Who Inspires Your Writing?

Inspiration

Another simple question… What gets you to the keyboard?

Is there someone who you look up to or model?

Perhaps someone you know personally motivates you to get up and write, or maybe it’s a well-known writer.

Let’s hear from you.

About the author: Michael Stelzner writes at his blog Writing White Papers.

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Reader Comments (56)

  1. says

    It depends on what I’m writing, really. In terms of blogging, I’m inspired by other bloggers. Brian and guest posters on Copyblogger, Chris Garrett, Patrick Schaber from Lonely Marketer, Michael Gravel, and a number of other bloggers are inspire my blogging.

    My general copywriting is, for me, inspired by all kinds of things–and not necessarily other writers. The product itself will, ideally, be my main inspiration, when I’m writing marketing copy. As I’ve only recently started copywriting, I haven’t read many of “the greats,” yet, so I can’t really say that I’m directly inspired by them, but I know that a lot of my favourite marketing and copywriting bloggers are inspired by them, and quote them often, so I guess, indirectly, I’m inspired by a lot of famous and successful copywriters.

    I’m also a poet, and I’m inspired by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Charles Bukowski, John Newlove, Mingus Tourette, Michael Gravel (again), and an amazing group of local talent who I have the pleasure of reading and performing with on a regular basis.

  2. says

    Julia Cameron, whose book The Right to Write inspires me to believe that the writing life isn’t only accessible to people who live in ivory towers or have a PhD in English Lit. JK Rowling, who wrote the first Harry Potter novel longhand in cafes while on public assistance. Old Bill Shakespeare, who managed to capture the essence of the human experience in iambic pentameter.

    The bloggers here at Copyblogger and elsewhere who bring themselves bravely to the digital page every single day with the intent to create value with their writing.

  3. says

    When I am reading books, other bloggers and catch a new idea. A new way to see things, I am inspired to write about it and share/discuss with others :)

  4. says

    I owe much of my writing to Copyblogger.

    Before reading Copyblogger I never even thought of writing a blog. Even now that I write daily on the SmallFuel Marketing blog, coming and reading the posts here is a big source of motivation and ideas.

    Thanks to all of you,

    – Mason

  5. says

    Frankly everything around me gives me inspiration to write at my public speaking blog. I believe that things happen all the time and when we pay attention, we can leverage on these moments to help us come up with creative content for our readers. Sometimes it could just be a conversation you had with your client. Sometimes it could be a scene that catches your eye while you have your coffee.

  6. says

    Who inspires my writing? Great question. I think it is largely inspired by great writers and poets. I can think of Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, Robert Benson and so forth. Usually people with a reflective writing perspective inspire me most.

    Writing for me is a creative and poetic process…I love word-smithing when i am not in a rush so as to really drive a point home most creatively.

  7. says

    My most recent blog was inspired by a less than enthusiastic salesperson I encountered while trying to purchase a clarinet for my daughter. I am usually inspired by life around me, in one way shape or form.

  8. says

    I could probably count a large number of inspirations, all changing occurring to the year involved and the circumstance. Currently it’s my law professors as the only thing I write these days is by their decree.

  9. says

    The easiest way I find to be inspired to write is to talk as little as possible. If the only way to get something out it to write it, you’ll find you have a great deal more to say than when you’d let it slip out and away to your friends.

    OK, that’s somewhat hyperbolic. But whenever I find myself saying something interesting, I usually think about if/how I could write about it.

  10. says

    It’s not a who, but a when…

    I’m inspired when I have moments to reflect, ponder, or even just be still. If thoughts were free strings zipping everywhere (and nowhere) at once, that’s when I’m ready to catch them.

  11. Jeremy says

    Henry David Thoreau for rhetorical flourish
    Seneca for weight and brevity
    David Foster Wallace for wit
    Tim Ferriss for motivation
    Ecclesiastes for style

  12. says

    I heart Salman Rushdie, Don Delillo, and Wallace Stevens.

    More and more, though, I’m finding the influence of musicians who are able to create outstanding moods in their music affecting the way I write creatively – notably Bjork, Peter Gabriel, and Miles Davis.

  13. says

    For me it’s not a who as much as a what. Activity inspires me. I love to ride and race my bicycle, so much inspiration comes from those experiences. Skiing is a favorite and it also opens doors to new ideas for blogging or articles in general. Several times a week I walk with my 85 year-old father around a nearby lake and my conversations with him are always stimulating.

    Whatever gets me out of the house and active will generate inspiration without fail. Ideas are out there waiting for you, you just have to be aware and ready to observe and then write, and write and write.

  14. says

    Music there, overall inspiration here. I like it, Michael.

    Depending upon the setting, tone and audience of the piece, I turn to different folks for inspiration. Standard product or issues-driven press releases and white papers normally means I need to read some business blogs, dial up a web interview with someone professional, efficient, etc. For fun writing, I go watch comedians or listen to fast music. It really just depends on the purpose behind the piece.

  15. Morten says

    What inspires me to write is the people around me.

    Although, it’s the beauty of an iMac that lures me to the keyboard.

  16. says

    All creativity is borrowed from the source.

    I will usually develop the structure of my articles throughout the day. Title ideas, topics, who I want to reference, etc..

    I live at the beach (I know it’s rough) and run along the shoreline at least four times a week. Inspiration comes from sites, sounds, ideas that roll upon the waves, etc…

    Can’t tell you how many times I’ve returned home with a killer idea topped off with a timely copyblogger post on how to implement it.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  17. says

    I’m not a “writer,” but I enjoy writing. I find it an excellent way to discipline my thinking. Putting an idea down on paper, explaining it to the people who haven’t been thinking about it, is a great way to be sure the idea is solid.

    As with others I am also constantly inspired by good writing I come across. Jason Headley, one of the copywriters I work with regularly submitted an essay about West Virginia, A State of Confusion, to the Oxford American that I really enjoyed.

    Finally, I try and keep the following quote by Winston Churchill in mind, “I’m sorry I wrote such a long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one.”

  18. says

    Promises inspire me.

    As a playwright, I have a theatre group I belong to. Bringing my writing to professional actors to read before an audience helps. I like the audience, but it’s the promise that makes it happen most often.

    Which means, really, a perceived deadline inspires me.

    For blogging, having a BlackBerry & Twitter helps because when I see something wherever I am, I can micro-blog about it.

    My friends on Facebook receive my Twitter updates when they login, so that spurs me on even more.

    Best,

    Gib

  19. says

    Mine is an activity.

    It’s a solitary hike or time out on the water in my kayak. OR just taking a shower (alone!).

    So, I guess it has to involve nature, or at least water. When I am by myself, away from my office and other people, my mind starts to freely associate many ideas and thoughts, and before you know it, I have the nucleus of an idea.

  20. says

    My readers inspire me :) I get a kick out of feedback
    thats what makes me go to the blog and write everyday.

    When i didn’t have readers in the beginning then it was just plain basic madness to write, write and write more.

    :)

  21. says

    I’m so thick-skinned that I don’t get inspired although blogs like Copyblogger do act as great driving forces. Most of my inspiration comes through a desire to do/write better. I read a lot to, what you may say, reduce my mental viscosities.

  22. says

    Like many others, it’s not a ‘who’ but a ‘what’ and the best writing will be about something I have either a vested interest in or am passionate about.

    Occasionally, when I’m reaching for topics I’ll turn to my spam and spin off of the ludicrous subject lines which are often a great source of humor and content.

  23. says

    It’s not who nor anybody who inspires me. They teach. like you do. I learn from great people … and I learn from the man in the street .. but inspiration comes from deep inside myself.

  24. says

    Like others have mentioned before me, it my inspiration really depends on what I’m writing and who I’m writing for. If I’m writing for one of my blogs, then I’m inspired by all those successful bloggers out there who make a living at their craft.

    If, on the other hand, I’m writing a piece of fiction, then I’m inspired by all those great novels that have kept me up at all hours of the night reading to find out what happens next.

    But at its core, I believe good writing boils down to hard work. If you wait for a moment of inspiration, you probably won’t get much written (of course, there’s always exceptions to this rule).

  25. says

    My Insipiration comes from college days when I used to help my friends out troubleshooting pc and may other things. It became a habbit with me and I used to go out and help anybody who had a problem. Blogging gave me a platform to write down and find more. Its more people’s query for an answer is my inspiration

  26. says

    Life itself inspires me to rush toward the computer. The proven aged masters. However, a fantastic sunrise, full moon rising, sunset, the swamplands of the Everglades and its wildlife inspire me beyond words. My niche is the endangered Everglades, panther, etc. so, obviously, I write about it. . .constantly, even when I am not writing on the keyboard, I am writing in my mind about the wilderness.

  27. says

    I wouldn’t say that any specific PERSON inspires me to write, but rather, other peoples’ writing in general inspires me. When I read a good article or a book or a comic book or anything, that’s when I’m inspired the most to put pen to paper, or finger to key.

  28. says

    Nothing inspires writers like idiocy. Human stupidity is often why writers write.

    Beautiful, spiritual concepts (sitting on a boulder looking at nature! other great writers! wistful yearnings for God!) — this kind of high-minded drivel lulls writers into dreamy contemplation.

    The actual motivation for writing will come later, when writers are confronted with stupidity that lulls them out of the dreamy complacency stage.

    Social injustice inspires writers to write more than Thoreau, a rock, or visions of God.

  29. says

    I find inspiration just about anywhere and from anybody. I could be standing in line at the grocery store and overhear a conversation that spurs a blog post. Many times I’ve found inspiration in odd places…

  30. says

    As a law student and legal writer, Supreme Court Justice Scalia inspires my writing. I totally disagree with his views but I’m always blown away by his sharp legal writing.

    As a blogger, Trent from The Simple Dollar inspires me. He does a great job weaving his personal life into his articles.

  31. says

    In my earlier days what typically inspired me were my emotions and feelings. A blanket statement, I know. Now, after about a decade of putting my inner voice out there between comments, posts, blogs and digital artworks what truely inspires me is the world I live in.
    I’m constantly bombarded by so many different forms of media. Inspiration for me comes from tech sites, blogs such as this, a piece of artwork over at deviantART or desktopography, a new song that I heard on the radio on the drive home from work or maybe it was the billboard that provoked a spark in my brain. Sometimes it’s the look on someones face when I pass them on the street.
    Inspiration is everywhere and it’s no where when I need it the most. It never lets me down and keeps the little wheels in my brain spinning ’round and round much like the wheels on the bus or in a greater sense of things, this big blue beast we call Earth.

  32. Rina says

    I like reading blogs that are inspirational and educational. I like Seth Godin and Scott Adams….

  33. says

    Michael,

    Ditto you. I get up in the morning, make the coffee and go sit for my quiet time. I pray, empty myself out and try to become a vessel for whatever needs to be said.
    Ideas just start coming.

  34. says

    I have read most of the classic copywriting bibles including of course Claude Hopkins. But the guy who really turned me onto direct response copywriting was Gary Halbert. A genuine, lovely man who loved life and his craft,and wrote with such clarity. I still remember the day I first found his website. 4 months laters he passed away. Thanks Gary.

  35. says

    Well, the best blogger that inspires me the most is Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.

    Then I’d say all or most of the writers for CopyBlogger.

    Another way I get inspired is by checking out other people’s blogs that relate to my topics of Tintation.com

    Ali Luke is another great inspiring writer and/or blogger.


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