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Finding Inspiration When Writing a Book

June 21, 2023 (Last Updated June 21, 2023)

Michael Dull

Every writer has been there before. You have a great idea for your story, book, or essay and start writing right away. Then, you work on it tirelessly for a week, a few months, maybe even a year. At some point, we all lose a little bit of that spark we originally had when the idea was fresh. It’s important to realize that this is a common issue to deal with as a writer, and you shouldn’t get discouraged when these problems arise. Below we discuss some ways to find inspiration when writing a book.


Ensure you stay inspired:

Make sure you set aside a schedule for your writing and stick to it. By getting yourself into the habit of writing during a specific time, you can make sure you stay inspired to write. Sometimes walking away, even though you have more ideas, can set yourself up for the next day’s session. 


Set goals for yourself and celebrate when you meet them:

As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Give yourself a reasonable word or page count for your writing sessions. By building your work slowly, piece by piece, you give yourself a sense of fulfillment and progress that will give you motivation to return the next day. Once you finish a chapter, a few poems, or conclude the essay, reward yourself. Take yourself out to a favorite restaurant you’ve been craving. Go to the store and buy that book you’ve been itching to read. Take that break you promised yourself and go on a walk at the park.


Draw inspiration from other writers:

As with all creative endeavors, there’s nothing wrong with embracing your influences. Draw inspiration from a writer’s work that influenced you to begin the project. Re-read important works that are related to your topic to make sure your writing is well-informed. Discovering something related to your work you didn’t know can give you a new avenue to explore.

You can also take inspiration from other writers directly. Attending writing conferences or joining a local writing group can help you get valuable feedback. They can refer you to helpful sources or even read your work and give advice. Writing is a solitary journey, so being in the company of fellow writers reminds us that we’re not alone. Every writer goes through similar struggles in finding inspiration. Collaborating with fellow writers, all at different levels of experience, can help us stay motivated.


Build a structure and stick to it:

Building a structure for your work helps when deciding the next step in your writing. Staying inspired is hard when you have no plan for moving forward. Waiting for a divine spark of creativity that may never come is a sure-fire way to lose interest and motivation to keep going. Going back to the previous section: How did one of your influential writer’s structure their work? Studying what’s under the hood of another writer’s work not only makes you a better reader, but will help you structure your own story when you see how another piece got from A to B to C.


Refuse to stop asking questions:

To foster inspiration for your writing, it’s important to remain curious about your topic. Continually ask questions about your subject. By researching the answers, you give yourself new avenues to explore and diverse perspectives. The motivation to answer these questions keeps the fingers typing and the ideas flowing–two key things that help you stay motivated.


Step outside your comfort zone

Sometimes all it takes is trying something new and a little scary to inspire you. Seeking out new experiences that are unique to what you normally do may help trigger a new perspective and spark creativity. This can come in many different forms, like reading a new book in a genre you are unfamiliar with, trying an activity that is outside your comfort zone, visiting a museum, or traveling to a new place.


It’s good to take breaks sometimes:

As we hinted at earlier, taking a break and rewarding yourself with some rest can be beneficial in the long run. Exhausting your mind by constantly working on your writing can burn you out. When you’re burned out on your topic it’s hard to meet your daily goals, let alone finish the entire book. Take a quick walk around the neighborhood. Spend some time with another hobby you enjoy. By taking a step back, you can build enthusiasm for the next time you sit down and write.


Consider using ChatGPT:

One thing you can do to get kickstart new ideas and gain a fresh perspective is to consider using a chatbot program like ChatGPT. You can ask for prompts or discuss your character’s motivations with the chat bot to get ideas flowing. During the research/preview stage, the chat bot is free to use to your advantage. For more detailed information about using AI when writing, visit our blog here.


Despite our frequent protests, the motivation to write will often come in peaks and valleys. Remember to be patient with yourself and trust the goals you’ve set for your writing. By doing that, and using all the tools above, you just might fill those valleys with inspiration and allow your creativity to flow more freely.

For more writing inspiration, check out these topics on the 48 Hour Books Blog:

Forming the Story: How Authors Plan Their Plots

20 Writing Prompts to Help with Writer’s Block

The Importance of Documenting Dreams When Writing a Book

15 Author Quotes to Inspire Your Book Writing

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