Maybe you need inspiration for your next blog post or magazine essay. Maybe you need inspiration for your memoir or mystery novel or short story. You’re trying to figure out a topic to tackle. You’re trying to add a quirk to your character. You’re working through a plot twist. You’re trying to make sense of difficult dialogue. You’re stuck on a particular scene. You want to write something that will help someone else feel less alone. You simply want to write, but you’re not sure where to start. Or maybe you need inspiration for something else entirely.

Either way, thankfully, inspiration is everywhere. It lives in our day to day. It lives in the deli on the corner, and in the mall 30 miles away. It lives in the library and at the grocery line. It lives inside us. Below are other places you’ll find inspiration for whatever writing project you’re working on.

  • in whatever you’re currently struggling with
  • in the sky at night
  • in the thought that arises as you wake up
  • in the sensations you experience when you’re angry, afraid, alone, ecstatic, disappointed or delighted
  • in the bad meal you recently ate
  • in how someone holds their coffee cup, in how they say “coffee”
  • in the words you can’t say out loud
  • in the graffiti on the building across the street
  • in the picture you saw on Instagram
  • in the lyrics of your favorite song
  • in your mother’s handwriting, particularly the way she writes the letter “M”
  • in the kindest thing someone said to you today
  • in something you don’t understand
  • in the pain you can’t let go of
  • in the questions you can’t find answers to
  • in the colors of the flowers you see on your way to work
  • in the smell of fresh bread
  • in what you need to read, in what your best friend needs to read, in what you’d like your child to read right now or when she’s older
  • in a country that never existed
  • in the images that sneak into your dreams
  • in what you cry about
  • in what you laugh about
  • in that essay, quote, book, exhibit you can’t stop thinking about
  • in the stories you tell yourself about yourself
  • in the sounds of a home
  • in the things you get rid of 
  • in what you can’t have
  • in what makes you come alive
  • in a beautiful fabric
  • in what you feel shame about
  • in your definition of love, joy, fear, self-care, self-compassion, enchantment.

When you’re in need of inspiration, the best thing to do is to listen. Take notes of what you see, feel, hear and taste on a regular basis. Become an avid observer of your inner and outer lives. Because inspiration is rarely hiding. Some days, we just don’t see it.

Where do you find inspiration? 

Photo by Ivan Jevtic.