Monday, July 29, 2013

The Dangers and Wonders of Pinterest

ANNOUNCEMENT: Posts will now be every Monday between 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM.


Ah, Pinterest. What was my life before you came into it?

Well, let's see. It was dull. Boring. Unimaginative, quiet, tasteless, uninspiring, and more stressful.

It was also filled with family time, pet time, reading time, writing time, creative time, and slightly less obsessiveness on certain things.

There are pitfalls to this wonderful sight full of every image and recipe and idea imaginable, and yet I don't know what I'd do without it. Not only has it given me wonderful inspiration for stories and characters, but it has opened up interactions with other writers, blogs, and has done its job spreading word about my WIP to a tiny little section of people, which is way better than no one at all. So right now, I'm going to explain to you how I personally use pinterest to aid my writing.

1) Writing Blogs

Pinterest has led me to find multiple new writing blogs and posts that have already taught me things about writing and inspired me to better myself. You can find just about any post imaginable, from various genres and types of writing to posts on specifics like writer's block and personal inspiration. One of the most encouraging ways I have found to boost my writing is to read another writer's blog and get a feel for how they keep on going.

2) Research

Links to articles on every subject. True, google is helpful as well, but there are times when I want visual aids. ;) I can find specific posts dealing with subjects on how to write such and such a thing, history, psychology, life in 1912 Britain, research and writing technique books, ect. One of the things I most love finding are costumes; I can find hundreds of photos of old dress from the medieval ages to 19th century Great Britain, and that's a great help in visualization as well.
It's a great source for a quick fill on your knowledge.

3) Character Inspiration

Obviously, and what I feel most writers like me use it for, is you can use Pinterest to find that perfect face, that face that represents what your beloved character looks like, his emotions, his actions. A simple picture can inspire one to think of a whole new scene in a book, or an entire new story itself. Who would say no to that?

4) Interaction

I have been able to connect a little bit to a few other fellow pinners and budding authors, and just by discussing our opinions on a certain look a character is giving or how we imagine a scene following a particular piece of music. This interaction has been vital to me, since I have no other friends who write, and it has been encouraging.

Also, I've been able to gain fifteen followers on this blog, and I'm guessing that most of them came from Pinterest. (Check out the new poll for the blog - perhaps I'll be proven wrong! ;) ). By this, I have been given encouraging words from complete strangers who have never read my writing, saying they are interested in my story and wish me luck in my future endeavors. I want to take this moment and say thank you, because that means so much and gives me a boost to continue writing that next scene!

If you click on the button in the bar off to the right, you'll find my Pinterest account. I have boards to describe myself as a writer, a board to gather useful research and encouraging tips, a reading list, and most importantly, the boards to gather inspiration for every story idea. I have a tendency to forget things or move on without writing something down and then losing the idea later on, and Pinterest has given tremendous help to pull my thoughts together. Many of what I think will become great story ideas have originated from a picture on pinterest, most recently my 1940s book idea I came up with last month. Each board encourages scenes, characters, and emotions to come alive as I write, and it has been the most inspiring thing in my writing so far. I can't praise the site enough.

However, you all know we have to be careful. Pinterest sucks us in until we look at every single character profile or piece of costume that tugs at our hearts and eyes. I find Pinterest extremely relaxing when I'm feeling anxious about something and go there often.
As writers, we have to be careful. Too often I've popped onto Pinterest and found an hour or two has slipped by without me realizing it. There are times I'm doing research that is important to my story, but many of the times I'm just gazing at the enchanting photos. Precious time has been wasted on that site, time that should've been spent actually writing in my novel or creating character sketches. I encourage you to set a time limit on this site; I know we've all had this happen before. Yes, it's so much fun, and most of the time helpful, but you can't let it become an excuse for not writing, and that's the danger of Pinterest.

Priorities must be set; either figure out exactly what you want to look for when first getting on the site and stick to those elements, or set a timer to remind yourself it's time to get off and start writing. Again, I'm not saying your time spent there is wasted every time, to me it's essential for inspiration, but there has to come a time to get down to the nitty gritty.

Do you use Pinterest to aid in your writing?


  1. I use pinterest mostly as a gatherer of inspiration, but I also read any writing advice I come across. I also use it a bit for marketing, since I'm an indie author.

    But yes, you can easily spend WAY too much time on pinterest.

  2. Marketing is definitely another great way of using Pinterest. :)

  3. I'm trying more and more to look less at other author's inspiration boards for books and more to the boards with writing advice. :) Interesting article!