how to get inspiration to write

Ways To Get Inspired For Your Next Novel


One of the biggest strengths a writer has is the ability to ideate. You may be simply sitting in a corner and staring into space when an idea floats by into your head, and soon enough, you’ll get the inspiration to write. The secret to every writer’s imagination is the ability to grasp that idea and combine it with the power of words. As a writer, your biggest fear is not being able to spruce up any interesting idea for a story, but the truth is, you don’t have to think too much. The world is your think tank; anything and everything that happens around you is worth writing about. If you’re a novice writer, knowing how to get inspiration to write is the first step on the road to becoming a successful author. If you were to create a list on how to get inspiration to write, it would run along endlessly, as new ways of inspiration keep popping up. Here is our list of tried and tested ways to get inspired for your next novel.

Step out

You’re a normal human being; you do normal things like live a normal life and have a normal routine. What sets you apart from the rest is your innate ability to perceive the things around you in a completely surrealistic manner. As mentioned earlier; a writer’s biggest gift is his/her power of imagination. So, head on out, take a retreat and let the inspiration float in.

  • Carry a pen and notepad: Make a habit of carrying a pen and notepad wherever you go. These are standard tools to use when inspiration hits. Every time you come across something that is worth telling a story about, jot it down in short points.
  • Keep your eyes peeled and ears tuned: Events that occur every day happen for a reason, and that reason has a story hidden deep within it. When you’re out and about, keep a close eye on things that happen around you and also try to eavesdrop on conversations slyly. Little things like these can serve up a big dose of inspiration for writing a story.
  • Take part in an activity: Your body and mind are connected in a deep psychological sense. Thus, moving your body activates your brain cells and enhances your creativity. From simple activities like participating in a book club to adrenaline pumpers like sports, these activities give you a unique dose of inspiration.
  • Travel: Travelling offers a magical spell of inspiration every writer needs. Experiencing a different atmosphere and a new culture, and learning a new language are important if you are hoping to write an adventure novel.  
  • Constantly change your surroundings: If moving to a whole other city or travelling abroad is tough, try moving around your city from one location to another. Start off with a park, and then move to a library followed by maybe, a shopping mall. Each location has a unique atmosphere that can serve up inspiration for different elements of your story.

Get personal

Ideas can stem from literally anywhere, even from the deep undiscovered layers of your mind. If you take the time to analyse who you are as a person, you may come up with brilliant ideas for a story or a character within the story.  Here are some of the best ways to get in touch with the inner you.

  • Meditate: Find a calm and quiet environment where you can sit by yourself, close your eyes and meditate. Meditation has a long-standing reputation for being one of the most aesthetically pleasing forms of exercise; the deeper you get into it, the more inspired you will be. 
  • Sleep: When your body has exhausted itself and decides to take a well-deserved forty winks, your mind can get set into motion. A good, sound sleep, coupled with some pleasantly imaginative dreams is exactly what you need to cook up great stories. 
  • Write what you feel: Are you going through mood swing? Take advantage of them! Writing has proven to be a great psychological healer. Jot down what you feel at the moment and it could end up being used as a plot point for your story. 
  • Doodle: One of the most creative ways to while away your time is to doodle! It can comprise of anything from randomly scribbling words to drawing freehand. This simple art of recreation can sow the seeds of the many characters and sub-plots you need for your novel.
  • Exercise: Sports are physically demanding and give you access to social interaction, but if you like a little solo action, it’s best to pump iron. Your creative nerves are going to be on high alert every time you stretch a muscle, so make good use of those pumped-up ideas.

Do loads of research

Writers live in a shared universe. Your ideas, no matter how amazing they may be, are never truly unique. But that is not such a bad thing. All you have to do is get inspired by an existing piece of fabulous written art and think up your own idea that borrows from it. The best thing to do is to conduct extensive research before you write your novel. Here are a couple of ways to do so.

  • Read a lot: Go back to the Kindergarten way of learning. It helps! Reading is, by far, one of the best ways to get inspired. If you have a particular genre in mind that you want to adopt, start reading books, short stories, and magazines that emphasize on that genre. You can even read books that talk about writing. Read our pick on seven quotes that will inspire you to write.
  • Follow other writers: Social media has opened a whole new world of opportunities for writers. Lots of successful authors have made extensive use of social media to connect with their audience. You can take a leaf out of their digital book by following their online portfolios. Read on about Indian authors who have a great social media presence.
  • Attend book launches: Want to get personal with your favourite authors? Attend events where a book signing or a book launch is being featured. It will also give you an idea on how to throw a really good launch party for your book.

Be determined

There may come times when the slightest bit of inspiration you get still won’t help conjure story ideas. If you’re truly determined to write a book, you’ll just have to ditch inspiration and work with desperation. Ironically, desperation can morph into levels of inspiration you never thought existed. Here’s how you can write great stories if determination is your creative juice.    

  • Just start: Starting trouble; that’s the biggest problem faced by many aspiring authors’ creative engines. The secret to breaking the writer’s block is to simply just start. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, when an idea strikes, set the ink in motion.
  • Set targets: Your creative juices can’t flow all the time, but when you sense it flowing, take full advantage of it. Here’s how famous thriller novelist Jeffrey Archer goes about his writing schedule: He spends two hours every day writing and re-writing drafts making it a point to finish 17 drafts in total before the day ends. Analyse your mind and body clock, and fix a writing schedule accordingly.
  • Consistency is key: The best authors take months or even years to complete a novel; this is because they follow a consistent approach to their writing habits. Every day something new may inspire you to write, and it could be for the novel you’re currently working on. So, be consistent and stick to your schedule, and you’ll find yourself getting better with every word.

Like we said earlier, inspiration to write a novel can come from anywhere, so you could try our proven methods or figure out newer ways. If you find other ways to get inspired, do let us know in the comments below. Gaining inspiration for a story idea is the first of many steps to becoming an author; you still need to learn how to write a novel and how to convert your first draft into a complete manuscript. Get in touch with Notion Press; a highly reputed self-publishing platforms that will help pave the way on your journey in becoming an international best-selling author.

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Aishwarya Mukundarajan

Aishwarya is an MBA graduate from Symbiosis International University, Pune. When asked what her hobbies are she points to an overflowing bookcase.

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  • Anvesha Sachan

    i do most of them but still cant explain whats in my head .
    Could you please tell me how to express things clearly.