Writer's block can be frustrating to say the least, but there are some simple ways to find inspiration for your next writing project that will have you quickly reaching for those writing materials before you forget them. Finding inspiration for your next writing project needn't be a chore, so here are some hints and tips to help you on your way.
1. Novel Ideas
Reading novels is a great way to find inspiration as many writers have been inspired by other novels they have read. For example, Stephanie Meyer cites Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Anne of Green Gables as books which inspired her writing of the Twilight books. So you never know, the inspiration for your next writing project may come from a novel or novels you have read. Reading novels can also help you learn about the craft. For example, you will learn about the ways in which to structure your novel, and character and plot development.
2. News Feed
There can be great inspiration in the world around us, so reading newspapers and watching the news can also give you ideas for your next writing project. The truth is often much stranger than fiction and many writers have been inspired by even the briefest of stories which have taken up only a few inches of column space in the newspaper. Also, it's a good idea to keep a file of newspaper clippings, as you may not be inspired by them now but that story may inspire you in the future.
3. TV Time
I don't usually condone too much TV watching but inspiration can actually come from watching the stories played out in films and TV series. You can use these stories you see to re-work your own and create your own variation on the common theme. Just think about turning things around and flipping them on their head.
4. Wonderful World
Traveling can really inspire. Meeting all those people, experiencing those different cultures and visiting beautiful places is wonderful for both the mind and soul. Use your travel experiences as description tools. For example, write down the sights, sounds and smells of the sea or the sights and sounds of the market in that exotic place you're visiting. You never know when you could use that in your next writing project. It will be so much more authentic because you will have written it in situ rather than trying to do it from memory.
5. It's Good to Talk
Talking to others and socializing is not only a great way to help with writing realistic dialogue, but you never know the stories you may hear that could form the basis for your next writing project. Sometimes people have the best stories to relate and the great thing is, they want to tell them - free story material! Listen to their stories and see them as possible writing projects that you could use in the future.
6. Family History
Look into your family history and speak to your elderly family members who also have interesting and often inspiring stories to tell. They have stories that if not told, are likely to disappear with them, which would be such a shame. Also, If you have the opportunity, look into your family tree and you will find intriguing and fascinating stories that about your family's past that you could use.
7. This is Your Life
Look at your life. It sounds cheesy but you have a story to tell about your own life too. Look at all your experiences and be sure to write them down. There could be an experience that one of your characters will go through at some point and it will be believable because you yourself will have lived it and will be able to write convincingly about it.
These are just a few of my tips for finding inspiration if you're suffering from that dreaded writer's block. What tips do you have for finding writing inspiration?