These five ways to find writing inspiration are inspired by Canadian writer Margaret Laurence. These tips will help you create new ideas for both magazine articles and book ideas, and increase your writing productivity.
Before the tips, a quip:
“I’ve never been able to force a novel,” wrote Laurence in Dance on the Earth: A Memoir. “I always had the sense something being given to me. You can’t sit around and wait until inspiration strikes, but neither can you force into being something that isn’t there.”
Even the great Margaret Laurence worked “to no effect” on novels that “weren’t meant to be.” In Dance on the Earth, she speaks of her sense of not being able to write and the importance of discovering the themes she really wanted to write about.
Read on for five ways to find writing inspiration, and read Writer’s Little Instruction Book – Inspiration & Motivation by Paul Martin for even more inspiration…
5 Ways to Find Writing Inspiration From Margaret Laurence
“Amazingly, the gift was given to me once again,” she writes. “One morning, in the spring of 1971, I woke up with a thought in my mind. I took a notebook out to the lawn and began to write a novel that I knew even then would be called The Diviners. It felt as though I had been waiting for it, and it had been waiting for me. I couldn’t write it fast enough.” – From Dance on the Earth.
If you don’t wake up with a great idea, try these five tips for finding writing inspiration…
1. Walk the streets. I’m fascinated by the world that exists in downtown Vancouver, on East Hastings. It’s this whole other planet, with different rules and norms and standards of behavior. Drug addicts, homeless people, people with mental health issues, people who live out of shopping carts, drug dealers, and the Vancouver City Police on every corner. They’re busy, those cops. Go find a place like that in your city. When you find a place that makes you want to stop and gawk, you’ll find your writing inspiration.
2. Initiate small talk with strangers. Even if you’re an introvert, you’ll find that small talk at parties, in the grocery store, or while you’re watching your kid play baseball helps you find ideas to write about, and awakens writing inspiration. Socializing is good for your memory, brain, and self-esteem.
3. Go to classes, workshops, or conferences that you wouldn’t normally attend. Generating ideas and increasing creativity can be sparked by learning new things in educational settings. When you listen to others’ ideas and presentations, you make connections that will increase your inspiration to write — as well as your productivity and creativity.
4. Hang out with creative people. Spend time with people you don’t normally hang out with. If you normally push paperwork in a cubicle, hang out with an artist or preacher. If you’re married with three kids, spend time with a single adult or senior citizen. Bounce your ideas off creative people or folks you simply never spend time with. You’ll be surprised at how this increases writing inspiration!
5. Work in different places. To generate new ideas, take your briefcase, notebook or laptop on a field trip. Go to a park, coffee shop or friend’s backyard. You don’t have to do creativity exercises: simply look around, let your mind wander, and let your creativity increase naturally.
If you have any questions or thoughts on these tips for finding writing inspiration, please comment below…
And if you struggle to write, read 73 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse.