Eavesdropper

I’m sitting with Josh in our favorite coffee shop, and I can’t help but listen in on every conversation going on around me. I’m a Nosey Nancy and have been forever. It’s a fact…and a trait that comes in handy when you’re a writer who can’t seem to start writing.

When I was in college, I wrote constantly. I took a lot of pride in filling notebook after notebook with stories, conversations, comics, and ramblings. I would sit in the coffee shop for hours, writing on graph paper  until my hand cramped, my pen ran out of ink, or I was asked to buy something or leave.

I’ve always kept a journal, but I don’t think I really started writing until college. I took my first creative writing class freshman year, and one of our early assignments was to eavesdrop. Take someone else’s conversation and make it our story. So as I waited in the airport (one of my favorite places) waiting for a flight home to Indiana, I listened in on nearby conversations until I heard something I could build on.

That first story was pretty terrible - it was an assignment in writing Magical Realism, and my conversation spiraled into one of those terrible “you couldn’t have met Sandy, because she died five years ago ON THIS VERY NIGHT” stories…but it was a start. And I’ve been eavesdropping ever since.

As I approach this October with 750words.com, I’m trying to remember all the ways I used to find inspiration to write.

I have a few more inspirational tricks up my sleeve, but I would love to get your advice, too. Where do you turn for inspiration when you’re having trouble getting started?