Crystal Kamm

Written by

Crystal Kamm

26 April 2024


Finding Writing Inspiration in Real Life

Find writing inspiration in real life by visiting art galeries - Photo by Una Laurencic for Pexels

Creative block is a normal part of the writing process and it happens to all writers at some point. Some writers worry about feeling blocked and seek out methods of beating it. When it happens we need to seek other sources of imagination. Finding inspiration in real life is a good way to spark creativity.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Your story is your own and I like to think it’s kind of like giving birth. It will happen when it’s ready to happen, in its own time rather than yours. Be gentle and kind with the story and yourself as you create. But of course, that shouldn’t stop you from doing things to set the stage for the creation and make things happen at a pace that works for you.

Tips for finding inspiration

When you’re having trouble creating, my number one tip will always be to step away from the writing, step away from the desk or laptop, and stop trying to make the words flow. However, that does not mean that you should step away from the story. If you are struggling with writing but you want to keep making progress, here are some tips for seeking inspiration in real life:

Listen to music

Step away from the desk, but keep listening to your writing playlist. I love having a writing playlist that I listen to every time I write. It helps me to get right into the mood. I start thinking of it as the soundtrack to the novel.

Listen to the songs and let your mind wander through the story. Imagine your characters in different scenes, and let the music guide their emotions and actions. You might even discover a new plot point or character development that you hadn’t considered before.

Take a walk or go for a drive

Sometimes, a change of scenery can do wonders for your creativity. Go for a walk in nature or take a drive through a new neighborhood. Observe your surroundings and let your mind wander.

If your story is set near where you live, taking a walk or drive into an area where the scene takes place could help inspire you. Pay attention to the people you see and the conversations you overhear. You might find inspiration for a new character or dialogue exchange. Even if you don’t use the exact words or scenarios, the emotions and interactions can fuel your creativity.

Engage with art and media

Look at a piece of art that calls the story to mind. I created a collection of art on Instagram (Pinterest works too) that acts as a kind of idea board for my story. You never know when something you saved might spark a new idea.

Engaging with other forms of media can also be a great way to find inspiration for your writing. Read widely, not just in your preferred genre but in a variety of styles and forms. Watch movies and TV shows that are outside of your usual comfort zone. Visit museums and galleries to expose yourself to new visual art.

As you engage with these different forms of media, pay attention to what resonates with you. What themes or ideas are you drawn to? What techniques or styles do you admire? Use these as inspiration for your own writing.

Find inspiration in real life - Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Fan cast your story

If you have ever thought about an actor playing your character in the movie version of your novel, watch the show or movie where that actor seems most like your character. For example, I have a character that has Damon Salvatore energy, so when I am feeling blocked, I might put on a favorite episode of Vampire Diaries to help spark some dialogue ideas.

Watching the actor’s mannerisms, listening to their dialogue, and observing their interactions with other characters can help you to develop your own character more fully. You might even discover new quirks or personality traits that you hadn’t considered before.

Observe the World Around You

One of the best ways to find inspiration for your writing is to simply observe the world around you. Pay attention to the people, places, and events that you encounter in your daily life. Take note of interesting conversations you overhear, unique mannerisms you notice in others, or even the way the light hits a particular building at a certain time of day. These small details can provide rich fodder for your writing.

Consider carrying a small notebook with you wherever you go, or use Novlr, or the notes app on your phone to jot down observations and ideas as they come to you. You never know when a seemingly insignificant detail might spark a brilliant story idea.

Draw from your own experiences

Another great source of inspiration is your own life experiences. Think about the pivotal moments in your life – the triumphs, the failures, the heartbreaks, and the joys. These experiences can provide a wealth of emotional material to draw from in your writing.

Of course, you don’t have to write about your experiences exactly as they happened. You can use them as a starting point and then let your imagination run wild. Take a real-life event and ask yourself “what if?” What if things had happened differently? What if this event took place in a different time period or setting? Use your experiences as a springboard for your creativity.

Summing up

Finding inspiration for your writing doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By observing the world around you, drawing from your own experiences, and engaging with other forms of art and media, you can find an endless well of ideas to draw from.

Remember, the key is to be open and receptive to inspiration wherever you may find it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to create something perfect right away. Allow yourself the freedom to explore and experiment with different ideas and techniques.

With a little bit of patience and persistence, you’ll find that inspiration is all around you – you just have to know where to look.