Tuesday Tips for Writers: Sources of Inspiration

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Tuesday Tips for Writers
Tags: , ,

Whether you’ve been writing for a long time already, or you want to kick-start your writing career, writers always need constant sources of inspiration. Oftentimes, we have to look to others to create that “aha!” moment when the ideas just start flowing. So here are some tips on where to look to when the inspiration well starts to run dry

Get your groove on with music – Whether you  fly on the breeze of classical or head bang to rock, choose the genre and the songs that get your creative juices flowing. Just don’t choose music that might distract you from writing (or make you fall asleep!)




Dream a little dream – Some great works were born out of dreams. So if you’re one of those persons who dreams vividly, better keep a pen and paper near your bed so that you write them down immediately when you wake up, or you might just forget them

Del.icio.usThis popular bookmarking site is a constant hodge podge of information about any topic under the sun. Just be careful in sifting through them because a lot of sites can throw you off track

Admire God’s creation – Staring at nature is one of the most best ways to clear your head and just admire the handiwork of God. So take a break and walk down a tree-lined path, or view a sunrise/sunset or even go to a mini-zoo and marvel at how cute little animals are

People-watching – Go to a public place like a mall or a coffee shop and just observe the people who come and go. More often than not, you’ll find fascinating and amusing characters that can inspire you. Just don’t look too stalkerish or you might get into trouble

Do something out of the ordinary – You don’t like watching movies? Go and step inside a cinema. You don’t exercise? Go run a few laps. You hate approaching strangers? Go strike up a random conversation with someone who looks friendly enough. Stepping out of your comfort zone brings out bursts of inspiration

Open other books – Since you’re actually trying to write, this means you love reading right? And if you don’t, then it’s about time that you crack open a book. Choose books that you want to emulate and see what these writers have done successfully (or unsuccessfully too). Don’t plagiarize of course, but just draw inspiration from them

Read the Bible – It might sound corny to some, but really, what other book can you find that has everything in it? Romance, war, tragedy, philosophy, comedy, history, adventure, parables – you name it, the Bible’s got it!

It’s your turn! What inspires you to write? We’ll choose the 3 best answers and they will win P100 Gift Certificates each!

  1. marc daniel rivera says:

    the best tip i can give for the begginers is to read inspirational and christian books w/c will strengthen your self-confidence and last is to read and meditate the word of god w/c will strengthen your faith and will give courage and fuel to your soul!GOD BLESS!

  2. The post was helpful. I’ve been doing most of the tips. I’d like to add my own:

    Ideas from Church Sermons
    I’ve had several ideas for short stories fom my pastor’s sermons. It wasn’t even a theme or plot — it was just a simple phrase. For instance, he mentioned the words “last resort”. It got me thinking during his preaching (Lord forgive me for having a wandering mind!), what if there was an actual last resort on earth. Perhaps, a far away island that wasn’t polluted by radiation from nuclear war or contaminated with a virus that would wipe out all of humanity. And the inhabitants or resort workers in that island would have to defend that “last resort” from outsiders / contaminated people who will try to take that “last resort” from them. From a simple phrase in a sermon, I’ve been given an idea for a Jerry Bruckheimer or Michael Bay flick (wish ko lang!).

    Inspiration from A Song’s Lyrics
    Every time I write, I always have a long playlist of songs (usually of the same genre or decade like Eighties, New Wave, Bossa Nova, Chill Out, Gothic, Nineties, Reggae, Celtic, etc.) The song gets me going and keeps me awake. But sometimes, the song itself gives you a new idea for a story. For instance, the song “Call Me” by Blondie gave me an idea for a short story for a heroine who works at a call center that provides alibis for two-timing people. The song’s lyrics basically tells and propels the story, with phrases like “Call me on the line / Call me any, anytime /You can call me any day or night /Emotions come, I don’t know why / Cover up love’s albi”. I don’t know if blondie intended their song for a call center romance novel but it did give me an idea.

    Alternate Stories / Endings of TV Shows or Movies
    Recently, I watched a DVD episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. I wasn’t satisfied with the way the episode ended so I conjured my own. I ended up doing more than conceptualize an ending — I eventually thought of an entirely new story for a romance novel (which I might never ever write because I suck at romance novel writing!).

    I hope these personal experiences and tips help both writers and readers!

    • omflit says:

      Thanks Jonnie for sharing these tips! Congratulations, you won a P100 GC which you can claim at the nearest OMF Lit Bookshop to you. Please let us know which bookshop you want to claim it at, so we can forward it there

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