Many times, inspiration is the kick in the butt we need to get writing: that first spark of an idea is what starts a story. Writing inspiration can be all sorts of things like an overheard conversation, a life event, music, or just some weird idea that pops up in your brain. Inspiration is many people's first step in their writing process.
But where do you find it? It really depends on the person, but we thought we'd give you some ideas, and perhaps one of them will inspire you and start that first spark of a story.
Is anything more inspiring or more life-affirming than being out in nature? Whether you're sitting in the grass in your backyard, in a creepy forest, or standing in the ocean, the colors, textures, smells, and noises can spark your imagination in an instant.
Nature can give you your setting, start an idea for a character, or provide the vibe you want for your story. Standing in an open field? What if there was a castle there? Who lives in the castle? What is their story? See! Nature is a gift and it keeps on giving if you're a writer.
While not everyone listens to music while writing, music can still be a huge inspiration and spark a story. Whether it's a beat that makes a scene to pop into your head or a lyric that turns out to be the perfect piece of dialogue, music can help you build your whole story.
Were you listening to a creepy instrumental piece when you thought up your gothic mystery? Or were you listening to the latest pop song when you started your romance novel? Perhaps you listened to an emotional ballad when the world of your fantasy story came to life in your head? Music has inspired so many writers over the years.
Not having any luck finding inspiration? Try going to a new location! If you normally sit at your desk inside, go outside. If you normally write at home, go to a bookstore or a cafe. Usually write at a cafe? Go to a library or to the beach.
Switching locations is going to shake up your thoughts and perhaps, spark something that wasn't coming while you were in your familiar environment. Even if you just walk from your bed to your couch, the change will affect your thoughts and imagination.
This one is probably obvious, but writing prompts can be so helpful. Even if the prompt has nothing to do with the story you're currently working on, giving your brain a break will benefit your WIP in the long run.
They also give you a chance to experiment and write outside of your usual genre or voice. Don't usually write romance? Give it a shot with a writing prompt. Wanting to try your hand at a mystery? Grab a writing prompt from us or from the internet and see how you can make it into a mystery.
Writing prompts also take the pressure off. A story you create from a writing prompt doesn't have to become anything. They're simply exercises to get your mind moving, to get your brain out of a stuck place. It doesn't have to be the next great novel. It's just fun and there's nothing wrong with that.
Eavesdropping is a writer's greatest tool. What better way to get ideas for dialogue or specific scenes than by listening to other people's conversations? Now, you do have to be a little bit stealthy. You don't want to get caught listening in on someone else's business!
But if you keep your ears open while in a public place like a restaurant, a mall, or the airport, who knows what kind of story ideas you'll find? Just make sure to keep a notebook with you at all times so you can write down anything that sparks your interest!
About the Author: Sarah Perchikoff is a writer and blogger, and the Director of Brand for the Writer's Workout. She also writes for Culturess, Netflix Life, and Guilty Eats. When she's not writing, she loves to read, watch way too much TV, and further her addiction to Sour Patch Kids and french fries. You can connect with her on Twitter: @sperchikoff