Writing in the Holiday Season: Part Five – Sources of Inspiration

shh_writer_at_work_christmas_tree_ornaments-ra6a590948e074b96978e06709a07601f_x7s2s_8byvr_512Even at Christmas, activities unrelated to writing can often unlock your inspiration. These include wrapping gifts, stringing lights, decorating the tree and house, or even more everyday tasks such as doing laundry, walking the dog, tidying the house, or washing the dishes after a family meal. It’s surprising how even the most mundane situations can launch you on the road to your next story. Ideas might also be generated from your own influences, either from childhood or later in life. Something you see in the run up to Christmas might remind you of incidents from previous festive seasons that can serve as inspiration.

If you drive to work, you probably don’t normally notice the same familiar sights that you pass each day, such as company names and logos, advertising billboards, road signs and so on. And yet these can also provide a starting point for your writing. Take a selection of the things that you see one morning, completely at random, then write them down once you get to work. From there your task is to create a short story, even if it’s only one page, including all of those items. You could also perhaps choose ten festive words that you encounter on the way to work and write a short piece using all of them at least once. And if your day wasn’t that interesting, turn that into a writing challenge too. Recall the most mind-numbing or irritating aspect of your day and write a short poem about it. It might not win any awards for content or style, but creating that poem about such a bland topic might be just what you need to get moving with your writing.

In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season an idea might come to you out of the blue. This could be an overheard conversation or a song on the radio, for example. No matter what the idea is, make a note of it, however insignificant it may seem at the time. It might be a character name that you like the sound of, even if you don’t have a story to put it in yet. It could a title for a novel. Keep notepads handy, or even use a voice recorder if you have ideas while you’re driving. You might have many ideas that may never become complete stories. However, you should always keep a record of them since you never know when you might get another piece of the puzzle.

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