Eight Ways to Inspire Your Writing
“Art, to be great, must turn the beholder into a creator by stimulating his imagination, challenging his brain, and allowing his own creative urge to express self.” ~Bob Bowman
I’ve often felt the definition of a successful artist (whatever art form that may be) is one who can inspire creativity in another person. When it comes to writing, inspiration is often (if not always) the starting point for every good story. Thankfully, we don’t have to look far to find inspiration. It’s all around us. Sometimes, it takes us by surprise and we have to quickly jot down an idea. Other times, especially if it’s been a dry season emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, we need to be purposeful about looking for inspiration. When we find it, it can go a long way in giving us the energy and drive to complete a project.
Below is a list of eight places (in no particular order) to find inspiration for our writing.
Have you ever seen a painting or photograph that captures your attention and makes your imagination sing? Every single time I see a Thomas Kinkade painting, my mind immediately starts to create a story to go along with his beautiful image. Because I can’t crawl into his paintings and live in his idyllic world, I long to create an imaginary character who can. What kind of paintings/photographs inspire you? Seek them out and let your imagination soar.
I know a lot of authors who have a playlist of songs that they listen to as they write. The music might be exciting, dark, upbeat, quiet, or loud. It all depends on the mood they want to create in their storyworld. If you’re stuck, and you need to add some depth to your story, try to listen to music. You might be surprised that your mood affects the mood of your story.
Do you want to write a compelling story? Then read as many compelling stories as you can. Watch great movies, study interesting television characters, dissect a riveting plot. Immerse yourself in great storytelling (whether you read it or watch it) and you’ll be inspired to write an amazing tale. I love reading stories by authors I admire. They inspire me to dig deeper and write stronger.
When I asked my Facebook friends what inspires their creativity, almost everyone said nature was their main inspiration. Who isn’t inspired by a snow-capped mountain, a powerful thunderstorm (as I write this, one is rumbling its way toward us!), or the lapping of the waves upon the sand? I live on the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota, and I don’t have to look any farther than my backyard for inspiration. Don’t be afraid to get out in nature and find inspiration in the beauty of God’ creation.
For me, there is no greater inspiration than a unique bit of history. Almost every story I’ve written has been inspired by real people, places, and events. It’s true when they say that history is often better than fiction. But history isn’t limited to historical novels. Many people write contemporary stories inspired by historical people and events. If you’re looking for inspiration, read old newspapers, visit historic sites and museums, or just listen to an elderly neighbor who has a treasure trove of stories to tell.
Just like the quote I shared above, which inspired this blog post, quotes and sayings can inspire all our writing. If you need some inspiration, look up quotes about the theme of your story. It might be helpful to you, your heroine, or even your reader.
Have you ever met someone and thought: “That person would make a great character in a story!” Or, have you ever created a character and suddenly realize it’s inspired by a person you know, even when you didn’t consciously model your character after that person? In my story, The Gift of Twins, I modeled the twin boys from my own set of twin boys. I just asked myself: “How would my boys react if put in this situation?” and went from there. Relationships, whether positive or negative, can be great fodder for our writing. Of course, be careful not to offend; instead, use those relationships as a starting point to enrich your story.
Last, but certainly not least, is our faith. I think many of us would agree that our faith, especially as inspirational writers, plays a big part in what we write, how we write, and why we write. I’ve always believed writing is an act of worship. I feel closest to God when I’m telling a story. Use the experiences you’ve gained on your faith journey to enhance your story. You might be surprised when a reader emails and says that you wrote something they needed to hear. Suddenly, the trials you’ve endured have a more meaningful purpose.
These are just some of the ways I get inspiration for writing. I’d love to hear yours, whether it’s in this list or not.
Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing historical fiction inspired by real people, places, and events. You can find Gabrielle on her website, www.gabriellemeyer.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AuthorGabrielleMeyer. Her tenth story, Love’s Undoing, just released in The Backcountry Brides Novella Collection with Barbour.
About the Book:
Love on Colonial America’s Frontier
Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love?
You can find out more AND purchase the book by clicking HERE.
Gabrielle is giving away a copy of The Backcountry Brides to one commentor. US residents only. Just leave Gabrielle a comment telling her what inspires you!