Quotes as Writing Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere. A thought, an idea, an image. Personally, my inspiration comes from life itself. I enjoy sitting alone at one of the many local Starbucks’, drinking coffee and people watching. I pretend to read – a textbook, novel, short story collection, or magazine – while paying attention to the nuances of body language, overhearing snippets of conversation and matching the gestures to the words. I look forward to discussions and arguments. Private phone conversations. Flirting. Even when I don’t understand the language being spoken, I almost always seem to understand what is being said; at least, what’s being said according to me.

But sometimes, the inspiration just isn’t there, and I look to writing prompts to help spark it. As I mentioned in some previous posts, I’ve been crafting writing prompts for a friend who asked me  to be her mentor so she can get over her writer’s block. Instead of struggling to come up with her own ideas, she bases her writing on assignments I give her, and aside from an extremely difficult one she hasn’t quite finished, it seems to be working for her.

Below is one of the assignments she was assigned. She came up with a very unique and interesting piece about lost love and future possibilities. It’s amazing what a little bit of inspiration can help produce. This prompt helped her; hope it can help you too.

I searched my old writing books and picked five unique and not-so-famous quotes. The assignment asked her to pick ONE quote, and craft a short story of no less than 300 words, and with no more than four characters, based that quote…

“All families build a Glass House, open to the world, and live inside it; these houses are our inheritance. My family’s house has the burden of being real as well. It needs to be heated and have its taxes paid.” – Dominique Vellay

“Huck just moves on. Alice just wakes up.” – Adam Gopnick

“Life, of course, never gets anyone’s complete attention. Death always remains interesting, pulls us, draws us.” – Janet Malcomb

“Men are always asking, “What do women want?” I think women mainly want men to cook and show up on time – you know, some of the basic stuff.” – Hans Ostrom, letter

“We travel into or away from our photographs” – Don DeLillo

Give it a try. Pick a quote and just start writing. You’ll be amazed what you come up with.

Write on!

The Accidental Blogger



Filed under Inspiration, Writing on Writing

7 responses to “Quotes as Writing Inspiration

  1. This is a great prompt! I like the different edge it can give one’s writing. I’m definitely going to try it. Thank you!


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