1. Inspiration From the Book You’re Reading
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?