It’s not that I don’t love writing, because believe me, I do. It’s just that some days I come home absolutely deflated, and not in the mood to write. So I turn to my inspirational muses (in no particular order).
I remember about a year ago, before I’d even considered starting a personal blog, that I found an extremely thought-provoking post from Thought Catalog. It was about snuggling. The reason why it stuck with me is because it was very descriptive. I found myself looking through my internet history trying to find it a couple of months later, for motivation to write a descriptive paper in English class. And I looked back again right before I wrote my first post for the blog. Thought Catalog was the first blog I ever followed, and the sheer variety of topics that it blogs about astounds me. Of course, it’s made up of a diversity of writers, but that just means that there’s a section for every sort of reader. I find myself looking a lot to this blog when I’m looking for topics to write about, and styles to adapt and take notice of. Its minimalist design and breadth of articles makes it my go-to source for inspiration.
2. TED talks
We know of TED talks. I watched my first TED talk sometime in junior high, but at the time, I was too immature to understand why these internet lectures were such an idea to marvel at. I recently started watching them again, after downloading the free app on my phone. Like Thought Catalog, there is a genre for every sort of person looking for motivation. If you are looking to be motivated (as I constantly am) then there is a huge selection of 18-minute max videos for you to watch. The people who deliver these talks also vary. Famous icons such as Steve Jobs have spoken, as well as kids as young as 12 years old. The messages that they bring across come in all sizes and shapes; I especially love that these people speak from experience. There have been people who have started unconventional fashion magazines, created Facebook apps before they went through puberty, and improved the Invisible Children situation in Africa before they graduated college. Look to TED talks for real people delivering substantial messages.
3. 642 Things to Write About
I would describe this book as less inspirational, and more thought-provoking if anything. It is a combination of short story and reflection prompts to trigger some writing mechanism in the brain so that you produce beautiful words that coherently inspire and change the lives of people. Nope, just kidding. It’s just a wonderful little book of interesting questions and starting points from which a wonderful blog post can spring forth.
4. Daily Post
Can’t forget about Daily Post, can we not? Daily Post comes out with Daily Prompts and Weekly Writing Challenges that I try to engage in as much as possible. As much as I’d like to write every day and answer all of their Daily Prompts, time constraints limit what I am able to post on this blog. Moreover, sometimes I’m not comfortable posting my opinion on a certain prompt, so I’ll reserve that for my personal archives. They also present Weekly Photo Challenges (that I’ve never done, but I often get inspiration from).
5. My Daily Life
Alright, getting a little bit vague and broad here, so I’ll start subpointing.
Subpoint A: Friends who give me prompt ideas
I’ve always encouraged (on my blog and in person) anyone who expressed interest in my blog to send me writing prompts, and I have received a number! And I’ve definitely taken a lot of them into consideration and published posts based on their prompt ideas, because it’s great to have an outside source of inspiration that comes from a peer.
Subpoint B: Things that happen in my community, and my reactions to them
Sometimes, ripples are made in the pond that is my school, my family, my friends, or the debate community, that make me quite reflective. At times, it might be something as global as the Sandy Hook shootings or the presidential election, and it might be as local as a school event. I’ll mull over my opinions and determine my standpoint on an issue. If appropriate to post on the blog, I will certainly do so. Otherwise, it gets ranted about and discussed and analyzed through my private writing.
Subpoint C: Things that I’ve always known
Some opinions you have to make within a matter of hours, since you’ve never been challenged to defend them before. We might avoid answering certain questions unless forced to simply because we don’t want to confront them. But other times, there are innate beliefs. Some beliefs I’ve held since my childhood, and have never wavered from. Others have certainly morphed and evolved through the years in response to my experiences, and I think this subpoint might be my most common inspirational source for my blog posts, strangely enough. Since my blog seems to currently lack focus, perhaps I’ll start to zoom in on the concept of “my opinion of life, among other things” (but that just seems equally as vague).
6. Remixes of other Blog Posts
I subscribe to a number of other blogs. Some are similar to mine, others are completely different. A couple are other teenage girls struggling (some succeeding, others not) to maintain a blog in the tough years of high school and beyond. Others are older, wiser, more experienced people. The commonality between these two types of blogs that I follow is that they all blog about ideas relevant to myself. They present forth to me ideas and opinions on concepts that I would never have considered before! I might take the subject of some blog posts and adapt them for my own blog! I might even go so far as to write about a tumblr post I see (it has happened before, believe me).
7. Ongoing List of Topics
Can I tell you a story? The night before I started this blog, I was trying to come up with interesting ideas to write about. I sat in my room looking around at random objects, and inspiration came to me. From glances at the closet door sprung forth my post about my closet; my eyes wavered on my IPod, and thus, my post about music and dubstep appreciation was born. Since that night, I found myself going through my day consciously observing my surroundings for writing inspiration, and I’m proud to say that I have an ongoing list of writing topics available when I want to post. Some have been waiting since the blog, others have been written and re-written, waiting for the best version to emerge. And still, many get added each and every day, in the instances where thought-provoking ideas come to me.
All of these sources of inspiration are relevant to what matters to me. They portray my opinions, they allow me to exercise my creative writing muscle, and they allow me to expand on all sorts of writing genres.
Inspiration for this post comes partially from here :)