There are days where I don’t have the time nor brain power to notate all the ideas that creep into my mind for new scenes or characters, for new stories or themes. Other days, my mind is bereft of anything of value. I’m not so much referring to writer’s block, but rather a lack of inspiration.
So where does one find inspiration for writing? Here is a list of 5 sources that I use:
Whenever I’m sat in a public place, I become inherently nosey about what others are getting up to. I’ve been doing this for years. When I met the lady who became my wife, we found it was a common interest. As busy people flashed by we’d suggest why they might be in such a hurry. As a couple passed in deep conversation, we would question the state of their relationship. People passing is effectively just life, and we write about life. This is still my biggest inspiration for writing.
I am a news junkie, I love catching up on everything domestically and internationally. Each news article is basically a bag of potential stories. Sad or inspiring, tragic or uplifting. Your take on a particular story can produce a whole new novel, or help get you over the stumbling block of a current novel.
While in the midst of writing a particular story, you will have a gem of an idea that does not fit within your current work. These ideas appear not just while writing, but throughout the day as you go about your usual endeavours. Carry a notepad around with you and jot down these ideas so that when you are short of inspiration, you can flick through your notepad and find ideas that are your own. Keep it near your bed at night too, it’s bizarre how many ideas come to the forefront of your mind when you are trying to get to sleep.
While reading other fiction, you might experience an author touching on an idea and then taking the story in another direction. This is not about plagiarism, sometimes an almost inconsequential event experienced by a character in another story can trigger a whole new thought process for an idea in your mind. Reading often helps me remind myself why I bother to write.
Friends and Family
Conversations with friends and family can instigate ideas for writing, as can the events experienced in their lives. As a parent, I love hearing my children ponder elements of life and the world with their untainted minds. They will ask the questions that seem obvious at first but actually turn out to be quite profound. Stories are, in most cases, about people. Don’t then ignore people when trying to dream up the idea for the next masterpiece you are writing.