The Muse can be a fickle kitty when it comes to writing. Some days they are dancing and playful and others they disappear without warning leaving writers lamenting their lack of good snacks. Where did all the popcorn go?
So how do we summon the muse and get inspired to begin something new? It is hard enough to build something completely original considering that throughout human history we have written more words than you can count. Every idea that has ever been thought has most likely been thought before by someone else. It is very difficult to come up with something that is truly unique. We have to build upon something old to make something new.
Since we have to build something new off of ideas that have come before, to be able to formulate a new idea we have to familiarize ourselves with old ones. This means immersing yourself in content that meshes with what you are trying to do. For writers, look at the content that is being put out there in the medium that you want to create for. What is the premise of each piece? Do any of them call to you? Is there any tickle in your loins?
If you find something of interest, something you have knowledge about, or most importantly something you can write about then that is a good start. Think about how you would structure it. How would your version of this stand out? Twist things around and make it your own. Maybe this will lead to new ideas that have nothing to do with the subject at hand, or another related subject that was ignored in the content you just absorbed.
Of course inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, so one of the most important parts of getting inspired is simply being open to it. Always look for new ideas. Anything old can be made new. Any song, idea, or social media posting can be transformed into something longer. A smudge on a street sign can be the inspiration for a murder/mystery. How did that smudge get there? What is the smudge? Could it be blood? This is also why I love and hate writing prompts. I constantly come up with new writing ideas, so I have a plethora to choose from. Writing prompts always give me up to five new writing ideas. They are vague ideas just begging to be made whole.
I end up having to pick and choose the ideas that most excite me for what I write. It is hard to find the time to write every single idea that you come up with. No one else wants to write your idea unless you are paying them to do it. It is hard work. It is important that writers pick the idea that most excites them. Those are the ideas that readers will enjoy most.
I am inspired by movies, TV, music, dreams, and almost anything else I come in contact with. So what inspires you? I would love to hear it in the comments!