Skip to main content

3 Exercises For Tapping Inspiration

Sometimes writers need a little inspirational nudge. Try these exercises to help get you started.

1. Let people be your prompts. The next time you and a friend or spouse are out dining or waiting to board a plane, work up an imaginary profile of two or three of the persons nearby (being careful, of course, not to stare), based on their clothing, mannerisms or bits of conversation you overhear. What are their livelihoods, favorite activities, fears, obsessions? Imagine them engaged in a crisis.

2. What inspires you to write? Keep a running list of anything that propels you to put words on paper—whether in the form of a letter, a journal entry, the opening lines of a poem or short story. From time to time, choose one of these jottings and build on it until you have a complete draft.

3. Play a favorite piece of music and write down anything that comes to mind. Don’t pause to find the right word or to make your sentences perfect; just let the music work its magic on your imagination.

Want more inspiration? Consider:
Pocket Muse II, Endless Inspiration

Also:
Become a Writer's Digest VIP:
Get a 1-year pass to WritersMarket.com, a 1-year subscription to Writer's Digest magazine and 10% off all WritersDigestShop.com orders!Click here to join.

Image placeholder title
Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 633

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a warm up poem.

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Every so often writers ask if they should pitch different to agents vs. editors. This post answers that question and provides some extra help on how to successfully pitch both.

Urban Legend

Urban Legend

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, feature an urban legend in your story.

Grose, 12:6

Jessica Grose: On the Unsustainability of Parenting

Opinion writer and author Jessica Grose discusses the complicated subject of modern motherhood in her new nonfiction book, Screaming on the Inside.

Elizabeth Shick: On Research Through Immersion

Elizabeth Shick: On Research Through Immersion

Award-winning novelist Elizabeth Shick discusses the complete rewrite she devoted to her debut novel, The Golden Land.

6 Habits Writers Can Learn From Athletes

6 Habits Writers Can Learn From Athletes

Author and athlete Henriette Lazaridis shares six tips and habits that writers can learn from athletes.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Last Chance to Nominate Your Favorite Writing Websites, Our Historical Fiction Virtual Conference, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce the deadline to nominate your favorite writing websites, our Historical Fiction Virtual Conference, and more!

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

From having reverence for the original to making it your own, author Nikki Payne shares four tips for writing a modern retelling.

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use faint vs. feint in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples. Plus, we answer whether it's "faint of heart" or "feint of heart."