This is part 1 of a short Writerly Care series I’m starting. It’s not exactly writing advice, more like advice on being a writer and taking care of the artist within.
Today’s topic: consume good art.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes.
I’m sure some of you have heard this before, or are at least familiar with the idea that good writers read a ton. And I agree – I definitely feel like reading fuels me to write. Reading good books (and sometimes bad ones) makes me want to write good books.
BUT. I also find inspiration in so many other things.
This is the best way I can describe it: seeing good art makes me want to create art.
I love following YouTubers who create things for a living. I love following artists on Instagram who post their drawings and share their light. I love songs that blend lyrics and rhythm and notes to make something beautiful and new.
So, this is your friendly reminder that you as a writer need to consume good art. I have some suggestions if you’re feeling a deficit in your art diet:
There’s something delightful about poetry. It’s loud and soft, small and potent. The words pack so much power in so little space. I recently discovered Mary Oliver, and I really like her poetry. I’m sure you’re familiar with some other new poets that are getting a lot of hype. Go read the poetry, soak in the words, bask in the strength of them.
Browse through Spotify, click around on YouTube, listen to a new genre. I’ve found that I have a constant need for new music, and it’s part of how I stay inspired. Expand your horizons. Try musicals, or soundtrack music, or indie, or country, or rap, or vidoegame music. Let good music drive you to write good stories.
3. Old Favorites
I re-watched Fellowship of the Ring with a friend last night, and I feel like a new human. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is my favorite movies of all time. Watching one of these again reminded me just how much stories matter, and how much they mean to people. These movies motivate me to keep telling my stories.
Maybe you don’t have time for a 4-hour movie with a friend. That’s okay; listen to a 4-minute old favorite song that makes you fall in love with being an artist. Read a chapter from a favorite book to remind yourself why you’re a story-teller.
Consume good art. Let it fill your soul so that it spills out onto the page when you write. Take inspiration from the creators and writers and artists all around you. Find things that you love and enjoy them, and then go create things to share with the world.
And if you need some suggestions to get you started, here’s some things I’ve been enjoying lately:
Music: Dear Evan Hansen (a new musical), A Playlist of My Favorite Soft/Chill Music, Some of My Favorite Instrumental Music
YouTubers (also musicians): Tessa Violet, Dodie Clark, Peter Hollens, Rusty Clanton
Instagramers: Mari Andrew (adorable artist), Inspired to Write (bestest human ever)
Let me know in comments if you experience this too – where seeing some great piece of art makes you want to create as well. Also, let me know if you’ve found some great music/ movies/ art recently, or what you’re enjoying that inspires you. Do you have artists you look up to? Do you have a favorite movie that moves you to tears? Share your thoughts.