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  • L.M.Thornburg

Small Talk

Inspiration: Where Do I Find It

Sunset on my nightly neighborhood walk

Inspiration can be crucial to writing, but it can also be elusive. There are days where you aren't feeling particularly inspired but you still have to plug away at the keyboard. But the days when you are feeling inspired can be magical. So where can inspiration be found?

Authors can get their inspiration from anywhere or anything, or even anyone. We can find our inspiration from other books, movies, or songs. From our own experiences, or from someone else's.

I get a lot of inspiration when I'm moving, usually outside. And it doesn't hurt if I'm outside somewhere stunning. When I'm free of distractions and screens my brain usually takes off without any encouragement. All of my best writing ideas have come to me while I've been outside enjoying fresh air.

Arches National Park, Utah

My brain responds well to my body moving. You always hear about people having great ideas in the shower, but for me I have great ideas when I'm moving my legs. If I'm having a day where I'm not necessarily inspired and I get completely stuck and can't write any more, I will go for a walk and almost always it will jump start my brain. (Having a high energy dog helps get me out of the house on days when I'm feeling a little lazy. )

Ranger Falls, WA

Another source of inspiration to me is people-watching. I can sit down at a park and get all sorts of ideas for stories or conversations for something I'm writing. People-watching can also be helpful for character descriptions or mannerisms.

For example, I don't smoke, but if I wanted to write a character that smokes I could watch someone smoking to see how they hold their cigarette or how often they flick their ash. Sometimes seeing something instead of using our imaginations can make writing easier.

Where do you get your inspiration? Wherever you find it, take advantage of what works for you. Find your inspiration and then get to writing.


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