Writing Inspiration

How to Get Inspired

If you want to write, let stories find you where you are.

Michelle Richmond
The Caffeinated Writer
7 min readApr 7, 2023


A man in Parc Monceau

A few years ago I was living in Paris, trying to write but not getting anywhere. Ever since my family’s move from California to France for work, I had felt unsettled, distracted, and overwhelmed. Setting up house, making doctors’ appointments in a country where you have to bring your own needles to the doctor’s office, and dealing with French bureaucracy had thrown me for a loop.

During the second week of November, I got an email from an editor friend in Alabama, reminding me that my story for a new anthology he was editing was due in two weeks. I had completely forgotten the due date. The story had to be unpublished, so I couldn’t just dig something up from the archives. I’ve been writing stories for more than half of my life. I’d been teaching writing for more than twenty years. How hard could it be to just buckle down and do the thing I’ve done for so long?

Parc Monceau, our neighborhood park during the Paris years, photo by Michelle Richmond

Pretty hard, actually. For several days, I ruminated over what the subject of my story would be. I couldn’t get a grip on it. I didn’t have a character, and I didn’t have a…