Finding the Inspiration to Write

The best writing is often based on personal experience. I’ve read a lot about the writing process, and one of the most common suggestions I hear is to write about what you know. If you are passionate about something it will show in your work. You not only have the knowledge, but you have technical insight and can nuance your self-expression to get your point across in a way that your reader can understand. But even if you are experienced in a field, you might still have trouble getting started, or maybe you feel like you need to find that spark or initial idea to get you going. The following tips will help you find the motivation to get started and keep going.

Look to your dreams

One of the most disregarded sources for inspiration is the unconscious mind. While you’re sleeping the mind is very much awake, consolidating memories and generating dream sequences. If you’re looking for an innovative idea, your dreams are a great place to start. Start keeping a dream diary, writing down whatever you remember upon waking. To help remember your dreams, simply say to yourself “I will remember my dreams.” before you slumber. The frontal lobe area of the brain is often turned off while sleeping providing you with less inhibitions and making you more susceptible to bizarre suggestions. It’s these novel ideas that you would never come up with while awake that you’re trying to capture as writing ideas.

Find your muse
It’s no secret that humans are driven to accomplish great feats for those that they love. It might sound naïve, but writing for someone you care about deeply is a great way to inspire your work, especially if you’re writing something romantic. If you don’t have someone in your life to write for, write for your audience or as a challenge to yourself. Think about the things you enjoy and let those things inspire you. If all else fails, write about yourself- your own personality is a wealth of information that can be used for character development.

Seek inspiration in nature

Many writers have found reason to write through their observation of the natural world. Quiet contemplation of a natural scene can help you organize your thoughts or even provide subject matter for poetry or establishing setting. Immersing yourself in a new environment can help you think in ways you’re not used to or open your mind to a new way of doing things. Even if you can’t venture very far from home, try writing in a park or moving your workspace to look out the window. Sometimes letting your mind wander will lead you to ideas you would have never thought of.

Learn from others
Sometimes the best ideas aren’t your own. If you feel like you need some fresh ideas, try picking the brain of a friend, watching a movie, or reading a book. It’s difficult to come up with truly novel ideas- much of what we see and hear today is in some way inspired by previous work. There’s nothing wrong with using other ideas as the seed for your own creative genius- just be sure to provide credit where it’s due!

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