How to Gain Inspiration During the Spooky Season By Jennifer A. Grisham

  When there are endings, there are always new beginnings creeping just around the corner.  As a writer, I am most inspired by the autumn season.  The world is at its most colorful, the leaves are rich with hue, and the air is just the right amount of chill to make me feel immensely passionate. 
Although I do believe many other writers feel this way, I think so many people see autumn as an ending.  They fear the upcoming winter months and focus on the agonizing deathly cold that lingers before them.  Although autumn is such a short-lived season and it is bitter-sweet, there are so many ways you can make the most of it.  I am, perhaps, at my most creative during this time of year and I hope I am able to inspire you to hit your creative peak as well.  Therefore, I have compiled a list to help get your creativity flowing so you can be excited for this year’s spooky season!  
  • Set your personal space with the appropriate mood.  Cultivating a safe space for you to write is important.  Most of the time, I am indoors and do most writing in the evening.  I often like to get my witchy woman going by playing a Stevie Nicks playlist or some really relaxing ambient sounds.  Turn the lights down low, grab a blanket and some tea (or coffee, if you’re an addict like myself) and allow yourself to be present.  Keep your notebook, phone, or computer nearby.  I also enjoy lighting candles.  Some of my favorites are by Folklore Candle Company (@foklorecandleco on Instagram).  Lighting and scents are everything when trying to give yourself an awesome autumnal aesthetic.
  • Get outdoors.  This time of year is when I will do a lot of my writing outdoors as well.  It’s the perfect opportunity to take a hike if you have mountains or woods close by.  The leaves are rich with color and the world is turning in all its beauty.  Go to a beautiful lake and just sit. See what creeps into that mind of yours.
  • Read, Read, Read … and peruse artwork!  There are so many artists on Instagram that inspire me with their pieces.  Check out @marysyring , @vali_saurus, and @patrick.montanaro.  They are some of my favorites.  Their pieces are highly inspiring.  Mary has a spooky aesthetic, Val’s is raw and macabre, and Patrick’s pieces are quite fantastical!  Additionally, reading good quality spooky stories helps me get into the Halloween mood.  Some of my favorites are Coraline by Neil Gaiman, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, and some good ol’ fashioned Edgar Allan Poe.  I also like to film-fest good horror films and television shows to inspire me as well.  A few notable ones are the new Netflix Original French series Marianne, and some old flick favorites such as Scream, Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Friday the 13th, Beetlejuice, and The Addams Family.
  • Fall Foods.  It’s time for pumpkin EVERYTHING!  I love all pumpkin flavored coffees, breads, and cookies.  I know it’s not for everyone, but there are a lot of other fantastic harvest recipes that will get you feeling full of comfort!  My favorite recipes to make are in The Forest Feast cookbook.  She has lots of vegetarian harvest meals that are quite delicious and filling.  I am also a big baker.  Baking gets me in the autumnal mood, which then in turn inspires me to write.  You can check out one of my favorite cake recipes here: Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Recipe via A Cozy Kitchen
  • Dress the Part.  Wear some inspired jewelry from places such as Blood Milk.  The more macabre, the better.
  • Fall Festivals.  Sensory overload is important and it will inspire you to write.  Make memories and hit up a state fair or autumnal celebration.  Enjoy the sights, the sounds, and fully take in everything around you. I do not doubt you will be inspired enough to cook up something absolutely delicious.
  • Partake in Some Spooky Season Special Events.  This is definitely the time to grab your friends or loved ones and make some memories.  Try to treat yourself to some corn mazes, hayrides, or pumpkin/apple picking.  All of these things really help to put me in the mood.  I really love photographing and enjoying all the events in Sleepy Hollow, New York around October time. They have a killer haunted house experience and a wonderful re-telling of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.  There is also plenty to do if you are able to visit Salem, MA.  In Long Island, I love sitting at my favorite coffee house during this time of year.  The Witches Brew is a very festive coffee house that just puts the right vibe out there.  If you are local, or have a similar shop around you, please spend some time there.  Another thing I enjoy doing is checking out all the haunted attractions I can locally to see which scares me the most.  So far, none of them really fit the bill for me, but if you scare easy you might really enjoy the experience!
I hope you are incredibly excited to be inspired by this upcoming season as I am.  How are you inspired
by autumn as a writer or creator?  Let me know down below in the comments. I would love to engage
with all your wonderful ideas!


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