When you can’t quite find a way to put pen to paper, one can often find themselves stuck in a rut of where to go next. Consider a few of the ideas listed below when trying to find fresh ideas or gain a new perspective while working on your next piece. Writing inspiration can be found in some of the most unusual and unsuspected places, but that often lead to some of the most creative ideas.
Television & Film
These two sources offer countless opportunities to source writing inspiration from. Be it reality TV shows, movies, or even the daily news, there are countless stories to source from here for writing ideas. Whether you seek to develop a character you saw that played only a minor role, or create a story around a news icon, the possibilities are endless. One can find material of each and every genre throughout television and film to satisfy any creative desire.
Going on a hike offers many a break from the real world, and a break from the hyper-connected world that we live in today. Even in major metropolitan areas such as New York City, there are always escapes from society for a hike or walk that offer great writing inspiration. Many writers find inspiration for writing in their surroundings while walking or the plants and animals they come across. If you have the opportunity to hike in iconic places such as the Grand Canyon or through mountains, the sights and sounds are never-ending.
Be it your local mom and pop coffee shop or a Starbucks, coffee shops are well known for offering inspiration for writers. While the psychology behind it is somewhat still up in the air, there’s a reason many flock to coffee shops for work and conversation. As a hub for all these different kinds of activities, they serve as the perfect place to people watch. One can observe people of different professions while getting writing inspiration from the dynamics of the relationship across the room all at the same time.
Contrary to popular belief, it is quite easy to gain access to some areas of airports without any kind of ticket or security clearance. Similar to coffee shops, airports are a prime location for people watching and therefore, writing inspiration. There are very few places in the world where you can view people and cultures from all over the world in one place, and the verbal and non-verbal communication taking place between them. Many films and books exist about encounters, meetings, or reunions in airports as they provide such an interesting background for all kinds of writing. You never know what personality type or strange encounter you may witness just by sitting outside baggage claim or grabbing a meal at an airport restaurant.
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For those looking for more philosophical writing inspiration, viewing one of thousands of TED talks may be the perfect route. TED talks bring in experts from a variety of fields that share their stories and life lessons from business professionals to artists. Many of these talks are available for free on the TED website and transcribed into over 100 different languages. Some of the most recent topics include Architecture That’s Built To Heal, The Future Of Money, and Why You Should Talk To Strangers. A wide variety of topics that could peak writing inspiration of all different kinds.
In The Shower
While this may seem a bit odd, our time in the shower is actually somewhat parallel to hiking. An isolated experience in a space with no distractions can prove to be quite the successful outlet for writing inspiration. This serenity offers us a chance to cleanse both our minds and bodies and open up to new ideas free of any visible or audible distractions. Many great writers actually always kept a pen and paper just outside the shower to jot down any ideas that came to them.
As much as we struggle as writers to come up with infamous writing quotes or fresh, new ideas, sometimes the best place to look in times of struggle is our past. Much writing inspiration can be found by reflecting on our past experience and writing about them. Whether it’s exactly how an event played out, or how you would have changed it, our past can be much more interesting to an outsider reading about them than we think. For those in disbelief, there is a whole genre of writing that focuses on one’s past – biographies and autobiographies.
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With how actively used social media is today, it has also become a virtual form of people watching. There are a wide variety of sites people can choose from to draw writing inspiration from by looking at other’s posts:
Sites such as Facebook and Twitter provide more of a textual and story based focus, while Instagram and Twitter are more centered around images. All of these sources are also a great place to gauge people’s opinions and feelings on topics to see what kind of content may or may not be successful with a given audience.
When looking for writing inspiration or any kind of inspiration at all, the famous phrase goes that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Therefore, if a picture is worth a thousand words, taking in the images, history, and details of architectural structures in person is priceless. There are so many buildings in historic towns or on “Main Street USA’s” across the country that the stories behind the walls of these buildings have lots to tell.
Living in a large city provides the luxury (for writing inspiration purposes) of having access to mass transit. While similar to the airports, mass transit has the unique offering of taking one group of people and containing them in a small space, often a decent period of time. When certain events, regardless of size, occur on public transit, it is always interesting to see the response of individuals with a group, and the group as a whole. With public transportation being most present in large cities, you are sure to encounter a large conglomerate of characters that provide limitless options as a starting of point for your next work.