Finding Inspiration For Writing – Be Observant

Written by geordiejimb

Topics: Articles

Meercat, NamibiaIf there is one thing that good writers need above all else, I bet its inspiration.  If you aren’t ‘into’ the article you are working on you probably won’t like it very much at the end.  To that end, all of us at some point have probably suffered from some sort of writers block, or some sort of lethargy at the thought of writing another article.

Feeling inspired towards writing, feeling the joy in doing something you love, makes all the difference.  It lends energy to your work, and enthusiasm that keeps you motivated until the task is complete, and one of the best ways to encourage inspiration is simply to be observant.

No matter why you are writing, as a book author, a newspaper columnist, a blogger, or internet marketer – it doesn’t matter, we all need inspiration, and in every case we can take that inspiration by simply watching other people, watching what is going on in the world around, how we interact with the world and how it interacts with us in various circumstances.

Be observant and take notes, you will be amazed how inspired you feel to write, how many fresh ideas you have, and how many topics you want to write about.

‘You see, but you do not observe.’
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (Sherlock Holmes) A Scandal in Bohemia, 1892
British mystery author & physician (1859 – 1930)


Here are some ways in which you can, and really should, be observant:

Ask questions, be nosy, seek answers and details, and observe the responses you get.

Openly talk to your market or typical audience, listen to their replies, find out what they need that you can provide.

Secretly immerse yourself in your target market or audience, and just listen to what people say.  People say different things when they know you are there to find out what they think than they will say when they think you are in the same boat as they are.  Get both sides of the story.

Observe your own behavior – how you handle situations and react to events can be the subject of an article or blog post, other people might struggle in the same situation, they will want ideas on what to do.  Look at the things you struggle with, and how you solve your problems.  Write about what you suffered and how you overcame it.

Go read that week’s magazine covers at your local newsagent or book store, see what the publishing world is talking about, you can walk away with several ideas just from doing this once a week.

Read inspiring quotations – be they smart, funny, educational, interesting, thought-provoking, we see quotes all over the place, from marketing slogans to social media status updates, and sometimes we hunt them out specifically to help inspire us.  Search for quotes along the theme you are writing about and see those ideas start to flow.

People Watch – one of my favorite pastimes is to just sit someplace busy and watch the people going about their daily lives.  Sit in a coffee shop and watch how people choose what to drink, what they do while they drink, how long they stay.  Sit outside in a park or public square, watch people meeting friends, passing time, or whatever else they might choose to do.

Find someplace your intended market or audience hang out and just pay attention, observe what they do and how they do it, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn, and you’ll find no end of inspiration to write about from the experience.

Lastly, take notes! Don’t expect to remember every brilliant idea off the top of your head, you simply won’t.  Take a notepad, a smart phone, something to record with or take a photo.  Carry a way to remind you of the idea you had at the time.

Where do you find inspiration for your writing?  Tell me in the comments below.