Using Instagram to Break Out of Writer’s Block

I haven’t been doing much writing lately. Who am I kidding, I haven’t written but a few pages here and there since the end of last year. I could easily say life’s gotten in the way, but the honest truth is I just haven’t felt inspired. And what is the writing life if you’re not inspired?

Inspiration, breaking yourself out of a self-imposed writer’s block, can come from some most unusual sources. Take social media for example. I’m not talking about websites like Writer’s Digest or any other writer’s magazine, chock full of well-intentioned but obvious advice – “A writer writes!” – that often times can leave a writer more discouraged than inspired. I’m talking about leveraging Instagram.

Instagram? You mean that app where people like Miley Cyrus and millions of others post selfies, or pics of their cats? Yeah, that app. I’m on Instagram, and I’m just as guilty of a few selfies as you are. But in between the selfies and cat pics are writers and poets posting snippets of their work. I’ve found these writers, thanks to Christina Hart, aka Daily Rants with the Bitch Next Door, and some of the writing I’ve been reading has been nothing short of profound and daring.

So I decided to take the plunge into the Instagram writer’s community pool and post some of my work:

Call it micro-fiction, or even poetry, but it’s me flexing my writing muscles again. You can’t cycle up a mountain without getting on the bike and hitting a few short roads first, no?

Question for you, dear reader: do you use other social media sites to motivate or inspire you or your writing? Share your results below!

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21 thoughts on “Using Instagram to Break Out of Writer’s Block

  1. It’s about time you posted.

    Been popping over, checking randomly, thinking I’d missed something in my email. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Almost dashed off another email to tell you to get with it. 😉

    Excellent post this afternoon. I’ve wondered what IG was about (like you, I thought it was nothing but duck lips and cat flips). Now you have me interested…something new to expand my “brand,” and I’m about at that point in my so-called career. A new place to post my plethora of witticisms. I’ll go check out your … what is it? Page? Account? Anyway, I’ll go take a peek. Pretty cool from the looks of things here.

    And good to see you out of the woodwork.

    • Yeah, I tend to duck in and out every so often. I’ve been neglecting my blog, but I’d rather post nothing, than post something insignificant. But IG’s been taking up a lot of my free time. You might like it there. It’s more than just, like you said, duck lips and cat flips (LOVE IT!).

      • Hey dude, you do know I’m just ragging on you, don’tcha? I figure you know me well enough by now, but wanted to clarify.

        Heck, my own life has been…quite busy, to say the least, and my own blogging has suffered in the process. I’m down to once a month, if that (I’m of the same mindset–would rather post nothing than something insignificant, although that’s never stopped me before). Just have had a lot of other stuff. Been using the “reblog” feature a time or two when I’ve really needed something to keep things afloat, or when I see something worth passing along. I’m finding that comes in handy.

        Oh, I know why I haven’t joined IG…I’ve never had a cell phone, and I think IG is just through cell/mobile device apps. But all that’s changing as of next week or so. I got an iPhone5 from my sister-in-law (she got a new 6) and will be connecting to the 21st century. Call me a renaissance man. Good to see you.

  2. Thanks for sharing some of your Instagram inspirations. After reading them, I now think there is something to Instagram, and I will be looking into it for myself. They have a similar effect on me as when I viewed an art installation by Douglas Coupland. The installation was a room in which all four walls were covered with tiles of about 2 feet square, each displaying usually a line or two of a piece of writing that tickled his fancy, printed in various fonts and colours. There may have been about 100 tiles hung on those four walls. I felt like writing a reply to each of those aphorisms hanging on the walls. I’m not sure if they are his original writing or if he is merely sharing some of his favourite quotes. I don’t recognize any of the lines of writing, yet they feel familiar like long lost friends. e.g., “Nostalgia for the 20th century brain helps nobody.” I copied all the lines down in a note book and will be taking a closer look at them, perhaps commenting more on them at some future date. Again, thank you for a helpful post.

    • Usually it’s something brief and to the point that can help a writer jumpstart their writing. I love the idea of the installation you were fortunate enough to see. You should definitely revisit this and be inspired by it.

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  4. My Instagram is really just a random place for lousy phonetography, but I have been enjoying your contributions. Whatever works, go for it! 😀

  5. Reblogged this on Heavens Whispers and commented:
    Thought this was a very creative addition to the blog post, everyone loves to read quotes and either have a chuckle or be inspired in some way….But I am just a beginner and new comer so still a lot to learn…..

  6. I haven’t stopped by here for a while and I was sad to learn you hadn’t been writing much lately but happy to learn you’re starting to flex your muscles again. And I like the little writing images you posted.

    But I’m going to call BS on “what is the writing life if you’re not inspired?” because that reads like an excuse to me. I agree with the obvious advice that “A writer writes”. Not just when he has an idea, not just when he has a thought, not just when he wants to rant, but he writes when the words flow and when the words are stuck. You took a break, that’s cool, and now you’re coming back, that’s cooler, but you’re a writer, that’s part of who you are, and I think you’re doing yourself a disservice to blame it on a lack of inspiration.

  7. Thanks Michael. Spot on. I agree totally. The Canadian poet Irving Layton once wrote or said that a poet is like a drowning man who grasps at anything to keep from drowning. I’m happy to know that Gus is doing just that, staying afloat, keeping alive using Instagram as a kickstarter. Thanks again to both Michael and Gus.

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