Some writers are overwhelmed with inspiration and can’t find enough time to bring every brilliant idea to fruition. The rest of us are always on the lookout for compelling writing ideas to add to our inspiration archives.
But writing ideas are not always easy to come by.
So we constantly search for inspiration that will keep us happily tapping away on our keyboards.
Some writing ideas are right in front of us, but if we’re not paying attention, we won’t see them. Others can be found with a little effort. Turns out, awesome writing ideas are everywhere.
Where to Find Awesome Writing Ideas
The list below is nothing new — just some reminders that in your everyday life, there are endless sources from which you can draw writing inspiration.
- Your journal or notebook: How often do you go through and look at all the notes and ideas you’ve jotted down over the years? There are probably a few good ones that are worth exploring.
- People: Friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and complete strangers can provide personality traits and personal experiences that you can explore in your writing.
- Nature: There is a long tradition of writers drawing from nature as the subject of poems or settings of stories. From the deserts to the seas to the stars, nature is rich with inspiration.
- Books and movies: We’ve all read books and seen movies that were clearly spawned from other books and movies. Maybe a minor character catches your eye, and you turn them into a protagonist in a story of your own. Maybe a memorable setting sparks a poem, or a beautifully written sentence provides the foundation for an essay. Pay attention to what influences you. Use it wisely.
- News and media: You’ll find everything from characters for your stories to subjects for your poems and essays in the news and scattered throughout our cluttered media landscape. Most of all, you can find some juicy plots out there in the media.
- Music and poetry: Reading poetry and listening to music relaxes your mind and opens it to countless creative possibilities. I think it’s because music and poetry are slightly obscure — your mind has to fill in the blanks and provide the imagery, and that imagery can become the foundation for a new piece of writing.
- History: History is populated with interesting characters and packed with momentous events ranging from horrific to hopeful. But there are quiet moments in history, too. Any snapshot from humanity’s past could provide a treasure trove of awesome writing ideas.
- Writing exercises and prompts: That’s what they’re for — generating writing ideas. You can buy books of them, search them out online, or get them right here at Writing Forward.
- Observation: I have found that cultivating observation skills is the single best source of writing ideas. If you don’t pay attention to your surroundings, you could miss out on some inspiration. From the sounds of your neighborhood to the scenes speeding past as you drive down the highway, simple observations of everyday life could provide your next big writing idea.
- Dreams: Before you fall asleep, ask yourself to come up with some new writing ideas. Get some books on dreams (lucid dreaming, for example), write down your dreams as soon as you wake up, and before you know it, your dreams will become the reality of your writing world.
- Science and technology: New inventions, technologies of the future, and the wonders of science are fair game for authors. Whether you write sci-fi or contemporary fiction, the world of science and technology can inform your work.
- Images: Images are everywhere—on social media, billboards, advertisements, and even on your phone. Run a Google image search or peruse your personal photos and see if you can find an image that sparks your next writing idea.
Where Do You Get Your Writing Ideas?
Do you have any favorite places to look for writing ideas? Where do you get your inspiration? Have any of the suggestions above informed your writing projects? What has been the most awesome writing idea that you ever had? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing.