5 Unexpected Places to Find Inspiration
We’ve all had those days where our mind just spews out brilliant, Pulitzer-esque ideas that just beg to be written. And we bask in the felicity of not having to wrack our brains for inspiration and will power. It’s just pure writer bliss. But then we’ve had more days where we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to write about and no motivation in sight. We just sit there, huddled in a dark corner, begging our minds to just come up with something. We’re lost, lonely and completely out of it.
But the funny thing about it is, is that we really don’t have to be. We live in a world that’s overflowing with literary stimuli. And our brains are completely capable of tapping those stimuli and molding them into written masterpieces. We’re just not looking into it hard enough—And it’s not even THAT hard to find.
In fact, from where you are right now, you have 5 areas you can find a work of art in.
1. Your PAST – Unless you’ve lived under a rock your whole life, you must’ve had at least SOME exciting things happen to you. You can write about any one of them. Relate them to a central theme. Chop them up and write them in an epistolary manner. You have your whole life to write about. If you’ve learned anything from your experiences, you should try to share them with others. And no, it’s not being conceited and self-indulgent. It’s simply allowing the world to see that you, as a writer, are still a human being and still go through life like they do. Writing about how you fell down and got back up would not only be a form of release for you, but it would also be an opportunity for you to inspire and encourage others.
2. Your SURROUNDINGS – Take five minutes of your time and look around. What do you see? A couple fighting over what to buy? Then write about marriage or love or romance. Is your child playing with his favorite toy? Then write about family or childhood or joy. Are you completely alone? Then write about loneliness or solitude or independence. It’s all a matter of perception. You just have to use your imagination and create a new world based on the one you live in at the moment. Grab scenes from your surroundings and make up your own reason as to why it ended that way. Hypothesize why your mailman always smiles when he gives you your letter. Give reasons as to why the same birds chirp the same song on the oak tree in your backyard. Be intrigued with the most un-intriguing things in your life. Your world is actually as mundane as you want it to be.
3. Your PHONE – Do not be afraid to take inspiration from the already inspired. Chances are, their inspired-ness is infectious. Go through your phone’s messages. Find inspiring messages and write about how you feel toward them—or better yet, write about the same idea. Deepen them even more. Ground them with your real-life experiences (see number 1). Convince other people that there is something beyond those few wise words. Some people might have already arrived at the same conclusion, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of expanding an idea. The act of simplifying complex ideas can spell the difference between changing a few smart minds to impacting countless passionate hearts.
4. Your BOOKS – A book in itself is an adventure. Open one and be inspired. That’s all you need to do.
5. Your DREAMS – Contrary to writing down your past experiences and sharing what you’ve learned from them, using your future plans and aspirations as inspirations would mean allowing yourself to create a written model of your perfect happily ever after. You are the protagonist of this story, and you get to experience the joy of seeing your wildest dreams “come to life”. You get to redo mistakes you’ve made in the past, and finally be able to correct them. You get to experience that love you’ve been dying to have. You allow people to see what you would have written in your journal. You open up a new side of you. Your dreaming, scheming and believing you. And who knows? Someday it might just come true.
So it’s NEVER an excuse to not be inspired enough to write. Sure, it may not be the best article there ever was, but who cares? Nothing ever is. Just don’t tell yourself that you can’t do it and that you have nothing to write about. Because the saddest day a man will ever have in his life is when he convinces himself that his life’s story is not worth reading.