Recreational Activities to Keep Writers Inspired
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, read our full affiliate disclosure here.
Every writer, professional or casual, knows the pain of sitting down to write without having a single decent idea of what to write about.
The frustration around trying to force a good idea is unlike any other- especially if you are ultimately unsuccessful in your efforts!
While all writers experience writer’s block from time to time, there are many fun pastimes that you can try to keep your inspiration and creativity flowing.
In this article, we’ll be exploring a selection of the top recreational activities that can help to keep writers inspired.
Hopefully you end up trying a few of these yourself and find yourself discovering new and amazing ideas for your next piece!
Best Recreational Activities to Keep Writers Inspired
1. Start Reading More
Read Something Similar to What you Need to Write:
There are certain times where we are given a brief as writers, and we have to come up with content to fit that specific brief.
If you have been given a specific genre or topic to follow, reading similar pieces written by other authors could be a really helpful place to start.
Whether you need inspiration on tone, content, or structure, reading high quality pieces by other writers can give you a great jumping off point for your own work.
As long as you only take inspiration from them and don’t plagiarize, this is a great way to feel inspired and better prepared to write.
Read Something Completely Different to What You’re Used To:
Sometimes when we get stuck in the same genre however, it can be hard to break away from what we are used to.
It can be boring writing variations of the same thing all the time, so why don’t you pick out a piece of writing that is completely different to what you would normally read!
You will be surprised at all the new and different techniques, themes and emotions you become able to draw upon when you treat your brain to something very different to what it’s used to.
Re-read a Favorite Book or Article:
Favorite books and articles are our favorites for a reason; we just can’t get enough of them.
If you have one in particular that you can never seem to stop thinking about, why don’t you try reading it through again!
There is always more to be found in a piece of writing than what you have already noticed, so reading something you have previously loved will be sure to put you in the motivated mood.
Every writer wishes to create somebody else’s favorite piece of writing, so get reading!
Read a Best-Selling Book
Best-sellers are a fantastic way to decode what makes a piece of writing really popular.
The themes, plot, writing techniques and structures of best-sellers are clearly crowd pleasers, and there will be a lot in them to inspire you if you give them a chance.
Best-sellers don’t necessarily need to be the newest books off the press; they can be old classics as well.
Look out for books with badges and awards printed on the cover, as they have been given approval by book critics.
Read a Book on Writing:
There are many prestigious writers who have talents in explaining their craft to others.
If you get the chance to read a book on the craft of writing, you will probably find you have a lot to learn from these talented authors.
Not only are they masters of the English language, but they know a great deal on how to portray different emotions, themes, motifs and other important writing techniques.
If you are going to find inspiration anywhere in a book, it will be a book on writing!
2. Watch TV Shows & Movies
Watching different TV shows and movies is a good way to find some inspiration for your own work.
The directors and producers of these shows work hard to skillfully convey their ideas and creativity, so you’ll do doubt spark an idea of your own by simply watching.
It may feel like you aren’t doing any real work towards your writing goals while you are sitting watching TV, but be assured that your mind is whirring away in the background absorbing all of the creative content you are looking at!
3. Find Inspiration on Pinterest
Pinterest is a fantastic website full of ideas and inspiration for all sorts of different projects.
You never know what you are going to stumble across when browsing through, which could lead to an exciting “ah-ha!” moment right around the corner.
4. Explore the Blogging World
Every day, there are thousands upon thousands of articles, blog posts and other web-based written pieces being published online.
This content is produced from all around the world, from people living potentially completely different lives to you.
If you delve into the blogging platforms online, who’s to say what kinds of stories and tales will be waiting there to inspire you!
5. Step Outside
Picking a quiet spot to sit and watch the world go by is a good way to watch the inner workings of the lives of others.
While you only see a snippet of their day as they stroll past you, you may overhear a conversation or watch an interaction that really resonates with you.
Other people are truly interesting, so take advantage of a people-watching opportunity if you ever need some inspiration.
Perhaps what you need is a healthy dose of exploring the unknown.
You don’t have to go far from home to explore, you could go for walks down a trail you’ve never gotten around to doing close to your home if you wish.
For the more extreme, jump in your car and head in any direction- just to see where it takes you!
You may stumble across a quaint new town, an unfamiliar beach or lake, or even just some wonderful scenery that inspires you to get writing.
Biking has been proven to improve your brain function, as well as your physical health.
Going for a ride on your bike is a recreational activity that will give you a rush of adrenaline and endorphins that is sure to chase out all the cobwebs from your mind!
There are studies such as the one found in the National Library of Medicine that confirms biking increases your inspiration, brain function and creativity.
It doesn’t have to be a challenging bike ride- just hop on, and enjoy the wind in your hair as you cycle around your neighborhood.
If you are looking for a recreational activity that is more challenging, you could try hiking!
Hiking is an activity that will allow yourself to be immersed in nature, trekking to the most incredible lookouts and secret spots.
Being surrounded in nature on a hike is truly inspiring, and you will have plenty of time to do some good thinking about your writing.
You can choose to go alone, in a group or with a partner, so it is an excellent way to socialize as well as gain inspiration.
A less extreme version of hiking is of course taking a walk or stroll.
The great thing about going for a walk is that the options are endless, and you don’t need any special equipment.
Aside from the wondrous physical and mental benefits of walking, this activity will help you with your inspiration as a writer. You never know what you may find while on a walk!
Having unlimited locations to walk around helps, as you could walk on a beach, trail, around your town or city, through a cave- and literally anywhere else you can think of.
6. Try Using Writer Prompts
Writing prompts are a great way to find inspiration for new ideas on your writing. Here are a few examples of prompts you can use from Prep Scholar to get you started:
- Inspect regular household objects and write a story about where they may have been or who may have used them before you
- Write a story about two strangers that meet on some form of public transportation. Include dialogue between the characters
- Begin a story using a quote from a song as the first line
- Try switching which tense you write from! For example, if you normally write in first person, try third or second
- Immerse yourself in nature and write about your surroundings. Be sure to include all the senses such as smell, sight, hearing etc.
7. Listen to Music
Create Your Own Playlist
There are so many emotions that music can bring out in you if you let it. Find out which moods you write best while listening to, and build a playlist around those tones!
You may concentrate best while listening to upbeat music, moody music, sensual music or any other tone you can think of.
Listening to music that puts you in the writing mood can help your productivity by leaps and bounds.
Create a Lyric-Free Playlist
While lyrics can bring you so much joy and emotion, sometimes they distract your mind from what you are supposed to be concentrating on.
If you want to feel more inspired and creative, try creating a playlist from genres that have no lyrics such as classical, lo-fi, or other genres that focus on rhythm rather than words.
Copy an Author’s Playlist
If you follow any authors online, check to see if they have any links to their playlists in their biographies. Places to look could include Twitter, Instagram or even Tiktok.
Listening to the same playlist as an established author may put you in the creative mood, and you can feel closer to your favorite authors in the process!
This tip is for the novel-writers out there: Create a writer’s bible to consult when you lack inspiration.
A writer’s bible is essentially your entire novel mapped out from start to finish, covering all main plot points, themes, character development and more!
Once you have your writer’s bible started, you can keep referring to it when you need inspiration on what to write in which chapter.
It could be a life saver for you- especially if you find yourself struggling to remember all the scattered ideas you have for your story.
A bullet journal is a structured way of keeping track of your daily, weekly and monthly tasks and goals.
A journal such as this keeps you accountable for activities such as drinking water, exercise and you could even use it to keep track of how often you are writing!
Using a mood tracker in a bullet journal may help you keep track of which days of the week you are in the best writing mood, which could lead to helping you do the bulk of your writing on the days you feel most inspired.
A bullet journal will help both your physical and mental health and is a more structured recreational activity than the other options given.
It is still a creative activity, however it may fit someone with a more methodical mind.
Art journaling is similar to regular journaling, except instead of written entries you would use photos, drawings and other visual elements to bring your journal pages to life.
This is an especially calming activity that allows your mind to run wild with creativity and inspiration.
Using a variety of colors, themes and patterns in your art journal will create variation in the ideas you are generating for your writing.
9. Get Moving
According to the Yoga Journal, there are specific poses that can help spark creativity and inspiration for writers and other creative types.
Poses such as the ones shown on their website allow your body and mind to open up and really connect with life itself.
Some people say that after practicing yoga, they experience colors more vividly and music touches them deeper than usual.
It is this sort of inspiration and connectedness that is sure to have a positive impact on your writing inspiration as well!
Getting your hands dirty in a garden is a therapeutic way to gain inspiration towards your writing.
Not only is there a huge satisfaction in nurturing it and watching your plants grow, but your busy hands will allow your mind to do a lot of thinking while you are busy.
Begin a garden and grow vegetables, flowers or other plants like succulents and get outside in the fresh air!
The sounds of nature, or even your city, will bring inspiration to you as you listen to the world going by as you garden.
Dancing is an excellent chance to move your body, feel connected with yourself and have a bit of silly fun!
Whether you can dance or not, moving your body to music is a creative activity that will help you feel more inspired towards life.
The inspiration you feel from dancing will carry over into your writing, even if you feel silly doing it at first.
Don’t judge yourself on how your body wants to move, just let it happen and accept it for the creative self-expression that it is!
There are few times that you get to look at the world through a different lens – literally.
Photography allows you to capture the world in ways you’ve never seen before, whether it’s nature, people or landscapes that you are photographing.
Photography is a creative recreational activity that will add value and inspiration to your daily life!
You don’t need a fancy camera or equipment either, as these days any phone camera is capable of taking wonderous snaps that can change your perception on life.
11. Play Creative Writing Games
Indigo Extra includes some great solo options for creative writing games and exercises on their website, such as:
- Choose a character and write for 8-10 minutes on three scenes that include that character.
You will want to write one scene from the character at the beginning of the story, one from the middle, and one from the ending.
This exercise will help you develop either a positive or negative character arc, and will be useful for designing characters within your plotlines in the future.
- Begin writing a piece where every sentence starts with the phrase “I remember…” and simply let your brain fill in the gaps.
This activity is fantastic for getting you into the writing mood and for getting words down on your page. You never know what ideas will come from your memories!
- To help with world building, find an image online of a setting that looks otherworldly or supernatural.
Write a scene around the image you find, making sure to include what the character is seeing, hearing, smelling etc within that world.
Take it a step further by adding in another paragraph detailing the character’s life after living for a whole year in that same setting.
Writer’s block is super frustrating for any writer, professional or casual. While it can sometimes seem like there are no good ideas left for you to explore, these recreational activities will hopefully kickstart your brain into action.
There are many options from indoor, outdoor, extreme, or mild- all depending on your personal taste.
Each activity will increase your creativity and allow you to feel more accomplished when you eventually get back to writing.
If you are stuck in a slump, try not to worry about it!
It happens to the best writers, and you should never put too much pressure on yourself. If you give yourself time to grow and interact with the world, there’s no doubt that you’ll be writing your next big idea in no time.