I hear from writers all the time who say that they’re just waiting for their next big piece of inspiration to come along before they start putting words on paper again.
My question back to them is: What is this inspiration going to look like? Do you even know what you’re waiting for, or is this an excuse to not start writing anything, because you’re afraid of what the final product might be?
Today I have a list of places to look for writing inspiration, in case you’re one of those people who just need to see something in the world around them to get un-stuck. Enjoy!
Everyday monotony. Does the woman sitting across from you at Starbucks have a story hidden in her face? (hint: yes)
Your past. Do you have a story you find yourself telling to friends over and over? What events transpired to create the person you are today? Write it down! Don’t stop to edit—we’ll fix it later.
Someone else’s past. Who’s the most interesting person you know? What made them that way? There’s just as much (if not more) value in helping someone else tell his or her story as there is in telling your own.
Celebrations. The next time something amazing happens to someone you know, ask them about it. How did they get where they are? How do they feel about it, and what do they want to do next?
Sorrow. This one is hard but important. Ask the difficult questions that you think people don’t want to talk about. In most cases, talking is therapeutic, and they may be grateful for the chance to tell their story to someone who just wants to listen. It’s important to recognize this potential story in yourself, too.
Music. Listen to the lyrics of a song you’ve never heard before. What story are they telling? What does it remind you of? What does it make you want to write down?
Art. Check out an abstract painting. What do you think the artist was feeling when she created it? What might have happened in her life to create that feeling?
Places. Turn left instead of right on your normal trip to the grocery store next week. Where do you end up? What happened there, and who are the people experiencing it?
Something interesting you heard on the radio. What was the last story (fiction or nonfiction) you heard that made you stop and say, What the what??? Find out more about it, and see where it leads you.
These posts! I hope I’m inspiring you to write down your story, no matter what that looks like for you.
After all, what’s unique about your writing if not yourself?
You, as the author, have the power to make your readers see, hear, taste, smell, and most importantly FEEL the world you’re creating. This is true whether you’ve spent 1200 pages explaining the ins and outs of a brand-new fantasy world, or you’re waxing eloquent on the conclusion of 17 years of research.
The most important thing about your writing is that YOU are the human putting it out there. If you haven’t met an editor who believes this yet, give me a shout and I’ll show you how it feels!
Do you have other places you like to look for writing inspiration? Let us know in the comments!