Published on 8th June, 2018

11 Unusual Sources for Writing Inspiration

We’re commonly told that ideas are everywhere, but it doesn’t always feel that way. Whether working a fiction or non-fiction project, every writer goes through periods where they can’t come up with anything new and exciting to write about. That’s when you need to actively search for inspiration, and to get you started, I’ve got several unusual sources of inspiration you can try.

Give yourself a new experience. Shake things up by doing something you’ve never done before. Try something simple like going to a movie by yourself, or aim really big and try skydiving or bungee jumping.

Talk to strangers. Strike up conversations with strangers and see what interesting things they have to say. Chat with people beside you at a coffee shop, when riding public transit, or while waiting in line somewhere.

Think about your previous failures. If you spend time reflecting on previous failures or mistakes you’ve made in your life, you’ll come up with plenty of insight and lessons worth sharing through your writing.

Focus on a different creative hobby. Honestly, sometimes you just need to take a break from writing. Spend time on your other creative hobbies to give the writing part of your brain a chance to relax and refresh.

Visit museums and art galleries. Take time to see the world from different perspectives. A history-laden anthropology exhibit or a bizarre modern art collection are bound to help you generate new ideas for your writing.

Check out trending hashtags on social media. Find out what the world is currently obsessed with to help brainstorm new article ideas or story plot lines.

Get in the water. There’s something about being submerged in water that gets your brain going. Take a long shower or bath, go for a swim, or get really fancy and head to your local float pool to quiet your senses and give your brain room to think.

Do something physically challenging. When you get active, your brain starts firing in new ways. Change your workout routine, go for a hike, or head out for a run to find inspiration.

Look up interesting stats and data. If you love crunching numbers, do an internet search for surveys and research papers with topics related to your project. Study the numbers and think about the people behind the numbers and what affects them.

Keep track of your dreams. Dreams are often wacky and weird and creative, so keep a journal beside your bed and jot down the details as soon as you wake up. There are countless stories of writers getting their ideas directly from a dream they had.

Listen to epic movie soundtracks. Let the music of legendary movies like Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, or Howl’s Moving Castle inspire you. Allow your mind wander over the course of the score and see what your imagination comes up with.

Robyn Petrik is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada, and specializes in writing blog posts and social media content for creative small businesses. Along with writing, she also spends time painting on her iPad, reading, hiking, and eating too much peanut butter. You can learn more about Robyn at and connect with her on Twitter.

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