5 Different Ways of Finding Inspiration

5 Different Ways of Finding Inspiration

By on September 03, 2013 . Category Column

By Stephanie Clarke

Creative minds are continuously at work, creating and re-working and renewing. Yet there are times when the muse eludes the creative process and different inspiration is necessary.

Real life

The life of an average person is truly anything but average. Looking around at the events that take shape through the course of a day can inspire even the most sluggish of creative processes. The person standing in front of you in line at the coffee shop could be wearing an interesting blouse. Where did it come from? How did she select the color? Perhaps it was a gift from a dear friend who recently moved away. A story could develop from this basic idea.

News headlines

The headlines in today’s news reports show that fact is indeed stranger than fiction. Browsing the online news outlets provides numerous opportunities to expand on what’s being reported. The headline, “Bats Return Home” is instant fodder for the naturalist who may be interested in why bats behave this way. The horror writer might think of different reasons behind this migration.

Re-worked material

Most writers have endless story ideas and may even have started writing many of them. But there are often those ideas that didn’t quite flesh out into a full story that could be written at that time. Revisiting unfinished work or ideas that were put to the side momentarily could bring fresh inspiration.

Other writer’s works

Many writers are also avid readers. Reading the work of others may spark an idea for your own story. A thriller where the detective has to question his former lover for a current investigation could prompt ideas in a romance writer about their relationship. The story that comes to you from the book will probably be completely different from the one that is written.


When all else fails, a good brainstorming session might be in order. Writing the first things that come to mind often dreg the subconscious for thoughts or nuggets of ideas that aren’t readily apparent.


See Also

Don’t let Perfectionism Block You – Interview With Elizabeth Saunders

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