Sources of Inspiration for Writing

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Inspiration is a very random concept, it comes in many forms and at times when you least expect it. This article will cover some of these different types of inspiration.


The people around you inspire stories, even if they don’t mean to. It could be your colleague, a friend, a lover, a muse, your mother or aunt. This could be a conversation you have with someone you know or even conversations you may overhear on your morning commute or in your local Starbucks. Some writers like to sit in public places and write down conversations they hear. This is a great way to learn how to write believable and natural dialogue in your own stores. Realistic dialogue is one of the most important elements to writing engaging stories.

Random locations you visit

I was walking through Amsterdam with my girlfriend the other day and we saw a baby doll playing a saxophone in a store window. This became the main antagonist for a future short story. I sat down and wrote the first 1000 words later that day. Visual locations are a great way of opening up your imagination. Taking long walks in nature or the city you live has many other benefits as well.

Your work

I am a risk analyst at Nike, which is not a very creative job. Even though this is the case, the work sometimes inspires stories, or in this case, names for my characters for future short stories. I was working on some data sheets a few days ago consisting of a lot of names within the company. I realized some of the names sounded quite cool so I wrote them down in Evernote, to be used for future characters in my stories. If you do this, make sure you never use their exact name (first and last name in combination). Gather a list of first and last names that stick out while working and scramble them randomly. This should give you a lot of options for good names. Think of all the names of the people you email while working.

Your Previous Story

The reason why most well established writers tell you to write on a daily basis is simple. It feeds the creative part of your brain, which inspires more creative ideas. Even if the current short story you are working on feels off, keep going. You may come up with great ideas for the next story in the process. This goes for novel writing as well, some parts of chapters may be difficult to write, keep going. Writing inspires more writing.

I’d love to hear what has inspired you to write, leave a comment.

Catch ya later.


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