Mining for inspiration?

Sometimes it’s a general malaise that hits you. What to write?

Time to mine for inspiration. There are some websites that serve as a wonderful distraction so you can break through that writer’s block. Filled with news about history, curiosities, current events, the arts and more, these websites are skillfully curated and a refreshing change from the ordinary. Here are some of my favorites:

Austin Kleon — The newspaper blackout artist’s Friday email newsletter is a digest of his website and Tumblr posts; he curates a trove of art, music, film and literature and does it so well.

Matt Thomas — This Iowa City-based teacher and frequent New York Times writer compiles the articles that he finds of interest in the NYT each week in his blog and in a weekly email. If you don’t subscribe to the paper, this is the way to go.

The brain of the “Father of the Computer,” Charles Babbage, c. 1909. From the Public Domain Review.

Atlas Obscura — For the perennially curious, like us, this site chronicles rare, quirky and incredible people, places and things. It’s oh so fascinating, but be forewarned: only go there when you have time to spare.

Brain Pickings — More than just a quick read, Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings site is devoted to writing, reading, neuroscience, influential people and more. Her articles are beautifully written and incredibly researched. Spend some time here, away from the distractions of vacation pics, political diatribes and cat videos. Your brain cells will thank you.

Hyperallergic — A mostly art blog, filled with posts on exhibitions, architecture, events and the latest news, reviews and opinions. Food for thought, here, with the latest on the controversies and trends in the art world.

Public Domain Review — Wondrous illustrations and photos of old, most in the public domain. A fascinating resource for free art and video clips.

Want more inspiration? Check out for curious finds, clever tools and ways to kickstart your creativity.

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