As a writer you can often find yourself staring at some paper or a screen and having no idea what to put into words. It’s always frustrating when you’re in the mood to write, but you just can’t think of what to write about.
Our minds can draw a blank at the most irritating of times and so it’s no surprise we try to seek out inspiration. There’s usually a few obvious suggestions given here and there like a walk through a forest, a decent sunset or reading a favorite book. While these can be successful, why not try something a little bit unusual.
Most of us have a few of these lying around somewhere in the house. It could be on biology, history or ICT – it doesn’t matter. Having a flick through one of these could yield some good results. But how?
Well, inspiration doesn’t have to come from creative or artistic sources. That’s not how it works, it can come from anywhere. You just need a catalyst to set off a spark and suddenly an idea for an entire novel could be illuminated. You’d be surprised at how easily it can happen.
Say you flick open a book on computers and read a chapter or two, some line or concept may suddenly set you off on writing a science fiction novel. Even just a name in a history book might just flick a switch in your head. Don’t underestimate these books. Get yourself a coffee, get the books out and pretend you’ve got an exam tomorrow. You’ll be amazed at the leftfield ideas that’ll pop into your head.
Who’d have thought a trip to get some milk and bread could lead to the creation of one of the greatest literary characters ever? It’s certainly possible anyway. Supermarkets get all sorts in: poor, rich, old, young and strange. Have you ever really paid attention to the queue at supermarket? The array of people you get standing so close to each other who would usually never cross paths is incredible and this is where you can find inspiration.
Try to see how they interact with each other. How different they are to one another, but how they still do the some of the same things. It’s a great way to see similarities and contrasts in wildly different people that you can apply to your own characters.
This doesn’t just have to be supermarkets of course. It could technically be anywhere. The key is to be paying attention to what’s going on around you. It’s easy to phase out in mundane situations, but then you miss out on all the little intricacies. Noticing one tiny little thing could get you back on track with your writing.
The point is that, in the end, we never know where inspiration will come from. What is certainly true though is that it will not always stem from some romantic or poetic event. It can come from absolutely anywhere and especially if you’re looking for it. Keep your eyes and ears peeled and you’ll come up with some great ideas in no time.
Joshua Danton Boyd is a copywriter for the freelancer accountants Crunch.