Writers: Where do you get inspiration?

10/05/2015 Discussions, Writing 8

Where do you get inspiration?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!

  • Reading

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!

  • Places

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!

  • People

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?

8 Responses to “Writers: Where do you get inspiration?”

  1. Nordie@writing about books

    After working for decades in the IT industry, my fiction writing is fairly poor, and when I do attempt it, the results can be disappointing.

    Currently my main writing is book reviews, so my writing is in reaction to someone else’s work.

    I am expanding out my writing into non-review pieces, and the source of those comes from memes and prompts from around the internet. I often dont have inspiration at that moment, so I have a huge store of prompts and themes which I delve into whenever I’m in the mood. I dont always answer the question directly, but usually work on a theme.

    I also work on commenting on other people’s blogs! Sometimes the comment will turn into the source of a blog post of my own, sometimes the general topic will

    • Laura

      Prompts and themes are great sources of inspiration. I know that sometimes I feel really uninspired and don’t even know how to start writing, so having a starting off point is really helpful. And I have done that before too, where my reaction to someone else’s blog post has sparked off an idea, and I think that’s great. There are some topics that everyone seems to cover at some point, but seen as everyone has such a unique perspective on things they are always interesting to read.

  2. Precious @ Clockwork Desires

    Music is often a great source of inspiration for me. I can be listening to a song when I get a couple of plot bunnies that I can sometimes develop into a proper storyline. A few others are movies, TV shows, and of course, books.

    • Laura

      Music can be a good source of inspiration for me too, purely because I tend to daydream a lot when I listen to music! Usually the mood of whatever I’ve been listening too will filter into my writing too, so if I’m writing something dark, or something happy I try and listen to corresponding music. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Killian

    I definitely agree with all the points you made, especially the first: reading. I have a thing where, I will tend to be inspired by whatever book or movie or whatever I read/watched and loved most recently. For example, if I watch an amazing crime show, chances are I’ll come up with a story about crime, or if I read an incredible post-apocalyptic book I’ll come up with an idea for a post-apocalyptic world. I’ll very rarely actually write these stories, but reading definitely gets them off the ground. I also find it easy to think if I’m just alone in a quiet place. I ramble around, mulling over ideas in my head and sometimes things comes to me. That being said, I’m a reader and a blogger, not a writer (in general anyway), so this post technically isn’t aimed at me, but I thought I add my points anyway.

    • Laura

      I’m exactly the same in that I am often influenced by what I’m currently reading. Any time I read any science fiction I suddenly have loads of ideas for sci-fi stories and dystopian worlds, and when I read historical fiction I suddenly decide I want to write about various different historical figures. The problem with that is that as soon as I start reading something else in a different genre I suddenly get an idea for something else and I never end up finishing any of them!

  4. laiq zada

    great , with the help of your post i came to know ,sometimes suddenly i feel to write ,but i have not noticed ,where the inspiration come from , next time i will notice, thank you ,

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