Storytellers: 100 Ways To Spark Inspiration

March 6th, 2013 in Inspiration

Storytelling is about creating an emotional connection.moth storytelling event

The work is fun: you get to inspire others, move them to laugh, cry, smile or remind them how to enjoy and savor life.

Part of the storyteller’s work is to stay on top of their game. It’s important to take time to inspire yourself, to love good stories, and to keep an open mind and an open heart.

While a daily writing practice can help ideas swarm and flow, sometimes you need to have fun, explore new fields, and soak up good storytelling. This list for those looking for creative inspiration. What would you add to your own list?


100 Ways To Spark Inspiration

Soak In Creative Inspiration

  1. Attend a Moth Story Slam.
  2. Attend a open mike night.
  3. Watch TEDx storytelling videos.
  4. Watch any TED talk you wouldn’t normally watch.
  5. Look at visual art online.
  6. Listen to spoken word poetry like Sarah Kay.
  7. Listen to the great poets give readings on spotify.
  8. Go to a pitch event or entreslam. Listen to how other creatives tell their story under constraints.
  9. Discover a new blog to read and love. My recent discovery is James Altucher’s Blog.
  10. Re-read a classic book that once inspired you. Highlight quotes and soak it in.
  11. Watch an old movie. Enjoy the genre, characters, and story.
  12. Read a nonfiction essay. They are beautiful examples of personal storytelling. Here are 15 great essays from female writers to get started with.
  13. Read a success story in any field.
  14. Ask a friend what they are working on and how they’ve been doing. A friends work can also be inspiring.
  15. Watch an animated story or short film. Enjoy the style and the story.
  16. Laugh. Listen to a comedian. They tell great stories, and laughing helps you relax and feel good.
  17. Listen to a presidential speech from the past. You may surprised at the great stories and speeches you can find.
  18. Listen to an audio book the next time you drive.
  19. Listen to a new type of music. There’s rhythm in language and stories in music.
  20. Watch the best advertisements and music videos. Notice storytelling features used.
  21. Interview an elderly person. They usually have awesome stories to share.
  22. Talk to a stranger next time you’re out. Meet this new person and listen to their stories.

Learn and Explore Often

  1. Dive and unwind your mind.
  2. Drive, walk, or run in a new direction today. Describe the surroundings.
  3. Take photos of physical places that inspire you.
  4. Work somewhere new. A completely new place.
  5. Learn something new about a subject you’re interested in.
  6. Read a recent book on that subject.
  7. Listen to psychology talks or read about psychology. Human behavior influences creative work.
  8. Got to a museum. Wander and get lost inside.
  9. While you’re there imagine the story behind a museum piece.
  10. Revisit a favorite place that you haven’t seen in a while.
  11. Have coffee with a friend.
  12. Ask someone new to join your for your next meal.
  13. Join a group of peers. A writing group, a creative or local meetup, anything.
  14. Start you’re own meetup if you can’t find a good group to connect with.
  15. Read biographical information on the greats you admire. Realize they’re human too.
  16. Pick up a new hobby and practice more often.
  17. Learn to draw or create with a new form.
  18. Research new tools for creating. Playing with new tools get can you excited to work. Scrivener is a much loved writing software.
  19. Ask more questions. Then research the answers.
  20. Read headlines.
  21. Go to a new coffee house. Drink coffee, it greets the soul.
  22. Go to a new restaurant and try new food.
  23. Discover a forum or place to connect with other creatives online. Conversation can be inspiring. Start participating and see what happens. G+ communities are full of large groups of writers and storytellers.
  24. Read inspirational quotes or notes from the past. You may rediscover inspiration.
  25. Look up some of your favorite words and phrases in other languages. Read about cultural uses of language. Think about language.
  26. Learn ten new words today. Use them.

Practice and Reflectstay creative

  1. Exercise to refresh your body and mind.
  2. Write an essay or personal story of your own. Even if getting personal isn’t your thing, it can help you reflect on yourself and your work. Knowing yourself helps you know your creative process and stay in tune with it.
  3. Try a new genre. Anything. Something you’d never think you could do. Just for fun.
  4. Create with your hands. Draw. Play with play dough. Build.
  5. Make a gratitude list. Think of how you can inspire those you’re grateful for.
  6. Create something for each one the list, even if it’s a card, a note, a poem, or a story.
  7. Start a new blog that focuses on a passion or topic you love.
  8. Write ten metaphors today, throughout the day. On anything.
  9. Write a new story to exemplify a metaphor.
  10. Email someone today that you’ve been wanting to share your work with. A mentor, a friend, an acquaintance.
  11. Think of a previous stereotype or issue. Challenge it. Research it. Think about all of the different sides to an argument.
  12. Write about a favorite childhood memory. Innocence can be refreshing.
  13. Write a daily reflection. Keep them somewhere close to reflect upon.
  14. People watch and write down observations.
  15. People listen and write down phrases. Absorb real dialogue.
  16. Look back on an old story or piece. Point out what’s great about it, rather than what could be better.
  17. Look back on an old story or piece and think about how it could be rewritten. Tell the story from another character or point of view for fun.
  18. Write plots for possible stories.
  19. Think about your core values. Write a Manifesto.
  20. Switch it up. Hand write if you typically type. Type if you typically hand write. It could offer a new perspective.
  21. Write out a few common sayings, cliches, or story plots that bug you. Turn it into a satire.
  22. Engage your senses while you work. Light a candle, listen to music, drink something delicious.
  23. Read the newspaper. Remix a story into a work of art.
  24. Write you’re own speech on a topic that you’ve been irked by. Get into it and let it out.
  25. Read a peers work and admire it’s beauty. Tell yourself if they can do it, I can do it too.
  26. Battling negativity? Make a list of negative thoughts you are currently battling. Write down a reason for why everything will be okay. Then throw it away and move on with your work.
  27. Tweet, post, email inspiration to friends. Whether it’s an article, a joke, or a video that will make them smile, they may surprise you and return the favor.
  28. Write fun headlines. This can create new ideas.
  29. Spend time with children. Their creativity is always flowing and their joy is contagious.
  30. Make a list of all the things you what you want to do. Take action on at least one creative goal today. Action creates inspiration.
  31. Write weekly goals. Goals can motivate you to compile a work of art. A book. A movie. A business. The next big project in your life.
  32. Envision success, but don’ t fantasize. Seeing is believing but delusions are distractions.
  33. Ask a friend to collaborate. Offer to help on a topic your friend is interested in. They’ll often return the favor when you’re in need too.
  34. Guest Post. Sometimes we forget there are other audiences out there to reach. Pitch a guest post and you’ll be one step closer to finding and engaging with others who share an interest in your work.
  35. Read a random page from a dictionary or encyclopedia. Write a story from it.
  36. Take photos of 5 things you see today that offer inspiration or insight into daily life. Go back later and create a story from the photos.
  37. Write down a set of themes for future stories. Pick themes that you’d like to explore or revisit.
  38. Write down a set of emotions to evoke in your reader. Think of stories or match them up with themes.
  39. Focus on writing scenes. Writing scenes is a vital skill for storytelling.
  40. Write a rant. Be poetic or playful.
  41. Interview someone. Reach out to them and help tell their story.
  42. Disconnect and clear your mind. Don’t check email, social media, or anything online for the day.
  43. Daydream. Letting the mind wander can somehow lead you to the right ideas.
  44. Cut the media out of your life for a week. Just to disengage and focus on work.
  45. Write out your ideal audience. List all of their thoughts, dreams, hopes, concerns. Pick one and write about it.
  46. Make a list of editing questions to ask yourself. Examples: What is the best part of this story? What emotion comes through? How do others interpret my work?
  47. Follow your emotion, cautiously. Write the story you’ve been wanting to share but acknowledge when you are writing from a negative or hurtful place and do not share that.
  48. Try National Novel Writing Month. Maybe this isn’t your thing, but it can help you create towards a project.
  49. Make a list of creative strategies that work for you. Remember how good it felt to use them and do it again.
  50. Make a list of creative strategies or aspects that don’t work for you. Cut them out.
  51. Take two characters you’ve been stuck on and place them in a completely different story, scene, time, etc. This can help you really imagine the characters and create them.
  52. Imagine another time setting. Begin to see your life there. Write about it.

What do you to to spark creative inspiration? Having a go to list can remind you of the great sights, sounds, and books that inspire you.

Storytellers should stay refreshed and #staycreative.

Comment below or tweet #staycreative when you’ve found an inspiring to do that helps with your storytelling. And, have a fun and creative time.

Photos via Moth and MediaCatche.

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About Me

Amanda Lewan - Digital StorytellerOn a mission to inspire and unite others. Writer & Entrepreneur living in Detroit. This is my personal blog. Read more about me.

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