How to Find Inspiration to Write

1. Inspiration From the Book You’re Reading

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

What qualities do you admire about the book you’re currently reading? Do you admire the writer’s sense of world building? Their sense of humor or psychological loops and twists?

George Orwell’s 1984 has a great example of world building. From the first page, you get this eerie feeling of what it must be like to be surrounded by posters of Big Brother whose gaze follows you everywhere you go. Telescreens scrutinize your every move. To make matters worse, chocolate is a rarity, coffee is tasteless, and participation in the daily 2-minutes of hate is required.

This world-building example helped me create my most recent story “2984”. I knew I wanted to include a robot in this story, and I also knew I would have to create a world for this robot. I asked myself what would this world look like? The first thing that came to mind was a society in which being surrounded by human-looking robots was normal. The story bloomed from there.

2. Look For Creative Writing Blogs & Prompts

One thing that amazes me about writing prompts is how so many writers use the same writing prompt and end up with completely different end results. There are so many prompts to choose from–from the one-word to the reflective the most spontaneous word prompts.

3. An Ongoing Theme or Topic in Your Life

Is there a theme or topic that stands out in your life? The following are some of the ways in which the topics of “technology” and “inhumanity” stood out in my life.

  • I’ve been thinking a lot about Walmart’s shelf-scanning robots. One day while I was doing my grocery shopping I saw this robot-looking machine wandering through the aisles.
  • I recently noticed that self checks show a a real-time video of me checking out my groceries. I still feel very weird about this…
  • I’ve been rereading 1984 (at a turtle pace), and I dislike the lack of privacy the world it’s set in.
  • I keep seeing the topic of “inhumanity” both in new technology and in news events.
  • The other day I assigned an article about “robonauts” to my students, and this was the last straw. This was the moment in which I wondered: how did we get here so fast? If I’m hearing about “robonauts” right now, what robo-somethings will I be hearing about next?

So, I decided that I wanted to write a story that included a robot.

4. Give Yourself a Deadline

I don’t consider myself a short story writer, so why did I need inspiration to write a story? I had a blogging deadline. Having a self-imposed deadline for my weekly blog posts is working wonders for me.

I can’t wait for inspiration anymore. I had to work with what I had. In this case, what I had was the idea of story which included a robot in it.

How do you find inspiration to write? Have you used any of the strategies above? Were they helpful?

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My name is Andrea. I am a reader, a writer, and a life-long learner. Welcome.Β 

7 thoughts on “How to Find Inspiration to Write

  1. 2 minutes of hate? I actually think it would be cathartic for some who just carry it around until they explode.

    It seems like many people find the characters very important. To me, it depends on the genre. If the lead is going to die, then, yes, it is probably a good idea for us to like them. However, most of the time, to me, the plot is the most important. I don’t care what the character looks like, or what apartment they live in. I just care about what they do.

    Like you, I marvel at the diversity of prompt results.

    You’ve actually seen the robots at Walmart? I haven’t. But I have written about it in the past.

    Writing on the same topic for an extended period of time is boring to me. That’s why I don’t really have a niche per say. I don’t know how topic oriented people can blog about the same things day in and day out.

    As far as deadlines are concerned, I believe in them more than ever before. After successfully completing the NaNoWriMo challenge, and writing 50k words in 30 days, I know I can. I just need to push myself. It’s a great motivator. I am not tightening the belt when it comes to my blogging schedule, too. I hope it brings the results I desire.

    Inspiration is everywhere, we just need to have our eyes open.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you on showing our anger and frustration in healthy ways, so that we don’t carry it around. I’ve been guilty of this.

      In the book, the people are brainwashed and the two-minutes of hate are meant to help control the people. During those two minutes, the people are required to show hate/disgust of the enemy, the traitors. For Winston, the main character, who knows that he lives in a society that is constantly erasing the past, the two-minutes of hate are a live-or-die situation because, even though he doesn’t believe in the lies he is being fed, he has to pretend to show enough hate to the “enemy” in order to survive.

      For me the word “hate” also has a racist/discriminatory connotation that’s becoming common and acceptable here in the U.S. It reminds me of a news event in which Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder, was mocked and disrespected by a high school boy. For me it’s scary to see how in the book and in real life people are being used against each other for someone else’s agenda and how these shows of hate become normal..

      I admire writers who show strength in plot writing as this is one of my weaknesses. I can see how focusing on the plot makes it easier to leave the details about characters for later. I’d actually hadn’t thought about this perspective when writing a story. I wonder if writers have the misconception that they always have to create the character first before they write the story versus creating the plot first.

      The robot is a curious thing. If you do a google search for shelf-scanning robots, there are a few short videos on them. They check for for out-of-stock items. It doesn’t look like a human, but it has human-like qualities. The first time I saw one, it was making it’s way down the aisle, and it was a curious thing seeing it moving among people.

      I’m with you on the topic/niche thoughts. Even as a reader of blogs, I sometimes skip topic-oriented blogs’ posts, not necessarily because they’re not a good read or informative, but I’m not always looking for information on one topic.

      Congrats of completing the NaNoWriMo challenge!! Do you have any other takeaways from completing the challenge beside the importance of deadlines? I’ve always wanted to participate, but November never seems to be a good month for me. Summer would be best for me to complete the challenge.

      I hope your blogging schedule brings your desired results. I’ve learned a lot from your perspective and creative writing, so I’m sure other readers will find your blog inspirational and informative on your takes on a wide arrange of topics πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I went into NaNo completely unprepared. I had a very vague idea of a plot in mind, and so I sat down on November 1st with no outline, no notes, etc. I found out I was a “pantser”, meaning I was flying by the seat of my pants. In the beginning, since the idea was new and fresh, I wrote a lot, but started stalling somewhere in the middle. I didn’t know what to write about. But I just kept pushing to reach my daily word limit to finish on time. It was a great motivator. I like challenges. I found that any excuse is just that – an excuse. I thought I didn’t have time. Well, I found it during November. And my life didn’t fall apart. If I was to do it again, I’d start earlier in the year (CampNaNo? or something like that) to prepare. To outline things. If you want to read my NaNo post, feel free to check this out https://dailyflabbergast.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/nanowrimo-summary-lessons-and-tips/ Hopefully it will help you prepare and get motivated.

        As far as the Indian vs. high school boy story is concerned, it was not so black and white. If you saw the whole video, you’d know that things actually played out differently than portrayed in that short clip.

        Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement!

        And I will be on the lookout for the robots next time I’m shopping there.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think I’m a pantser, too. I have a novel draft at 10,000 words and I’m past the “new and fresh” idea. I like that phrase “an excuse is just an excuse”. I can see how having an outline would be helpful for the next time around.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you for reading George Orwell’s 1984! I think everyone should. I remember watching the movie long before 1984 and it impressed me for life! While it was horrifying that Big Brother was watching and knowing everything, it’s not much unlike today. All of our habits are being scrutinized. People need to realize how much information we are making available about ourselves thus allowing us to be manipulated. Sorry to be so negative! Fortunately, we can be a loving and merciful influence in a world so impersonalized.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s actually a reread for me, and I also recommend it! πŸ™‚ I need to watch the movie! I just realized it’s on YouTube, so I’m going to find the time to watch it soon. Don’t apologize for being negative. I absolutely agree with you. It’s taking me a while to become comfortable with the effects of data collection. Since I spend a lot of time on WordPress, when I’m on Youtube I see a lot of WordPress and Grammarly advertisements. Sometimes it annoys me to see the WordPress ads since I already have an account here, and what annoys me about the Grammarly ad is that I’m an English teacher, so I don’t need it. Other times, when I see this in the positive light, I like how the ads reflect my interests. It’s at tricky thing though because like you said we are being manipulated, for example, into buying products.

      Like

  3. I write through myself one with my mind and life force, I always look at expression in life through experiences and endurance when there have been times . Where the mind can be amazing wonder and endless bounds of information where others it can feel like your drowning inside your mind.

    With greater understanding then most I guess you would revere me as
    Old Soul , through expressing deeper meaning and what it truly means to be alive you have to be able look yourself and see your reflection filled with flaws , scars ,open wounds as the real you …What I mean by that is we all have darkness its apart you nothing is ever seen in black in white .

    https://evolutionofselffeedyourhunger.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/grey-eyes/

    Liked by 2 people

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