Write a book: Finding inspiration

Overcome first step of writing a book by finding inspiration from around you; rethink old concepts in new light

Columnist+would+have+her+notebook+in+her+hands+and+write+exactly+what+was+going+through+her+head+at+that+moment.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE

Columnist would have her notebook in her hands and write exactly what was going through her head at that moment.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

Growing up, I always wanted to draw so I could channel my creative energy to something fun. So, I tried. I sucked at it and ended up deciding to get into creative writing instead. 

If you can’t draw for your life, writing might be something you could try. I am currently working on a book and would love to give you some tips to get into one of your own.

It can be hard to find inspiration for a new book. Sometimes you don’t know where to start, and sometimes you just don’t know what to write about at all. 

I started my book when the first lockdown began and drew inspiration from the pandemic. I am now almost finished with my first draft of a book about what the world looks like 50 years after COVID-19.

My book is about a girl in her late teens who is forced to stay inside during her whole upbringing because of the pandemic. I found my inspiration from being stuck inside my own house for so long. 

Taking aspects of my personality and life is extremely helpful when looking for inspiration because I can write about something I have firsthand experience with. 

Once I got farther into my book, I had to describe certain details about grass and trees from the perspective of someone who has never seen those things before.

I would step outside in reality and stare at a tree or stand on grass and describe how it looked or felt. I tried my best to see it like I was looking at it for the first time. 

I would have my notebook in my hands and write down exactly what was going through my head at that moment. It allowed me to get everything out of my head and onto paper without my preconceptions getting in the way.

Not only do I use my life and surroundings as inspiration for my book, but I also look up images and write about how that image makes me feel.

Sometimes it is an image of something inside, and sometimes it’s an image of an empty forest. I found a picture of a vandalized hallway that gave off a creepy vibe. I ended up integrating it into my book by describing a hallway leading to a secret hideout.  

Writing prompts are also helpful. I found a writing prompt online a few years ago that said to write about the government banning physical touch completely. I tried to start a short story when I found the prompt but forgot about it for a few years. 

I ended up using that prompt for the book I am writing now. Even though I did not use exactly what the prompt said, I don’t think I would be this far into my book if I hadn’t seen it in middle school.

Speed writing is helpful as well. You sit down, set a timer for however long you want — I usually do 15 or 20 minutes — and you write without stopping until the timer is up. 

I do this a lot when I don’t have a whole lot of inspiration for writing. Similar to going outside and describing the trees and grass, it helps me get my thoughts from my head onto paper. 

I tend to find my inspiration in random places as well. Sometimes it’s something in a store, or sometimes I see a dog at a park and write about it. 

Whatever it is, inspiration can be anywhere if you are looking in the right places.