One of the most challenging parts of being a writer is keeping things fresh. You always need new ideas and new things to write about.
Staying inspired can be tough.
Thankfully, you have access to unlimited writing inspiration when you look to your own life. Your life is full of inspiration, you just have to know how to uncover it.
Before you read the rest of this post, I highly recommend you grab a notebook and a pen. You’re going to start digging right now.
Here are 5 ways to mine your life for writing inspiration:
1) Write A Sentence A Day
You’ve heard of keeping a scrapbook or photo book of memories, right? Well this is a similar thing, only you write the memory down.
Grab a notebook or journal and put it by your bed. Then right before you go to sleep every night, write one to two sentences about your day. Be sure to add the date for reference purposes.
This is an opportunity for you to reflect on your day and keep track of key moments in your life.
Here are some ideas for what to write down:
- The best thing that happened to you that day
- The worst thing that happened
- What you learned
- Your favorite moment of the day
- A memory from that day you want to remember
- What you did that was fun
- Something that inspired you
Do this consistently for several months and when you look back you’ll have a collection of memories you can expand on for your writing.
2) Keep Track of Your “Most” Moments
You know your “most” moments? Everyone has them.
The most inspiring thing that’s ever happened to you. The most fun you’ve ever had. The most afraid you’ve ever been. The most happy. The most loved you’ve ever felt.
I can keep going, but I think you get my point. We all have “most” moments in our lives and these moments are ripe for writing inspiration.
Grab your notebook and write “My Most Moments” at the top of the page. Then make a list of all the “most” moments you can think of from your life.
Add to the list when another “most” moment happens or when something bumps another “most” moment from its spot on the list.
Refer back to this list anytime you need writing inspiration.
3) Recall the Transformations You’ve Made
If you’re alive, you’ve grown at some point in your life. Growth is the basis of making a transformation.
And transformations are perfect inspiration for your writing.
When you make a transformation, there’s always something you learned or got out of it, and that’s what makes good writing. There’s also a potential “how to” in there.
Get your notebook out, open to a new page and then divide the page into three columns, vertically.
At the top of the left column write, “Transformations I’ve made.” At the top of the middle column, write, “How I did it.” At the top of the right column, write, “What I learned.”
For example, did you lose 100 pounds? What specific steps did you take to do that? What did you learn from making that transformation? Write that all down in the designated columns.
Readers want to be inspired, entertained, educated or all three. Writing about a transformation you’ve made, how you did it and what you learned is a great way to deliver all three of those things.
4) List Out the Lessons You’ve Learned
Piggybacking off the transformations you’ve made, I’m sure there are all kinds of lessons you’ve learned over the course of your life from what you’ve experienced and been through. Well, that’s all writing inspiration too.
Grab your notebook again. Open to a new page and then draw a line down the center of the page, vertically.
At the top of the left column, write “Lessons I’ve Learned.” At the top of the right column, write “How I Learned This Lesson.”
Take some time to brainstorm the lessons you’ve learned, along with how you learned them.
For example, did you learn that “you have to stand up for yourself” after being in a relationship where you never stood up for yourself? Write that lesson in the left column and the specifics about “how you learned it” in the right column. Now you have a lesson along with a story you can write to inspire your reader.
I recommend spending some serious time on this one. We often forget how much we’ve learned in our lives and how we learned it. This is a simple way to keep track of that stuff and have a well of inspiration for your writing.
5) Think Back On Experiences You’ve Had
The final way to mine your life for writing inspiration is to think back on the things you’ve experienced. You’ve done things, been places and met people who are worth writing about.
Grab your notebook one more time. At the top of the page, write: “Experiences I’ve Had.” Then make a list of all the experiences you’ve had that stand out to you.
For example, maybe you met the love of your life while standing in line for coffee. Write that down. Maybe you traveled the world for a month and experienced a wide array of places and cultures. Write that down.
We often discount our experiences and consider them “normal” or “average” because we’re the ones experiencing them. Yet so many people have never done what you have, which means your experiences are worth writing about and sharing with others.
Whether you’re writing a blog post, a memoir, a personal essay or even fiction, mining your life for inspiration is the perfect way to always have something to write about.
Now that you have a few ideas on how to mine your life for writing inspiration, well, then, let’s get to it!
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