NaNoWriMo – when inspiration strikes.

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The challenge is to commit to writing  50 000 words during the month of November.

I’ll be honest, I considered taking up the challenge then consulted my own planned writing schedule, my social calendar, my “real work” commitments and laughed….not a snowball’s hope in hell!

It has got me thinking though – seldom a good thing!

It’s got me thinking about the prompts that inspire people to write.

As I’m currently knee-deep in Book Baby 3, I don’t have a huge amount of time to write anything new but a part of me is already looking ahead. There’s this wee voice whispering in my ear, “What’s next?”

I have a reasonable idea of “what’s next” after Book Baby 3 and the prompts have come from the Silver Lake series (no more hints!)

However, what other prompts do writers use to trigger their creative juices?

If, like me, you follow some of the writing pages on social media, you will have seen that they have been flooded with well-intentioned prompts over the past few days.


There are whole websites dedicated to providing prompts for aspiring writers. There are literally thousands of inspirational ideas on Pinterest and Tumblr. There are apps available to download to your phone dedicated to prompts.

It would seem there’s a whole creative writing business that’s centred on providing assistance to generate more creative writing ideas.

I may use some of the prompts I’ve stumbled across recently at some point in the future. Never say never and all that.

Another method to prompt a tale or two is to keep a file of random photos. This was a method one of my high school English teachers used. He kept a manila folder full of magazine pictures, newspaper photos and postcards. Every now and again we were asked to pick one then go forth and write an essay inspired by it.

I used this method for a while and, in fact, only recently rediscovered my “inspiration folder” from twenty some years ago.

In recent years, I’ve used more personal prompts – song lyrics that struck a chord, memories of a particular place, throw away comments from friends. While I’d never deliberately create a fictional character that mirrors someone in my “real world”, there are character traits manifesting themselves in my book babies. My own character traits as well as those of friends and family. One example of that is Lori from the Silver Lake Series’ ideal breakfast of a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel, streaky bacon and coffee is my own personal favourite breakfast.

Daydreams also inspire some of my shorter pieces of fiction.

I guess that’s what makes someone a writer – not that I am claiming any great literary ability here, let’s get that straight.

I write primarily for enjoyment and relaxation. It is my stress reliever at the end of a day. It’s my escape from the real world. It’s a huge bonus if other people happen to enjoy the tales that I spin.

Now I wonder….can I squeeze in time to write 50 000 words of a new story by 30 November?……..

images source from Google

More information on NaNoWriMo can be found at


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