October Theme: INSPIRATION 101 by Irene Latham

What inspired you to write this book? Where do you get your ideas?

We authors get asked these questions (and other variations) all the time. That’s because humans in general are extremely curious about origins. And why not? It’s fascinating to think about where books and other things come from. In part, I think, because beginnings are often so hard to pinpoint.

The “inspiration” question also stems from another source, separate from curiosity: humans want to be inspired too. They want to know where to get the fairy dust so they can apply it to their own lives.

My post today is for those folks.

If you want to be inspired, you’ve got to live a life worth writing about:

Go outside.

Read a magazine you wouldn’t normally pick up.

Take a stained glass class or one on woodworking or basketweaving. Or whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to learn to do.

Read lots and lots of literature: things you like, don’t like, inside your genre and outside your genre.


Talk to a 93 year old.

Talk to a 3 year old.


Watch history and science documentaries.

Go to a museum. (My novel LEAVING GEE’S BEND has its roots in The Quilts of Gee’s Bend exhibit at the Whitney Museum. And my next novel DON’T FEED THE BOY got its start in childhood trips to the zoo, which is, of course, a living museum.)

Read (and re-read) WRITING DOWN THE BONES by Natalie Goldberg.


Visit writingprompts.tumblr.com

Then take action: WRITE!

image courtesy of fairyvillage.com.


  1. Great post! Just what I need to hear today.

    And I'm thrilled to find this site.


  2. These are really helpful reminders and suggestions. Thank you, Irene!


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