Minna-san, konnichi wa!
In this post, I want to discuss with you the various ways that you can gain inspiration for your writing as I have based these sources of inspiration on my own experiences of what has worked for me.
Inspiration can come in a variety of ways and what works for some people may not work for others. So just know that what works for me may not necessarily work for you, but it might help you to understand that inspiration can come from anywhere and that we all have our own way of becoming inspired.
So with that being said, let’s move on to today’s post. Ikou!
Inspiration Through Vivid Dreaming
Let me start by saying that when I was little, I dreamt that I was running through a forest with the ground completely covered in leaves. I was being chased by the Headless Horseman and this was before I even watched Sleepy Hollow, which I loved by the way. I fell to the ground, and when I tried getting up, I felt something underneath the leaves. I looked down and dead bodies covered the forest grounds.
This served as an inspiration for a novel that I will eventually work on after The Foreshadowed Series and its part of the Foreshadowed world. It amazes me how much dreams can spark book ideas. So yes, I am definitely someone who gets inspired by dreams or more specifically nightmares, which form the basis for my paranormal mystery novel.
Have any bizarre or thought-provoking dreams? Maybe something fantastical? Write about it in a novel. Keep a pen and paper at your bedside or have your phone at the ready to record notes and story ideas that you captured in your dreams.
Inspiration Through Living Your Ordinary Life
I was sitting in Biology class one day about a year or two ago, listening to the lecture when my professor switched to the next slide on the projector, and he started talking about Charles Darwin, Natural Selection, and the Theory of Evolution. And I thought to myself (when I really should be paying attention to the lecture), what would happen if Charles Darwin discovered a species that has never been discovered before. And then I thought “Hey, this should be a book.”
And even though I lost my train of thought during the evolution portion of biology, which was my favorite part to learn for obvious reasons (at least we got to take home the PDF version of the projector slides), I still managed to get a B+. I was in the high 89 percent, so I was so close to getting an A.
Anyways, back to the story. The inspiration from Charles Darwin’s five-year expedition aboard the HMS Beagle and my fascination with mermaids served as inspiration and helped to form the basis of my third writing project The Serenia Chronicles, which is based on mermaid mythology and one of my MCs is inspired by Charles Darwin, and his five-year expedition.
I also have a fascination with the paranormal, hence being a paranormal mystery writer. I used to watch haunting documentaries with my mom when I was younger, but ever since my mom moved to Japan, I stopped watching them because I got too scared to continue, and that’s why I love incorporating paranormal into my writing. Because it’s what scares me, it would make my story more intense, and I know people personally who had experiences with the paranormal, and I feel that it allows me to incorporate a sense of realism into my story.
I know that some people can be skeptical when it comes to the paranormal but I am not a too skeptical person when it comes to paranormal elements, such as ghosts and psychics, which are featured in my current WIP.
So yes, get inspired by your own interests and fascinations. Maybe someone told you something interesting that happened to them. Now, I’m not saying to go out and copy a person’s life experiences, unless that person wants you to tell their life’s story. But it can serve as an inspiration to incorporate certain realism in your story.
Inspiration Through Going Out and Experiencing New Things
Of course, going out and experiencing life does help to gain inspiration while writing, rather than sitting inside, being cooped up, and staring at the screen for hours trying to figure out what to write about, especially if you’re a young writer. It can be hard to write about what you know or gain inspiration from inside your home. Go out, go for a walk, hang out with friends, meet new people, and observe others.
Now do not, I repeat Do Not go out and do something shady or dangerous for the sake of writing about it. Don’t do that. Be safe, be comfortable, and do not compromise your integrity for the purpose of having something to write about. Make sure your experiences come organically.
Maybe you can even go to the museum, or an art gallery if you’ve never been. Or do some traveling if you’ve never traveled before. Or if you are an introvert or just don’t like going out or you prefer to stay at home, then that’s fine. If you’ve never experienced something before, then research about it. If you’ve never been somewhere before, then search for images of it.
Also, when I mention “to observe people” around you, I don’t mean to stalk them either, or to stare at a particular person for an uncomfortably long time, but you can sit in a coffee shop, or a library, provided your local coffee shop or library are opened and you can observe the interactions of patrons.
Inspiration Through Staying Home and Putting on Earbuds
The points that I made above are sources that I’ve utilized when I gain inspiration for my writing and being 31, I’ve experienced a lot. I’ve experienced love, I’ve experienced heartbreak, and I’ve even experienced abusive relationships. I’ve experienced the ups and downs of what life has to offer. And it has made me a stronger person, which I can utilize and incorporate that same sense of strength within my protagonist.
Of course, there is still so much I can experience and so much I can learn, but I am also at that point when I don’t have to go out and experience as much, though I would love to travel more. But now I’m learning new things by researching them and taking online courses.
With that being said, one avenue that I found useful when gaining inspiration whether it’s for a spark of an idea or for helping me to defeat that sagging middle syndrome and finish outlining my novel is music.
Music is by far one of my favorite ways of gaining inspiration for my writing, and it’s a safe option for all those introverts out there. Music can help to inspire scenes, characters, or the overall theme of my novel, and for that, I have created three main types of playlists for writing, which are my novel playlist, character playlist, and an overall writing playlist. When it comes to novel and character playlists, I will further break these playlists down to individual characters and novels.
Because music has played an integral part in helping me defeat that pesky writer’s block and gain an initial spark for storytelling, I have tried out Spotify for myself to see if it was for me before fully committing to it. Now I use Spotify to customize my own writing, novel, and character playlists, and no this post is not sponsored by Spotify, I just find it useful when it comes to the prepping and writing process of my novel, and it’s a good excuse for listening to more music since I love listening to music. I am constantly putting in my earbuds when I go out.
Some of my favorite genres of music include pop, rock, soft rock, alternative, Jpop, and Kpop.
I will be releasing my playlists soon, either next month or the following month. I wanted to save the playlist just for myself while I finish outlining Foreshadowed by Darkness. I already have Act I and Act III outlined and fleshed out and I have the major plot points figured out as well. I’m just trying to fill in the rest of the storyline and search for plot holes to keep my story consistent. Hopefully, I will give a progress update next week before the start of Camp NaNo.
But first, before I go, here are teasers of Vivian Knightly’s Character Playlist. I have included captions underneath the songs of why I chose these specific songs.
So there you have it, ways to get inspired when writing.
If you want to stay up-to-date on new posts including when I share my novel, character, and writing playlists, then be sure to follow me or any of my social media links below.
I will be back with another post next Friday at 10:30 AM PST. So stay tuned!!!
What inspires your writing? Let me know in the comments below! 👇
Until next time, ja mata ne,