Charlie Laidlaw is an author and course tutor at Creating Writers

According to surveys, most people would like to write a book.

The trouble is that while many people have a vague idea for that book, it often remains just that.  A vague idea.

The fact is that inspiration only ever comes in bite-size chunks.  A vague idea is therefore a good starting point.

A bit of good advice is just to start writing.  More ideas will flow.

But Inspiration can be a fickle thing, and filling a white blank page with words can be challenging.  However, as Jack London remarked: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”


But there’s no guidebook for finding inspiration.  It’s an internal process of discovering an idea.  Then working that idea into a plot, and then weaving in storylines.

But most writers find inspiration by reading.  Finding new authors who approach things differently, or write in a new style.  Reading good novels should always offer surprise.

Flip backwards and forwards between pages and chapters.  Figure out how particular scenes or passages were structured.  In other words, keep learning.

Some take inspiration from the world around them: from dramatic coastlines that throw up images of Vikings or pirates.  Others from busy cityscapes that hide the loneliness of the dispossessed.

Finding inspiration is easier said than done because it comes from the inside, from our subconscious.   But don’t be discouraged.  Write down your ideas.  Write down the personality quirks of your characters.

By focusing, bit by bit, on different parts of your vague idea you will then begin to see how everything might fit together.


In other words, you can either wait for inspiration to come to you or you can go out and find it.  That’s probably the better option.

For most writers, inspiration comes from writing regularly.  Get into the habit of writing.  Push forward ideas, and your brain will automatically tune itself into finding other ideas.

Creating Writers was created to help all budding authors achieve the book-writing dream.

We offer two courses.  One a short introductory course, and the other an immersive Diploma course.  Unlike many other schools, our Diploma is a real qualification.

It’s all online but with lots of face-to-face tuition and feedback.  It can also be fitted around your existing commitments, so it’s stress-free.

We can even help you find the inspiration to get started.  And the skills to finish your book.

Questions?  Do contact us.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash