Inspiration is by nature elusive and hard to come by, yet it can make a huge difference to your writing productivity. Any writer knows that it is 100 times easier to sit down and write when your head is buzzing with ideas that you just have to get down, than when your mind is blank and resembles a tumbleweed-strewn desert.
But where can you find it? Where does inspiration come from and how can you harness it? These are a few ways I get ideas or get inspired, and I’d be interested to know where other writers and bloggers get inspiration!
There’s nothing like reading an amazing story to inspire you to write an amazing story…or if you’re anything like me write a story that you immediately hate and want to crumple up and throw into a metaphorical (or actual) waste paper basket whilst you put your head down on your desk and cry. But at least you wrote something!
My family has always been pretty outdoorsy, so from a very young age I was constantly out and about, taking scenic countryside walks and camping in picturesque places. I have always felt like this combined with my growing love of reading is what sparked my passion for writing, and inspired so many of the stories I wrote as a child. My family and I could take a walk through a forest one day, and the next day I would be scribbling a LOTR-esque fantasy epic set in a magical forest inhabited with a mixture of dragons, elves and unicorns.
Places are still a massive source of inspiration for me today, and a bad case of writer’s block can usually be cured by a scenic walk. After all, it worked for Wordsworth!
Some people you just meet and think: you would make a great character. Whether it’s for a good reason or a bad reason, it usually means there’s something unique about them that immediately jumps out at you and inspires you. A word of advice though: use people as inspiration, don’t recreate them! Whilst giving a unique trait of theirs to a character can make them seem more authentic and quirky, basically writing about that person (even if you change their name!) is usually a bad idea. They may recognise themselves and be a little offended, especially if you’ve made your boss the basis of an Evil Overlord in the fantasy book you’re writing!
- Writing exercises
A while ago I wrote a post called ‘Two Books That Helped Kick-Start My Creativity’ which was about two books I had bought that were bursting with interesting and inspiring writing exercises. I have often found these kind of exercises super-helpful when I’ve been struggling to think of what to write about because you can just pick one and go, and see where it takes you.
You don’t even have to buy a book (although the two I bought are great, and I would certainly recommend them!). The internet is full of fun writing prompts and exercises you could try if you’re stuck for inspiration, or just want to try something different.
So how about you? Where do you get inspiration?