Sunday, September 21, 2014

Finding inspiration in the world around you

Some people say writer's block is a myth. I think it's more of just a lack of inspiration. The imagination well may feel dry, but trying to observe like around you in a different way can dispel that gray pall. 

Take a good look around you. 

Your walk to work. Are there people sleeping on benches? Is your favorite coffee shop on your way? 

Car ride to drop off the kids at soccer practice. Is there a Mom you try to avoid? Wonder what her life is like at home? 

The scar on your knee: Remember that time you were trying to sneak into a concert, 
and you snagged your jeans while trying to snake through that hole in the fence?

You cats wrapped around your ankles while sipping pumpkin latte from your favorite mug. Feels like home doesn't it? 

The crisp sounds of leaves crunching under your feet. Can you smell autumn in the air? 

Stopping to smell the roses on your way to the mailbox, It reminds you of grandmother.

Anything can be inspiration. 

The best tool to have in your poet's kit, are your senses, especially when you're paying attention to the emotions. One of the reasons people connect to poetry is the feelings it evokes. Taking in the words, interpreting them through the reader's lens of experience and then she nods in understanding.

If you're feeling the pinch of writer's block and you're wondering what to write. If you're looking for inspiration and you're coming up short, try looking at things a different way. Try closing your eyes and listening to the world around you. What do you hear? Even if your home is quiet, you may still hear birds tweeting outside, the house settling on its haunches or the clack of your dogs toenails against the vinyl kitchen floor. What do the sounds tell you?

Try imagining what your life would look like from the outside looking in. You may find it mundane, but your grandchildren running around driving around batty while your husband is snoozing in the lounge chair could make for an interesting poem about home, family and life. 

There's so much inspiration in the world around you. You may just need to look a with a new pair of eyes. 

Count Down: 9 Days until OctPoWriMo!

Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. She shares poetry and short stories on her blog PenPaperPad, is a contributing writer for the online ‘zineLefty Pop and writes articles as a full-time freelance writer. She is editor for an upcoming poetry journal collaboration, and hosts #writestuff TweetChat where writers talk about writing. She is a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathmagician.


  1. On Sunday I tasted my first elderberry. I was on an adventure with a group of remarkable women and I will always remember the way several of my friends looked as they carried these huge bunches of elderberry for our altar and how we each ate some as a part of our ceremony. Such a sensual, awe-inspiring and yes, very poetic moment. Great post and oh, so true!