Where does your inspiration come from? I’m talking about the spark that fires fiction, whether you’re writing a novel, a poem, a short story or even the lyrics for a song. The creative process is different for everyone, but most of us have felt that surge, that undefinable something that makes you want to write. Inspiration is the thing that makes you rush home and start typing, or wake up in the night and scramble for a pen, or hide in the corner at a party to make a note on your phone.

Your inspiration might come from anything. It might be a door in a hedge that you pass when you’re out walking – who lives behind that door? What are their secrets? It might be a lonely boat far from shore that sets you wondering about the size of the world and the life of an adventurer. It might be an old man waiting to cross the road, watching the traffic impassively, as if he’s been waiting all his life. Or it might be a busy city street, where dozens of different people are going about their different lives, so much energy and variety and so many stories that you could never write them all down…

Inspiration might set you thinking about a character, or a setting, or a situation. You might think of a brilliant ending to a story, or a brilliant beginning, or a new way to think about love, or grief, or fear. You might be suddenly inspired to write a poem from the perspective of a hedgehog or a novel set in a two dimensional universe.

Inspiration might set you off writing so you can’t stop, the words tumbling out of you; or it might need time to grow – inspiration can arouse a feeling that takes time to form itself into an idea. It might feel like an itch, an unresolved problem, a theme or a plot or a world that you really want to turn into a book, but it’s a puzzle to work out how.

Inspiration is exciting. It makes you want to create. It brings a rush of energy, of intellectual desire, of joy. Wherever you find it, grab it and use it. Write!

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