“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.” — Neil Gaiman
Every writer needs inspiration to fuel their novels — but sometimes, it’s hard to find it. I wanted to write a blog post on it because it’s probably my favourite writing subject to talk about, as without inspiration, I wouldn’t have any novels at all. Popular novelists often say that a writer should write whether they are inspired to write or not, and to some degree, I understand what they are saying, and it’s a great idea to have a writing schedule, but sometimes, it’s best not to force it. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired, all I have to do is the following things, and more often than not, I find the desire to write again.
Remember why you are writing your story. This is a big one for me — if you don’t have a reason why you’re writing that story in particular, then why are you writing it? Usually it’s because the characters have a story to tell. Make sure that in your story there is something that your protagonist is trying to achieve, otherwise the reader (and the writer, too, probably) will lose interest in the story. If you can’t think of a reason why you’re writing this story in particular then perhaps it needs some work so that the main character/s has a clear goal shown through the first few chapters. I find that if I know my protagonists goal, then it’s easier to write the story without running into too many stumbling blocks.
Find out what inspires you. You’re different, you’re unique. So find out what makes you want to write, and use that. Some people like music when they write; others prefer silence. I personally need to have music while I’m writing — most of my music comes from movie soundtracks or songs I hear from TV shows. I also get inspired by reading amazing books, especially ones in the genre that I’m writing. It seems to give me the desire to want to improve my writing — and I know that I’ll only be able to do that is if I write. Another big inspiration? Pinterest! An online site where you can pin images to a board. It’s kind of like throwing all my ideas into one place where I can access it easily. I make boards for individual novels of mine; sometimes even going as far as to jot down ideas in the description so I remember them. And I also have a board when I throw any image that inspires me there.
Take a look around you, there’s inspiration everywhere. I’ve been writing for about five or so years now, so I look at everything with a writer’s eye, so to speak. I take what I see and sometimes, it might even end up in one of my novels. It could literally be anything — a colour, a name, a piece of conversation I happened to overhear, and the list goes on. My novel City of Illusions came from a single image, which inspired the whole story. I thought he was mysterious and intriguing, and thus, my main male character of the novel — Fabian — was born. Every time I got stuck during the novel (or like now, when I’ve lost inspiration to to revise/edit the novel) I go back to that picture, and remind myself what started the story in the beginning.
Where do you find your inspiration from? Let me know in the comments below!