Inspiration is one of the main things that fuels us writers.
The other thing is motivation
(also coffee or tea).
However, inspiration is elusive, coming and going at its own will. It’ll flit around in the corner of your eye or it’ll plant itself at your writing desk until you sit down and start writing.
Or, in the worst case scenario, inspiration will be nowhere around.
If you’re in a situation where inspiration is just flitting around your head, not actually staying at your writing desk, but instead annoying you at 3 o’clock in the morning, then this blog post is for you.
If you’re in an even worse situation, where the inspiration is entirely missing, this post is most definitely for you.
Here are the 5 ways I find writing inspiration:
1. Consume Story-Telling Media
We live in an age where various stories can be accessed within minutes. These stories can be portrayed in many different ways, using different media.
With Netflix, and other streaming services, hundreds of thousands of hours worth of TV shows and movies can be watched for a small monthly subscription fee.
Both TV shows and movies convey stories, and so they’re a great way to gain inspiration.
Apart from TV shows and movies, here are other story-telling media:
- Video games
There are many ways to absorb stories that aren’t through reading books, so experiment to find out which media you like best.
2. Seek Out Experiences
Life experiences are a great way to gain inspiration, so if you feel uninspired, try to experience something new.
This can be done in small ways, such as:
- Taking a walk
- Volunteering for a local organization
- Trying out a new restaurant or store
- Eating something you’ve never tried before
- Attending a local event
- Going to a museum or gallery
You can also seek out large experiences, such as:
- Going on a week-long vacation
- Going on a week-long stay-cation
- Adopting a pet
- Learning something completely new (like how to fly an airplane, or how to scuba dive, etc)
Seeking out new experiences will also teach you how to write about things you didn’t know how to write about, so it’s a win-win situation.
3. Look at Other Media
You can also look at other media, besides strictly story-telling media. Although I do find that other media tell a story, just not in a traditional sense.
Here are some examples of other kinds of media you can look to for inspiration:
Absorbing these kinds of media can give you flashes of ideas for your stories and other works of writing. Just because they don’t follow the traditional methods of story-telling, doesn’t mean that they don’t have stories to tell.
4. Little Things You Love
There are probably a lot of things that interest you, or that you love, that you don’t really think about. So take a few minutes to walk around your home and take note of the things you have, why you have them, and what they mean to you.
A quick look around my room would reveal that I have a large rock collection, and a ton of sketchbooks, notebooks, and art supplies. I also have all my jewelry on display.
So what does that say about me?
Well, I like to collect things from nature, specifically rocks. The reason why I have kept my rock collection and grown it over the years is because I like the connection to the earth that the rocks have. It’s spiritual to me, to have my best rocks on display.
Knowing that, it isn’t much surprise to me that I enjoy writing urban fantasy about magic, the elements, and spirituality.
All of my notebooks, sketchbooks, and art supplies indicate that I’m a creative person, and at least one of the characters in the stories I write have some sort of creative hobby or enjoy books. It’s a small way that I put a piece of my soul into my characters.
My jewelry on display shows that I like my style, and I take a great joy in my fashion sense. When I work on my characters, I enjoy giving them their own personal style too.
So look around your home to see if you can gain any insights about yourself, what you love, and how that effects your writing.
5. Save Inspiration Once You Find It
Once you’ve found inspiration, you’ll want to save it as soon as possible.
Human brains aren’t very reliable when it comes to remembering things, so you should save your inspiration so you don’t forget about it.
You can do so by writing down the titles or episodes of movies and TV shows you love.
You can make a scrapbook with images, photographs, and illustrations that inspire you, or save them on a Pinterest board.
You can write down quotes and lines of dialogue that you find inspiring.
There are lots of things you can do to save your inspiration, so find the methods that work for you and use them!
BONUS 6: Write What You Love
Here’s a bonus 6th way to find writing inspiration, which is to write about what you love and what inspires you. No one else has to see it, you don’t need to post it online or include it in a novel.
Writing about what inspires you, what you love, and why, will help you gain a deeper insight into the things that you enjoy.
What do you like to do to gain writing inspiration?
If you’ve enjoyed this post, or found it helpful, please leave a like, a comment, or share it on social media.
I blog on Wednesdays, so check back next week for some new content!