Inspiration can strike in the most surprising ways. Here are ten top tips to find it in places you might not expect.
Ever started to drift off and your mind has fired up, or woken from a particularly vivid dream with an idea? Without proper preparation, a pen and paper at hand, those ideas can be lost entirely. So set a notepad by the alarm clock and never miss a moment of inspiration.
Top Tip: Post-it notes stuck to household objects are a good way to remember great ideas.
In The Bathroom
The average person spends at least an hour and forty minutes per week on the toilet. Make it count by reflecting on your day.
Top Tip: 75% of people use their phone while on the loo. A book on grammar or fun facts can be a much more useful distraction.
On The Journey To Work
Got a long commute? Use it! The further you travel, the more opportunity for observations. What are your fellow passengers doing? How would your protagonist behave in this situation?
Top Tip: Try taking the long way home. It’ll give you a new perspective, break up the monotony and you might find inspiration.
On Your Lunch Break
You spend a lot of your daily life at work. You might find it uninspiring place but look closer. Talk to people. Some of the best ideas are those freely shared in everyday conversation.
Top Tip: Learning how people talk helps with characterisation and dialogue. Talk to your colleagues and listen to what they have to say. You might just make some new friends and even earn a promotion too!
Drinks With Friends
Going out for a drink is a good way of relaxing the mind. Interacting with friends makes us think. Bounce ideas off other people and seek their some opinions on your projects.
Top Tip: Test the Homophily Hypothesis. Do you spend a lot of time with the same sort of people? Try meeting people with very different perspectives. New ways of seeing the world are infectious.
Walking In Nature
The natural world has always inspired people. Take in the environment and try to describe it to yourself. Just the peacefulness alone can quieten the distracting thoughts and allow ideas to flow.
Top Tip: A note-taking app on your phone is the perfect place for your observations, and you can use the microphone to record ambient noises to transport you back to that place. Meditate using them.
New environments and new people mean new ideas. So take a break!
Top Tip: humans attach emotions and memories to objects, so pick up a pebble from the beach. Keep a train ticket. Use them as writing prompts.
When looking for inspiration, there’s no place better than a space dedicated to creativity. Art makes us ask new questions and find new answers.
Top Tip: Don’t read the blurb attached to a piece of art. What does it say to you? There’s no right and wrong, and you might just find a new perspective.
When Feeling Emotional
Taking time to focus and reflect on your feelings is the cheapest form of therapy and the best way of reaching out to others.
Top Tip: Describe an emotional response you’ve had using absolutely no cliches for a fantastic way to refine your prose.
‘If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing’ – Joyce Carol Oates
If you think you’re only a writer when perched in front of a laptop, you’re wrong. A writer is always working.
Top Tip: While doing chores, you can listen to audiobooks. Nothing gets a place spotless quicker than a tense crime thriller.
Of course, there’s more than just ten places to find your inspiration, these are just a few. Got any more great ideas? Let us know in the comments below. And good luck!
Lowri is a freelance writer and burlesque performer based on the Isle of Anglesey. Although sometimes she gets to write about exciting topics like designer children’s wear (FORTY QUID FOR A HAT?!), more often than not it’s DIY – not to brag, but she has become quite the expert on Combi boilers and laminate flooring.
You can follow Lowri on her personal blog here.