Tesco Presents: Creative Inspiration for Your Writing

While I’m away from the computer for a writing conference and just generally taking a break from the blog in the next week, I’ve got some posts pre-scheduled.  I hope that you enjoy them and I will be back to reply to comments when I return.

For today, I’ve got an interesting guest post brought to you by Tesco.  Without further ado:

With creative writing courses, books on writing, and specialty magazines dedicated to the craft, there’s no shortage of advice on writing or finding inspiration. But as one who has leafed through the magazines, read the books, and even taken courses, here is the advice I’ve found most helpful when it comes to actually finding inspiration.

Create Time to Write Every Day

While walking through a world-class gallery or sitting in a Parisian cafe likely tugs at your heart-strings more than sitting at the kitchen table with your journal or computer, the kitchen table is the way forward (though do bring a notepad with you if you plan on visiting the Parisian cafe, or the gallery, as something interesting might occur to you).

Inspiration can come in a flash, however it is definitely more important to create the time and space every day for inspiration to happen, not just hoping genius pays you a visit on your European vacation.

Making time to write every day is sound advice. For those who have made writing their career, not just a side-project, their routine almost always involves writing every day, or nearly so, with a minimum word-count as a goal. Inspiration also involves graft: once you’ve written a few lines or paragraphs, there is room for creativity to take hold of the story or poem, even if what you started with is ultimately abandoned for something more absorbing. Writing leads to more writing.

Read Every Day, as Much as Possible

If anyone ever says, “I don’t read while I’m writing, I don’t want to be too influenced by any particular writer,” pat them on the head and do the opposite. It’s a misguided person who thinks he or she will be negatively influenced by John Steinbeck, Walt Whitman or some other master. We should all hope to be influenced by geniuses like these.

Just as you should make time to write every day, make time also to read every day, whether that’s on the train (a Kindle is the perfect companion for a daily commute on public transportation), for half an hour before bed, or during your lunch break.

A well-known writer once said that everything you need to know about writing can be found in great books. So read for both inspiration and instruction. While there is magic in great writing that cannot be fully understood, there is technique that can be. Observe how scenes are constructed, how a great writer builds tension, then releases it. Great books will inform your creative process and inspire you to write. Indeed, something about reading gives us the courage to begin writing again.


  1. I got the reading every day down, just need to set aside some daily writing time!

  2. Some great advice!