What Inspires You To Write?

By on January 24, 2017
What Inspires You To Write? - Writer's Life.org

Cast your mind back, what was it about writing that made you think ‘this is what I want to do.’ Can you remember? As children we are all instilled with a love of storytelling, we have bedtime stories read to us, we read fairy tales, we have story time at school, and we are encouraged to use our imaginations as much as possible and come up with our own stories.

Stories are often used to help children make sense of the world around them. Did you become inspired to write as a child, or was it much later in life that you decided this is what you wanted to do?

Thinking about what inspires us to write is a great way to really pinpoint just what is is that we love about writing. In fact, it's a very good idea to write down what motivates you to want to write. That way if you are ever stuck for writing ideas or feeling uncertain you can look at your list and think ‘Oh yes, that’s why I do it.’

Here are some of the things you might want to consider.


Nature is a big pull for me. Whenever I am out on a country walk or watching the sunset over the sea, I get an urge to write, to try and capture the beauty of what I see. When there is a massive storm, or it’s blowing a gale, the feeling is the same. Nature is powerful and energizing and finding new ways to describe it in my writing and use it as a metaphor for what’s going on in the story or how a particular character is feeling is a device I use often.


People are wonderful, hilarious, frightening, cruel, intelligent, witty, evil, compassionate, sarcastic and so much more. Many writers often find themselves fascinated by people, the way they interact with one another, their quirks and idiosyncrasies, what motivates them to act they way they do. People from all walks of life with all sorts of likes and dislikes, views and ways of thinking, passions and hatreds - they are all wonderfully inspiring and using people to create incredible characters is one of the most exciting and enjoyable parts of writing.

Other writers

Yes writing comrades, other writers are one of the most inspiring groups of people! Writers are tough, persistent, and brave. They also write some pretty amazing stuff, stuff which we, ahem, occasionally might borrow for our own work.


What has gone before us whether it was two weeks ago, or two thousand years ago is a huge soup of exciting stories and events just waiting to be sampled. History is insanely broad of course, but it is the catalyst for many incredible stories and gives a voice to those who may otherwise have long been forgotten.

Hobbies and passions

Writing about what we love is a huge inspiration to many writers and works both for factual and fictional work. It may be your love of sailing inspires you to write a book about the best places to sail in your area, or it might inspire you to write about a band of pirates navigating wild and stormy seas.

Little stories of fascinating lives

Listening closely to the little stories that people tell can often give you great ideas for your own work. Sometimes a story as simple as walking to the village shop can actually be the beginning of something truly heartwarming, or hilarious, or disastrous!


Ahhh, sweet love! Is there anything that makes one want to grab a pen and paper and gush about the wonder of the world. Is there anything more cruel and painful when it goes wrong? Love (whether it is kind to you or not), is often the basis for many stories.

Teaching people things

A desire to teach people things can be a strong motivator when it comes to writing. You may have an expert knowledge of something that you know would be useful to share with others, or perhaps you want to write a book that changes the way people see the world, inspires them to act or just makes them feel understood.

Expressing oneself

Writing is hugely cathartic, and many people are inspired to write when they are feeling at their most emotional. Writing is an excellent way to make sense of our emotions, to express ourselves in a way that perhaps we can’t do out loud and to be completely honest with ourselves about the way we feel.

Writing is a truly wonderful activity. Whether you do it as a hobby or as a profession, there are many different things that inspire us to write. What are yours?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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