Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Thirteen 171: Ways to Find Inspiration

Inspiration is all around us. Whether you are a writer, musician or artist, it can be found in everything we see, hear, smell, or do. Here are thirteen ways to find inspiration.

1. Read. Books, newspapers, magazines—all are good for inspiring ideas.
2. Talk to people. Listen to what they have to say. Make mental notes of stories for later.
3. Eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations (gain ear for dialogue).
4. Take a ride on a bus or train, and observe the people and surroundings.
5. Tune into radio, magazine and Television ads.
6. Travel—it doesn’t have to be a far-off destination, it can be a road trip to a nearby town, a museum or other site you’ve never been.
7. Take a walk, whether just around the block, or at a nearby park or nature preserve. Don’t forget your notebook and camera, and make sure you look up, down and all around.
8. People watch. Find an out-of-the-way corner at the food court, favorite cafĂ©, or other local event and observe the people around you—their mannerisms, the way they dress and talk.
9. Pay attention to dreams. Keep a notebook near the bed so you can write them down as soon as you wake.
10. Do something you’ve never done before. Kayak, hike, learn how to knit or do pottery.
11. Take a course in something that interests you, be it a one-day event or an entire semester.
12. Alter your routine. Take a different way home from work, walk or bike a different route than you normally do, change up home chores—it will wake up a bored mind dulled by the monotony of doing things the same way every day.
13. Look at every opportunity as a chance to learn.

LINKS TO OTHER THURSDAY THIRTEENS:(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)
Janice Seagraves * Brenda * Maddy Barone
Alice Audrey * Shelley Munro * Darla M Sands
Kimberly Menozzi * Adelle Laudan * CountryDew
Paige Tyler * Tatiana Caldwell

More Thursday Thirteen participants


Shelley Munro said...

Excellent suggestions. I do a lot of these, apart from the dream one. I don't seem to remember mine. That could be a good thing...

Darla M Sands said...

These are great suggestions. I do have some good dreams. Many of these sound a lot like "Artist's Way" exercises. Have you read it? It's got neat things to wake up the creative mind.

Anonymous said...

Those are great! I often enjoysitting quietly with my knitting in some public place and listen to other people's conversations. And movies will sometimes set a plot bunny loose.

Kimberly Menozzi said...

I'm happy to say I do all of these things! LOL! Is it any wonder I can't quit dreaming stuff up?

Thanks for sharing!

Happy TT!

Adelle Laudan said...

It's been awhile since I people watched. Always interesting to do so.
Great list. Happy T13!

Brenda ND said...

Good tips. You're right--there are ideas all around us. I like to people watch. :)

CountryDew said...

Great suggestions. And very timely for me. Thanks for sharing.

Paige Tyler said...

Those are all great! It's amazing where you can get ideas!


My TT is at

Heather said...

Shelley: Heh, lucky you. I go through vivid, crazy, active dream cycles that often leave me drained. There were a couple last week i would have prefered not to remember.

Darla: No, I have not read The Artist's Way. Some of these suggestions were actual assignments in a college writing class way back when, though.

Maddy: Listening to peoples' conversations can be interesting. It's amazing what some people talk about while under the illusion of privacy in a public forum. *Shakes head*

Heather said...

Kimberly: Your imagination obviously knows no bounds. *G*

Adelle: I'm fortunate to live in a city that offers a plethora of opportunities to people watch and, living in a college town, it can be quite interesting at times. lol

Heather said...

Brenda: Thank you, I'm glad you liked!

Anita: Glad you found the suggestions so timely. I hope they help in some small way!

Paige: Isn't it though? Inspiration can be found almost anywhere!

Alice Audrey said...

Great ideas. Don't forget to sleep on it. Mining my dreams has given me a lot of inspiration.

Tatiana Caldwell said...

This is a great post. Doing new things, watching people, reading and talking/listening to people and gossip and great sources of inspiration.

My dreams are frequent and vivid, and I do try to write them down once I wake up.

I'd also like to add that watching movies and TV shows (fictional, reality and educational) can also help get the creative juices flowing.

Heather said...

Alice: Yeah, I don't think anyone would want to be privy to my dreams, especially some of the ones I've had most recently. *shudder*

Tatiana: Yes, movies, television, plays and musicals can all be good sources of inspiration, as well as good ways to pick up on dialogue and mannerisms - hoe people react when they're happy, nervous, scared, sad, etc.

Jennifer Leeland said...

I once took a picture of a woman because her and her companions fascinated me. I never did figure out what their relationship was.

Janice said...

Great list. Road trip are always great for inspirations.

Happy TT.

Alice Audrey said...

I'm not sure what to do about the problems commenting on my site. All I can think is that you got caught in the spam filter. I fish people out, but there is so much spam hitting me these days that I can't keep up.