The inspiration for writing can come from anywhere and at any time. But, sometimes the inspiration stops flowing and you need to go looking for it yourself. Where do you go? How do you find writing inspiration?
Whether through your daily life or online, there are hundreds of places you can look for inspiration—and that’s exactly how we’ll be breaking down how to find writing inspiration: online and offline.
There are reasons someone may choose to look offline for inspiration as opposed to online, and vice versa. Though the internet has an abundance of writing plots, ideas, and inspiration, using your personal life can be more unique and meaningful. However, finding inspiration offline can be more difficult and can take longer than searching online.
Personally, I think it’s a good idea to use both methods regularly so that you never run out of ideas. Keeping a Pinterest board with inspiration and intermittently jotting down dreams will have you with more ideas than you know what to do with.
Anyway, here’s how to find writing inspiration.
When looking for writing inspiration offline, you pull more personal and unique story ideas. And these ideas can be found all around you. You may find inspiration in your past experiences and dreams or the people you know and have seen. Here are a few places you can look for inspiration offline:
People can be hilarious, odd, mysterious, interesting, etc. They are dynamic, unique, and have their own goals and personalities. Can you think of a better place to find writing inspiration? People watching is a great way to get ideas for characters—simply by watching everyday people face the sometimes unpredictable challenges of everyday life.
Your dreams are your personal inventory of writing inspiration. They are unique to you, incredibly vivid, and often contain complete story plots. You can have dreams of all genres with themes and lessons you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.
The only downside to dreams is that we forget them so fast. It’s critical to write them down as soon as you wake up so you can remember as much information as possible.
I keep a folder in my notes app on my phone where I write down any interesting dreams. I usually write them down in the middle of the night after being woken up by some intense moment in the dream. Many of the stories I’ve written have come from or at least been inspired by, dreams I’ve had.
Shower Thoughts/Random Ideas
So many great ideas have come from showering or doing other regular everyday tasks. It’s good to get in the habit of writing down even the simplest story ideas. Keep an idea notebook or a place on your phone where you can easily jot down ideas. Be sure it’s easily accessible and somewhere you are always close to. If it’s not nearby, you won’t write ideas down right away and you could end up forgetting them.
Moments From Your Life
Our past is often filled with moments and memories that are perfect to build inspiration from. It can be scary to write about personal memories as you feel more vulnerable, but you don’t need to keep all of the details the same as they happened.
Take a memory and turn it into something new—some incredible story. It may have a different ending, a completely different middle, or be super realistic. Any way you choose to write is fine; these moments are just for inspiration.
The internet is full of ideas and inspiration and it’s all right at your fingertips. Let’s go over some places to find writing inspiration online:
Prompts are designed to inspire you and get your writing muscles working. They allow you to build on a small idea and turn it into a full story. There are many different kinds of writing prompts such as building on titles, first lines, or a few keywords. You can also find writing challenges like time limits, words to incorporate, and more.
If you want to use writing prompts, you can find all of my writing prompt posts here.
Pictures can be used as visual writing prompts. When looking at an image, you can imagine what event is taking place, what people are there, and similar ideas. Looking at a picture of a dark, foggy forest might give you inspiration for a horror story where people have gone missing.
I do have a post full of visual writing prompts you can use for inspiration.
My personal favorite places for finding writing inspiration online are Pinterest and Tumblr. Both have their own uses and are full of creative people.
Pinterest is a great place not only to find inspiration but to keep your ideas and inspiration as well. Every writer should have a writing inspiration board on Pinterest. You can keep pictures that inspire you, prompts, etc., and have an endless supply of inspiration.
Tumblr is home to so many talented creative people and not only is there writing inspiration, but you’ll also find like-minded people in your community to bounce ideas off of and to support you.
Fanfiction sometimes gets a bad rap for being over-the-top or weird, but it’s where many writers are born and multiple successful movies and novels have come from it. You can simply take something you’re already interested in and put those characters into new situations.
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