Get Writing Inspiration Where You Find it

Posted by Shari Thayn on

I often hear people with an interest in writing complaining about material. “I don’t know what to write about!” Is a common complaint. Seriously? We are, at all times, literally surrounded with material. You just have to recognize it when you see it.

I have a fairly lengthy commute every day and while it can be boring and uninspiring, it can also provide tons of material. Often of the weird variety. Take the decidedly creepy example I had this morning. I was on a six lane highway and found myself behind a school bus. Big deal, how exciting you’re thinking. And I would agree, except this particular school bus was decidedly…eerie.

For one thing it was absolutely filthy. As if the thing had just arrived fresh from a trip through a swamp. It was also rusty, really rusty. And empty. It was difficult to see even the driver through the smudgy streaked windows but I assume there was one in there. There was also an absolute dearth of writing or warnings or even lights on the back of it, it was just curiously blank. And did I mention creepy?

Immediately, my admittedly lurid imagination kicked in to invent all sorts of scenarios pertaining to the comings and goings of this creepy school bus. Where were the occupants? Where had it been? Where was it going? Was it really a school bus? Or did it have a more sinister purpose? It doesn’t really matter because I had tons of material for a really cool short story. Or an even longer piece. From a school bus. So just look around, pay attention, ask questions. And then write about it.

Teachers of English, grammar and writing, this is a great topic to broach with your students. Ask about an everyday if odd occurrence and encourage them to take it further. Then write about it!

Go to to find out how to make grammar fun.