stuck. You need some inspiration, some ideas, or some new material. But instead you find yourself zooming around on Pinterest. Time suck? I think not. Add this social media site to your writer’s toolbox in the compartment between imagination and visualization.
Create a Story Board
Transform a Pinterest board into a story board for your writing project. Search for images that stimulate ideas or inspire your story. You can also find quotes from other authors, intellectuals, or motivational speakers that could be useful for your writing. Create story boards for different aspects of your project. For instance, if you are writing a work of fiction, such as a short story or a novel, make a storyboard for each character and setting. Add images and quotes that reflect the character or location, so that as you are writing you can use the visual stimulation to keep you inspired and focused. Are you having difficulties envisioning that secret cave in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest? There’s a pin to help you. Do you want to write about Transylvania, but you’ve never traveled any farther than Alabama? There’s a pin for that, too.
Photos and Recipes and Quotations, Oh My!
All sorts of images, phrases, and projects can be discovered on Pinterest. So it is best to browse for pins by doing a search for a relative word, unless you want to spend hours swimming through a sea of random images. If you cannot find the types of images you want on the site, it is simple to upload your own images from other social sharing photo log sites, such as Flickr. Another tremendous source of inspiration in the form of colors, props, and characters is Etsy; you can easily upload most images from Etsy to Pinterest. After you have developed your storyboards, a quick scroll through your saved pins will stimulate your imagination. This will become a saving grace whenever you are suffering from a mind-numbing case of writer’s block.
Strike up a Conversation
Invite your friends to submit pins to your story’s board. In the description for the board, give a brief synopsis of your writing project. As you invite your friends’ suggestions via pins, encourage them to pin whatever they feel will add to the project. By using the board as a collaboration that is centered on your original idea, you are giving yourself focused feedback.
Now, remember, you do not have to use any of the pins for ideas or inspiration. However, this is a great way to help you see what direction you could possibly be going with your writing project during those moments of complete chaos. Say you are stuck on a character and have the inclination to just kill her to get her out of the way. Stop, first, and see what kind of focused inspiration you can get from your collaborated story board. You may be able to find that one idea that will save your story.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.