Write It Sideways

What Should I Write About? Finding Inspiration

A few weeks ago, I received two letters within twenty-four hours of one another, both of which expressed similar dilemmas.

Here are the letters, edited for length and clarity:

The first said:

When I am in the midst of pursuing other [careers], in the back of my mind is that little voice telling me, “You are meant to be a writer.” I do know that is what I want to do with my life. I hope to maybe write children’s books. But the only thing holding me back is the fact that I do not know what to write about. The fear of not knowing causes me to be too afraid to even pick up a pen. Do you have any advice?

The second said:

I’m going to my home town for the summer, and I would like to write a novel within the 3 months that I will be there. I know that I have a lot of inspiration, but the RIGHT idea never comes to me. I have so many ideas, but none make me feel like I have to write about them. What should I do?

On one hand, the question of “What should I write about,” is a difficult one to answer, but it’s also something a lot of aspiring writers face.

These two questions are very similar in nature, but they address different aspects of the writing process. My impression is:

  1. The first reader lacks inspiration;
  2. The second reader is unable to focus on which inspirations are story-worthy.

I’m going to respond to each of these aspects in separate posts.

I’ll even use some pictures my husband and I have taken so far during our trip home to Canada.

Finding Inspiration

Finding the inspiration to write hasn’t been a problem for me since I learned these strategies:

Of course, there are a thousand other ways to get inspired to write, none of which involve photos of my family’s vacation.

Check out these other articles for more ways to find ideas for your writing:

Come back on Monday to see the next installment of my response, which will cover how to reign-in all that inspiration, and focus on the ideas that can really work.

What works best for you when you want to get inspired to write? What doesn’t work?