My Current Tools for Inspiration

I get inspiration constantly. It is all around us every day and you just have to know how to listen or see the ideas. As I’ve said in a previous post, I always have a notebook on me. I find this essential as some of the best ideas come from every day events.

I am always aware of what’s going on around me listen in on people’s conversations and yes, it sounds kind of creepy – but they don’t know you’re eavesdropping and you can get some amazing material from their conversations.

One of my favourite things to do at the moment is listening to conversations in my workplace and jot them down. I work in quite a diverse field and some unbelievable conversations reach my ears. I occasionally jot down some conversations I hear if they’re interesting or could work in a novel. Obviously, I don’t take down anything private or confidential, but I will write down the bones of a conversation and use them as dialogue.

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.

William Faulkner

My mind is always ticking over throughout the day and I make sure I keep an open mind and write any small idea that comes into my head. Sure, it’s often terrible or just weird, but I do use a lot of these ideas in different ways. Working in the environment I work in can be really useful for getting ideas, and if something pops into my head at work I make sure I write it down. I work in an area with a lot of conflict around, so it’s useful to utilize what I know and experience into my writing, and ideas often pop up due to conversations around me or just a comment a colleague makes.

It doesn’t hurt anyone to jot down ideas or basics of conversations – I’d never use people’s names or anything that could identify them. I just find that it’s more realistic and believable to use real-life experiences people have gone through and real conversations. Some conversations can be very relevant in my new novel I’m writing and it’s useful to use conversations like these.  

My university degree has helped me immensely when it comes to my getting ideas and using every day inspiration. I was taught in my degree to sit at cafes and just listen to people and it’s been advice I use all the time. Listening to conversations is how you find characterization and create dialogue, it’s believable because you’ve heard these conversations before.

Writing fantasy and fiction can be hard to make believable, because your characters are doing things that ordinary people don’t experience. I learnt in University that the dialogue and every day experiences your characters go through helps make a story more believable. Sure, fairies might be in your main character’s backyard but they just had a perfectly normal fight with their sibling so it feels more real.

I dream my painting and I paint my dream.

Vincent Willem van Gogh

If I have a weird dream or an interesting dream, which I’m getting a lot of at the moment, I write it down. Sometimes the weirdest dreams give us the best ideas – just look at how well Stephen King has done! Because I always want to jot down my dreams if I can remember then, I keep a notebook next to me on my bedside table. It helps to quickly write it down while it’s fresh, because my dreams tend to vanish as soon as I get out of bed.

Primarily, I focus on listening to the conversations around me at the moment to get inspiration and ideas. I’ve written some amazing dialogue because of the conversations of strangers and it’s really helped my writing ability. Being able to write about events or conversations that happen in my workplace really helps me to be inspired and write more believably.

Everyday life is essential to work into your writing. If you don’t live, what can you write about? Fantasy only takes you so far. You need to make the fantastical feel believable. Sometimes, making your writing believable is inserting the mundane every day conversations and life. It ties the fantasy into real life and becomes something believable and amazing to read.

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just begins
to live that day.

Emily Dickinson

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