Where do you find your inspiration to write?

Inspiration, comes, unexpectedly!

My current life focus is finding my muse in everyday life. Writer’s block is crushing. Coming up with ideas for story writing can sometimes feel impossible, like everything that was ever worth saying, has been said, ad nauseam. The creative vanishes from your creative writing and you end up staring at an endlessly pulsing black line on a white screen; taunting you, daring you to put a single word, hay, a single letter, on the screen.

Did you ever watch the movie Polyanna, the original 1960’s version? There is a fantastic scene where the minister is on the pulpit, looming over his constituents, hair akimbo. In a booming voice he calls down to them – “Death, comes Unexpectedly!”

I love the way Polyanna’s mouth drops open. That’s how I feel about that startling rush when something unexpected in your life bursts through with new creative writing ideas, and sometimes, it breaks through the writer’s block that has been suffocating you, and you realise the world is full of tiny moments of inspiration.

Leave the house, let that curser pulse to an empty room

Sometimes you have to leave your writers cave and get out into life, I’m not talking about anything profound here, just going for a walk, spend an afternoon with kids, yours or random strangers, it’s all good, just do something. This weekend I went to the Melbourne Museum with my family and we took in an Imax documentary called “Beautiful Planet”. Aside from being a lovely 40 minute film that brought tears to my eyes, and filled me with actual awe, it inspired an idea. It’s not a fully formed idea, it has no place in a particular story (yet), it’s just hanging out in my brain, percolating like a good slow drip coffee.

We live on a spaceship called Earth. That spaceship has an actual force field protecting it, and that forcefield is stunning.

A view of the Aurora Australis as taken by NASA’s IMAGE satellite on Jan. 7, 2005

The magnetic love between the Aurora Australis and the Aurora Borealis.

There is a magnetic field that wraps around our home spaceship as it hurtles through the cosmos. Without it, our planet would look just like Mars, our water ripped away by the solar winds, leaving our blue and green planet desolate, a barren wasteland that other intelligent life looks at through telescopes and wonders if there was ever once life on such a dead planet.

Aurora and the Pacific Northwest by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station

What you seen when you look at the aurora’s, is the effect of that magnetic field at work, repelling the solar winds and storms.

Can you feel the spark of an idea kindling yet?

Novel writing, short story writing, poetry, it’s all about taking a twinkle of an idea and running with it. It’s about creating characters and allowing them to experience something new. To that, I believe, you as a writer need to experience new things too. Our lives are full of endless moments of new experiences, conflicts, joys, all the things that make a character interesting. Find the serendipitous inspirations in your life and note them down. Be open to inspiration from unexpected locations.


Tracey Ambrose
"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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