Writer's block. A writer's worst enemy or an illusion? Probably both, depending on your mood.
What if I told you the culprit might not be writer's block but lack of story inspiration. You sat down in front of your computer and began to type. Nothing comes out. You follow the tips of writing, even foolishly, until something finally emerges.
What if I told you this tired scenario could be a thing of the past. The truth is, it pays, literally, to figure out the disconnect. Neglecting to do so results in a slow down in productivity and getting new books out to your readers. I am going to explain how simple it is to find inspiration for writing your next story...even if you aren't looking for it.
It's In The Little Things
You are a writer, and chances are you are an avid reader. They go hand in, so I would bet pretty big money on the fact. Nevertheless, your writing fantasies have probably been classic tales. The stories are either mandatory readings for students or significant stories that impressed the reader regardless of the point in life they picked it up. The bottom line is, you have always envisioned a writer's life filled with stories.
But 45 minutes have passed, and you are still staring at a screen with at most 15 words. Trust me that is not the roadmap to success.
The truth is you are a writer, and the capability is always there. The need for speed can be helped, but first, let's get the most critical part tackled: the story.
Some people can pull a story idea from mid-air. Others have experienced enough in life to "write a book," and they do just that.
There are others, quite like a few, that struggle with getting the wheels churning. That's ok. Every dog has its day, right?
Right, but let's get to the root of finding inspiration for writing.
Where do you find story inspiration?
To be honest, everywhere. The inspiration is in the little things all around. You could out for a stroll in the park, and there's something about the way that the light hits a small broken piece of glass. What if it wasn't a piece of broken glass at all, yet a large diamond valuing a massive sum. How could that change your main character's life?
Or, like author Latoya Washington, it could be a day of shopping at Ross that ignites an idea, "I wrote about the experience in Broken Vessels: Letters to Abba. In 2020, I was focused on buying mustard-colored throw pillows, and I found one pair but not a match. I kept looking for months and finally found the perfect match, but at that moment, it was a revelatory moment about my tendency to be impatient. As soon as I left the store, I immediately went home to write. It pushed me to write a full chapter in my first book, and many people enjoy the story of the throw pillows".
Tune out the noise
It's great to get out and take in the surroundings for the chance to find inspiration for writing, but sometimes the need to be surrounded isn't necessary. You are an artist. Your craft depends on creating the things that only you can see and breathe life into it.
Troubled with the writing?
Take some time to tune out the distractions and turn inward. Metaphors aside- tap into your internal inspiration source: your imagination.
Bookshelves are home to tales of lands that do not physically exist and stories of encouragement based on events you have never personally experienced but can provide motivation.
All because the author had a vision inside that they fleshed out for your enjoyment.
Whenever in doubt, do as the Royals
I'm 99.6% sure that is not the exact way that quote is typically said, but it still makes the point. Finding inspiration for writing a story can be challenging. I am confident that any writer, novice, or New York Times Best-selling author with eight books under their pen has dealt with the mighty blow of story inspiration.
But- challenging does not equate to impossible. BookFox laid out precisely 50 famous authors who have overcome the obstacle of finding inspiration for writing and just how they did it.
Finding inspiration for a story can be challenging but never impossible. The world around you is living and breathing inspiration, literally. Just take a moment and quiet your distractions when the ambiance is providing less inspiration and more chaos. And remember, when all else fails, do as those before you have done, and get the story written.
Join Author Latoya Washington and The Sassy Writer on April 7th at 7:30 pm via Facebook Live. We are discussing more story inspiration and would love to hear your best ideas.