I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Monday, April 11, 2011

My A-Z of Writing Tips: Inspiration

Today I have a question for you...

Where does your writing inspiration come from?

Is it from your family, your job, things you see on the street? Or your imagination? Do your stories have their basis in reality, or in flights of fantasy? Do you follow the instructions when you build, or do you free-build?

Or is your writing cooked from a mixture of both?

I can’t wait to find out!

37 comments:

Jenni Merritt said...

Oh man, sometimes I really wish I knew where I got something... then at least my mind would make sense to me!

I tend to grab from conversations, people watching... or, more recently, a novel idea from watching one of my son's morning cartoons. Oh yes. :)

Julie Hedlund said...

My kids mostly, but also my life experience. Things I've always wondered about. Nature. Travel. Food. Almost anything can be an inspiration if I let it.

Arlee Bird said...

Everywhere! A lot comes from dreams and news stories. Much also comes from my memories or stories I've heard from friends and relatives. I tend to have a pretty active imagination that draws stories from many places.


Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Elisabeth said...

My writing comes from inside my head, Rachel and from what I see around me, what I remember, what I smell, taste and hear, and from my within imagination. It slips unbidden through the nerve pathways of my brain and mind into my finger tips and through the keyboard onto the screen into words, ideas and images. An amazing process.

Pearson Report said...

Hi Rachael,

I'm a free-builder. When my daughter was little we had "lego-mania" nights.
I only bought the big buckets of Lego - no pre-paks - it was a free for all. Our imaginations knew no boundaries.

Greatest place on earth is inside my head!

In fairness - everything inspires me - no stone remains unturned on my watch!

Fun post!
Jenny

mooderino said...

My ideas come from being undisturbed and left in silence. Unfortunately don't get much of either.

mood
Moody Writing

Grandpa said...

In no particular order:

1. My trees
2. Sunrises and sunsets
3. The weather
4. My children and grandchildren
5. YOU and other wonderful bloggers
6. YOU and other great writers
7. My animals
8. My dreams and nightmares (normally as a result of thinking about 7.)

Normally cooked.

Grandpa
Life on The Farm

Wendy G. Ewurum said...

Mostly from creative people, here on blogger land, books, things happening around me. Something may spark an idea in me to write but by the time i get into it the writing looks nothing like whatever sparked it off.

Cally Jackson said...

My inspiration comes from everywhere- snippets of conversation, songs, experiences, but mostly, seemingly from nowhere. Like this afternoon, when I was walking to the bus, not even thinking about my book and suddenly the answer to a plot issue struck me. Both I and Rebecca at Sticky Note Stories have blogged about muses recently - you might be interested in checking those posts out. :-)

li said...

Mostly people watching and dreams. I often wake up with a nearly complete story or vignette in my mind.

Crystal said...

My inspiration can come from the weirdest places - it could be a line in a song/story/poem or something like that, it could be something from my real life, it could be just a character or scene that pops into my head. I think that's the most fun part - I never know where an idea's going to come from, but they do come! :-)

GigglesandGuns said...

Everyday thing that lead me to the absurd or murder or both.
Life is great!
MaryV

Cathy said...

The ideas seem to come from everywhere and everyone, it's amazing the things I'll suddenly remember that might work in a story.

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

A lot of different things inspire but one thing I cna always turn to when I have a block: MUSIC.

TL Conway said...

Ohh... interesting question! I would say my imagination and other books that I've read have really helped pull my story out of my mind and out on to paper.

San said...

I receive my inspiration from life and tend to write and vlog about it as it happens. That seems to be going well. :)

I am so happy to have "met" you, Rachael, and was inspired to dedicate my (unofficial) I to you today.

Cheers, you've got a new stalk-eeeks...follower and how darn lucky am I?!!!

Jess said...

You know, this sounds bad...but I have no idea half the time. I had a book idea come directly from a brother-in-law quote once, but I honestly can't remember where the other ideas came from :)

Ann said...

Mine is a mixture of both. I can pull some pretty unbelievable occurrences from my life. Some would say....too strange to be true...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Most of my inspiration comes from my children and mu hubby, who has an amazingly creative imagination! :-)

M.J. Fifield said...

I find inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. Television, movies, random people on the street- wherever- but music probably inspires me the most.

Name: Luana Krause said...

Just about everything inspires me. TV, movies, animals, kids, people, nature, art, music, books...

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

You look very familiar. Did you ever live in Utah?
BTW I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
~Deirdra

Anne K. Albert said...

For me it just happens...like breathing. (Although I do have asthma, and sometimes my inspiration comes in spurts!) ;)

nutschell said...

new follower here! glad to have found your blog through the a-z. My inspiration comes from all the things around me. Sometimes the ticking of the clock will inspire a poem, other times, a passing person will inspire a story.
nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Susan S said...

I'm a pantser when it comes to writing, but my inspiration comes from a variety of sources. Mostly, I find inspiration in things I read, though my subjects are usually only tangentially related to the subjects I'm reading about. For example, I found the basis for a historical novel in one line from a book on the history of gunpowder.

Yet another good reason for writers to read (as if we need an excuse!)

Found you through the A to Z Challenge, and I've added you to my Google reader - looking forward to seeing more!

Laura said...

music, things I find on the street and beach, my insane family... you guys...
Excited to hear about your Crusade from Arlee - looking forward to learning more
Lx

Eve said...

Hi Rach! These are great tips..I'm doing this challenge and I found you through that. It's a lot of fun..your posts are really helpful! please visit me sometime!

Kerri Cuev said...

Random things give me inspiration. My last burst of creativity came from a shampoo bottle, seriously lol.

J.L. Campbell said...

People and scenarios pop out at me.

My stories are mainly flights for fancy with some unbelievable bits of reality thrown in.

Recipes are good, but I find the best ones are those where I add a dash of this or that to make something even better.

Cool questions, Rach.

Lynda R Young said...

For me it comes from anywhere and everywhere. Usually from the least expected places.

J. L. Jackson said...

I grab inspiration from everything I see. It amazes me when it strikes, sometimes in the least likely of places.

New follower here, look forward to your posts.

Jemi Fraser said...

Instructions???? Nah - takes all the fun out of it! :)

Inspiration comes from just about everywhere in my life!

Karen Lange said...

For me, inspiration is everywhere. I have to keep pen and paper handy at all times for I never know when it will hit me. :)

Kelly M. Olsen said...

Most of my writing inspiration comes from experiences in my life, peppered with a little speculation, imagination, research, and curiosity. Love your blog, btw...I'm now a follower.

~Rasz~ said...

My I post today was Inspiration also. I find it everywhere, from everything, and usually so much I have to find the time to stop and use it! Found you today through Arlee's post. So glad to be here.

BTW, my stories are based on life experiences, I never follow instructions (aren't instructions just picture guidelines?) and I can be all over the place doing too many things all at once.

You've got a great blog and this was a great post. Will be follower.

Cynthia said...

My inspiration can come from everything from my personal experiences to something I read in the news to some random observation I make about a stranger. Things that make me happy and things that piss me off also work their way into "inspiring" some sort of writing.

StupidGirl said...

Hey, I just did a blog post about this very subject - about how inspiration is everywhere, you just have to see it.
I hope that it's okay to leave a link to it here....

http://generationwhynot-stupidgirl.blogspot.com/2011/03/breathing-in-word-of-week.html

I just love to watch and listen to the world around me - and it sparks off ideas.

Thanks

SG

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