September 25, 2022

Sources to find the inspiration to write a book

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Struggling to find inspiration for your next book? Well, you aren’t alone. Almost every writer passes through the dreaded writer’s block phase, where it seems like there’s a huge log stopping your creative juices from flowing. 

So what do you do when feeling uninspired? Do you hire an essay writer to do the job for you? Or do you get drunk and let the alcohol lead you? (yes, Herman Koch and Ernest Hemingway actually follow this rule). 

To help you get out of your creative rut, we’ve come up with a list of the best ways to find inspiration for writing a book. So read on. 

Traveling

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Traveling isn’t just a fun activity you try out once a year when you can get off work. It can also be a source of inspiration for your next book. Sometimes, traveling to a new place might be just what you need to kick in your creativity. 

Even famous authors like James Salter agree that moving along the open road can make you see life from a new perspective. So, pack your bags and take a trip somewhere new. However, when we say “new,” we don’t necessarily mean that you have to travel to a secluded mountain in Utah. 

It could be a new town or city a few miles away. Just absorb your new surroundings and let them inspire you. 

A major overload

Michael Chabon, the famous author of Wonder Boys, had spent over four and a half years on his first draft of the book. After writing over 600 pages, he got frustrated and started afresh. Sounds drastic, doesn’t it? Well, he did achieve results (as we can see from the masterpiece). 

If you’re struggling to move past a particular paragraph or chapter, delete it. Start afresh and see what you can bring to life. Sometimes, your drafts might be the major log blocking your flow of inspiration. When you delete them and start over, you’ll have a fresh stream of thoughts and ideas. Yes, in some cases, the shock of deleting your entire work can activate your willpower to write. 

Familiar places

Sometimes, the familiar places and memories we have can serve as sources of inspiration. Think of your childhood home. Does it make you think of your mum’s homemade cookies and casserole? What memories do the familiar places stir up in you? 

Bill Clegg got the inspiration for his novel ‘Did You Ever Have a Family?’ by remembering his hometown. He looked at it with “different eyes,” and ideas just started flowing. 

If you’re feeling uninspired to write, visit your hometown or childhood home and take a little tour. By soaking up the familiar past, you could trigger memories and get the inspiration you need to write a book. 

Movies and documentaries 

Have you ever watched a movie or documentary and thought to yourself: “I wish I could write my essay so it looks this amazing“? Well, we all have. 

Watching movies and documentaries about real-life people can give you the much-needed push to write an entire book. For instance, watching a crime documentary can inspire you to write a novel about a serial killer who keeps getting away with murders and a detective bent on catching him. 

However, try as much as possible not to copy the plot of the movie or documentary. The point of watching them is to get a barrage of fresh ideas and concepts that will look and sound good in your book. 

Little moments of your life

Sometimes, the little moments in your life can serve as sources of inspiration for your next book. Look around you and capture the seemingly minor events. It could be your baby taking its first step, for example. This tiny scene could inspire you to write a novel about a child who never learned to walk. 

Jennifer Egan, the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, got the inspiration for her book from an insignificant moment. She was in the bathroom and found a wallet exposed in a woman’s handbag. She got anxious that someone was going to steal it and her worry over a wallet sparked the idea for the book. She started wondering who would steal a random wallet and why they’d do that. When she came up with the answers, your guess is as good as ours – she wrote the book. 

Final Thoughts 

Finding inspiration for your next book can be very frustrating, especially if you’re experiencing writer’s block for the first time. Fortunately, these few sources listed above can help to kickstart your creative juices. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should get you started on the path to inspiration. Remember: if you can’t seem to get past a chapter, borrow a leaf from Michael Chabon and delete the entire draft. 

Happy writing! 

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