Inspiration: Personal Experiences

I lost my inspiration for writing short stories in the middle of 2015. I had ideas, but when I tried to write them down, they became scrambled and lost. The words were bland and empty, and I found this lack of creativity difficult to overcome. This month, I am discussing inspiration and ways for writers to locate their creative side.

I have already examined writing groups, imagery, and music (which I believe is an absolutely fantastic source of inspiration). This week, we are going to talk about finding inspiration from within your personal experiences.

For this discussion, I will look at two examples: the first is word of mouth, the second memory. These are both examples of how I took the ideas I had in my head and turned them into better, more imaginative pieces of writing.

1 – Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is a great source of inspiration as you essentially have to fill in the gaps of the story and build a universe of your own around them. If you still feel some level of creativity hidden somewhere deep inside of you, then consider using word of mouth to take your writing to the next level.

I used word of mouth to help me write the short story Room 33. I was originally planning to write about a haunted house, but after struggling with the direction to take the story in I was reminded of a story someone at work told, and so I wrote Room 33 instead. It definitely helped me to focus on the original subject of a ghost, but it also allowed me to expand the story and develop it in a specific way.

2 – Memory

Your memory probably does not provide you with as much flexibility as word of mouth. If you’re feeling uninspired and uncreative, it can put a real kick back into your writing.

I used memory to help me write the short story Dreamcatcher. As a child, I would talk to the dreamcatcher at the end of my bed every night before I went to sleep, as I believed it prevented nightmares. In this instance, I wanted to write about bad dreams but could not create the correct atmosphere within my writing. Using my memory allowed me to focus more on the subject of bad dreams rather than the bad dreams themselves, and (hopefully) create a more convincing atmosphere.

If you want to read poetry inspired by memories, then check out my book, City of the World, which is based on my experiences in Vietnam. You can buy it direct from the publisher here or on Amazon. There are also some extracts on this blog.

This month’s theme is INSPIRATION. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of finding inspiration, then please post a link in the comments or email me on with the subject: Inspiration.


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