One of the things I get asked a lot is “Where do you get inspiration?”
It’s a question that is pretty common for writers. It’s so common, actually, that it has become a trope in almost every story which includes a writer. “Where do you get inspiration?”
While you can try to find inspiration by finding prompts online, these usually don’t pan out for me. (Your mileage may vary)
Instead, here are my top three ways of finding inspiration:
3. Go Out with Friends/Family
I’m lucky to be have amazing, supportive people around me and chances are, you do to (if you don’t: find new people). These people help you find stories which are interesting. A lot of what my closest friends (including my wife) and I do is spitball ideas and share life stories.
Even when we aren’t, just having time away from writing can give space for clarity for your idea and talking with real people is a great way to develop how dialogue. Shocking, I know.
Warning: mind the time with all of these, or you might find yourself with more ideas than you have time to write!
This includes movies, shows, music, and video games.
When I take in content, it naturally stimulates part of my brain. “What if (insert difference)…”
This is where a lot of stories probably, honestly, come from. Want to feel like you’re coming with more of an original idea? Listen to classical music and visualize a story from that. Much more interpretation can be done that way and one of my favorite exercises to do with my creative writing students involved listening to classical music and coming up with ideas. No two stories were alike, even if they got the same tone (the point of the lesson).
In fact, a major part of my writing process involves creating playlists of music to listen to while I write.
Warning: while all of this could be considered part of your process, you cannot write them off on your taxes as a business expense.
This is the motherload. Not only do you get to be productive around the house, but you enter the golden state of being for writers: boredom.
I honestly can’t say that I ever get bored to the point of misery, like I’ve noticed others do. My mind wanders. And I let it. Then I write down where it went. It’s like magic.
These are my top three ways to generate inspiration for writing. Do you have tips for finding inspiration in writing, or another art? Let me know in the comments below.
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