How To Find Inspiration To Write Your Next Story

Shutterstock / mateja stanojevic © woman rests head on table in defeat with typewriter in front of her on the desk

Many writers will experience a creative block and find it difficult to find inspiration to write.

Don’t feel downbeat or defeated. The words will come back to you and there are plenty of ways to get back on track.

Read widely

Reading makes you think, whether consciously or not. Your mind will percolate in the background and before you know it, an idea pops into your head.

If you read a lot already (as most writers do), then try reading something you wouldn’t normally pick up. Non-fiction, poetry, a newspaper, the ingredients on your cereal box! Something is bound to spark.

Write regularly

You’ve probably heard that writing is like exercising. If you go to the gym every week, you’ll build up stamina and strength. If you write every week, you’ll find your creative muscles start to flex.

Take a break

However, if you are writing regularly and you’re feeling uninspired, then maybe it’s time to take a step back. Only for a short time. You may have over-exercised and feeling burnt out won’t help anything.

Give yourself a mini break and come back to writing after a week. You’ll probably find that ideas start coming when you don’t want them back yet.

Keep a notebook

If ideas do start to buzz around your head, write them down quickly.

A notebook of your ideas, thoughts, passages, dialogue, is a great resource to have. Next time you’re feeling stuck, have a look through your book and see what jumps out at you.

Whether it sounds a silly starting point or not, you’ll kick yourself if you forget it . . .

Live life

Lockdown seemed like the perfect time to write – all that time locked away without distraction. But after a few months, with nowhere to go and no one to see, many writers found inspiration starting to wane.

If you aren’t getting out into the world, you’re missing out on a big source of inspiration.

I don’t mean that you need to travel the world, go bungee-jumping or camp in the wilderness. Sitting on a bus, a park bench or at a café can provide rich starting points for stories.

Find a writing buddy

Are there any writing groups near you? Talking to other writers can help. Writing is a lonely business most of the time, so it’s nice to bounce ideas off somebody else for a change.

If not a writing group, do you have a friend who likes to write? Start your own weekly get-together to talk about your writing and hold each other accountable.

Our weekly Writing Hour has a warm community of supportive writers who meet every Tuesday at 11 a.m. on Twitter. Why not join us?

Writing prompts

Finally, you may just need the right writing prompt to get you started. It’s a good way to get outside the box you might have found yourself trapped in.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.