I was recently at a Manhattan bar with my lovely friend Amanda, and I noticed something comical happening across the room. I pointed it out to her and said something along the lines of “I could totally write a scene about that for my new book.” Then I whipped out my phone and sent myself a text message so I wouldn’t forget.
Amanda saw me do this and asked an interesting question: “You writers really do find inspiration everywhere. How do you do it?”
I explained that the trick is to pay attention. She’d witnessed the same humorous scene that I had, but it hadn’t occurred to her to make a note of it. Then again, she’s not writing a book, but if she wanted to, that moment presented an excellent way to begin.
Life is happening all around us all the time, and it’s filled with experiences that could greatly enrich our writing. A walk through the neighborhood could trigger an idea that helps round out a storyline. A stroll through the market could unleash a smell that makes a description jump off the page. People-watching at the airport could help you come up with the perfect title you’ve been struggling to find.
Once you open your eyes, inspiration can be everywhere. You just have to pay attention. And of course, write it down.
I jot down everything, even the idea for this blog post. After that scene in the bar, I thought this topic would be interesting to my readers, so I sent myself another text. I have a good imagination, but not a very good memory.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.