Inspiration can come in any form, it all depends on what you want to write.
Personally, I use nature for my inspiration. I read about strange insects or undersea creatures, or I look at pictures of odd landscapes or beautiful plant life. I try to relate these things to how humans might behave with each other. Or I imagine how a human might react in one of these environments or with one of these creatures. It doesn’t mean I’ll write about whatever insect or tree inspires me, often it just sparks an idea or a feeling I want to capture.
But I’m inspired by these things because I personally find enjoyment and excitement in learning about animals and nature. That might not match with what you want to write. If you’re writing a romance story, for example, you might be more inspired by reading stories of love from other cultures, or other points in history, or by reading about the most extreme things someone has done for love. When you encounter something that sparks your heart, you’ll know–you’ll want to capture what you just felt, and make other people feel it when they read your story. What is it about life or art that excites you?
If you don’t yet have an idea of what you want to write, then my suggestion is to read a wide variety of books. (You don’t even have to finish the whole book.) Read classics, read new books, read all the genres–even non fiction. Read far and wide until something makes you think ‘I wish I’d written this!’ Try to find out what it is about that book that grabbed you. Chase down that feeling, and make it your own.
Once you’ve got a feeling or idea you want to capture, you can start searching for other things that give you that feeling, or relate to that idea, and use them in your story. To find those things, you’ll have to keep reading! Read news, read history, read science, read articles and Wikipedia pages in every which direction about anything that draws your attention. All those ideas and facts and fictions and feelings are nuggets that might cause a spark of inspiration. Never stop collecting them! Any nugget that you don’t use today will still be swirling around in your head years from now, and you never know when it might come in handy…
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, strange and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. We’re currently open for short story and poetry submissions for our second print issue. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.