by Deborah Nielsen
Not too different from trying to find good writing prompts, which is what I had started out to post about. But they seem to mesh. Blogging is writing, after all.
You can find writing prompts, or inspiration, almost anywhere. Sometimes right in front of your nose when you’re not looking.
Take drink cups, for instance. In support of adoption, Wendy’s, late last fall, had hand-drawn stories by adopted children along with a brief written introduction to the story board on their cups. Use that introduction as the beginning for a story, or use the theme, adoption, as the basis for a short story, essay, article, blog post or memoir. And it seems that every Christmas season, there’s a big flap over Starbuck’s annual holiday cups. Use the controversy for inspiration.
Look at your wall calendar. You know, the one with photos of horses or cute puppies or kittens; perhaps it also has inspirational quotes. Make up a story about that cute foal intently looking at those flowers she’s standing in. Know the breed of horse or dog in that photo? Contact the breed association or a nearby breeder to find an angle for a magazine article. Inspiration can be had each month.
Sticking with the calendar, do you notice all the well-known and not-so-well-known holidays listed during each month? In February, there’s Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Ash Wednesday, Groundhog Day, and maybe some others, depending on your calendar. You don’t need to confine your writing to all the sappy sentiments and romantic doings associated with that one day. Love and romance happen all year long. If you’re a history buff, find an event or an associate having to do with one of our presidents and write about that.
If you’re stuck for ideas, just look around you with an open mind. Who knows, ideas may be staring you in the face and you can’t see them. So next time you get a soda or coffee, take a look at the cup. If an idea takes hold, jot it down, then mull it over while you’re sipping that low-fat latte or cherry vanilla Coke.
How do you find writing inspiration?