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March 22, 2007

Finding Inspiration

Filed under: The Writing Life — athomemom @ 5:35 am

Have you ever reached the point where your brain just can´t handle any more writing? It´s almost as if you have poured everything out of yourself onto the paper or computer screen and now (usually when a deadline is looming) you are empty.

What do you do for inspiration? I have a few things that I like to do on a regular basis in order to keep the juices flowing when the chips are down. Here they are, in no particular order:

– Watch tv news and write down interesting stories. These go into my inspiration box for when I am scrambling for ideas. I can just look up the information online and pop out an article. It is best if you write down all pertinent information, such as names, locations, dates etc. This makes it easier to find later!

– Read the newspaper. This works pretty much the same way as the above idea. You just cut out anything that looks remotely interesting, whether is has to do with coffee farming or a drop in the price of sugar. These can spike you back into writing mode later on when you start to research.

– Watch kids play. Even just hanging out at the local park can give you plenty of ideas. For example, watching a child tumble off a swing, you might decide to write an article on whether or not our jungle gyms are safe. I have the added advantage of having my own son, so I don´t actually have to go anywhere and he provides me with loads of inspiration!

– Cook some dinner. Maybe it will spark a food-related article on what to do with leftover turkey. The possibilities are endless! What about writing a how to repair your leaky sink or what to look for when buying a dishwasher?

– Skim new magazines. If you go down to your local Barnes and Noble, or whatever the equivelent is in your area, you can skim magazines for free. Take a notepad and you can jot down all kinds of interesting tidbits for use in later articles. This is also a good way to get new markets.

– Look around your house. What have you learned from the things you have? Do you know how to program your VCR? Did you have to repair that broken lamp yourself? What about teaching your dog a new trick? All these things can go into an article at some point!

Those are just a few of my favorite inspirations. Please feel free to share yours.


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