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  • Writer's pictureMargaret Amatt

Where I get my inspiration!

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

The question I get asked the most as an author has to be:

‘Where do you get your inspiration?’

I’m going to attempt to answer it though it’s not clear cut. I’m lucky enough to be writing this blog from the cosy comfort of a little croft on the Isle of Mull, a favourite destination of mine and the setting for my first book series. As I was walking this afternoon, I was thinking about how this island had inspired my stories. Some of you may know that I didn’t write the books in the order of the series. I actually wrote book four first though it was very different from the finished result. That story was very much influenced by the island. I had a very specific idea to throw a hapless city dweller into countryside chaos with lots of specific places featuring in the story.

Beautiful places often inspire my writing and definitely inspire me to write.

It’s true to say then that I get my inspiration from places. I definitely feel inspired when I’m in calm and beautiful places. Not necessarily to write about where I am but because it puts me in a happy place in my mind.

My main inspiration however isn’t from places but people. I’m a habitual and fanatical people watcher. I love analysing people and wondering what makes them tick. On my walk today I made the mistake of wearing my sturdy walking boots. Why was that a mistake? Well, they’re not waterproof and the path was more like a river in places. So, I decided to hotfoot it back to the car and grab my wellies. I left my husband and son climbing rocks by the beach and I headed back. As I rounded a corner, I came upon a woman sitting on a boulder at the edge of the beach, just off the path, under some overhanging bushes with a book in her hand. It looked quite idyllic. The woman wasn’t reading the book, she was talking to someone I couldn’t see because of the bush. As I got closer, I saw the person was a man, wearing a wetsuit and a buoyancy aid. A kayak

was lodged in the rocks close to the water’s edge. I don’t know if these two people knew each other or had just struck up a random conversation, but the minute I saw them, my brain started making up a story. By the time I got back to the car and changed into my wellies, they both had their own backstories, conflicts and ways in which this ‘meeting of strangers’ could play out.

One day, it might be a book… Or not! Honestly I have so many of these random moments, I couldn’t possibly write them all into books. Most of them I forget but some of them make their way into notebooks or word files with quick notes about things I need to remember for later.

I also glean ideas from pictures. One of my favourite internet places is Pinterest. I can spend ages there looking at photos and often people and situations grow from these. I have boards for book inspiration plus boards for current works in progress.

People inspire me the most - real people, pictures of people, characters from films, other books and many other places. People, people, people!! People make stories.

Other places I get inspiration from are films, other books and book blurbs on Amazon! This might sound a little bit odd but sometimes I see something on TV or read a story where I pick up amazing vibes or feelings about characters or situations. Obviously, there would be no point copying a story that’s already out there, plus it’s illegal, but what I enjoy doing is pulling out threads from stories that make me feel a certain way and weaving these feelings into story ideas. Most people know the characters in Fifty Shades were originally based on the characters in the Twilight series – so it’s a well-known thing to do.

Blurbs make great writing prompts. If you hand the same blurb to five authors, you’ll get five different stories! They might have similar themes but they won’t end up the same. I trawl through blurbs, reading them and adapting them in my head. Most of these won’t ever become books but they’re amazing inspiration.

And this is where I get my ideas but also wherein lies a problem. I can’t stop the ideas and the inspiration!! Sometimes, I need to switch off my brain to incoming ideas because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to write all the books I’d like to.

Hopefully this is a good thing. I’ve been lucky enough to avoid writer’s block and maybe if that ever strikes, I can look back at all these ideas and find inspiration again because right now it isn’t a problem.

My top five inspirations!

1. People

2. Places

3. Pinterest

4. Films and books

5. Blurbs

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog. If you’d like to know more about me or my books, you can visit my website or follow me on social media. I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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