Beat Writer’s Block: 7 Sources of Words to Inspire

When writer’s block strikes, it can feel like linguistic quicksand. You feel swallowed up by forgettable sentences and dull clichés. A great way out – of writer’s block, not quicksand – is to immerse yourself in some well-written words.

Reading great work can reignite your love for language and wake up your best words.

Here are seven places to look for inspiration.

The New Yorker features: Facts that Flow

Facts presented in pleasing prose, feature articles from The New Yorker offer a balance between informative and delectable. Check out the articles on Arthur Mondella and the flowers that make the famous Chanel No 5 perfume.

“Arthur Mondella is mourned. Up until the moment of his death, on February 24, 2015, he ran his family’s company, Dell’s Maraschino Cherries, in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.”

‘The Maraschino Mogul’s Secret Life’ by Ian Frazier, The New Yorker

Scientific American: Concise Writing

Perfect for technical copywriters or those who write to convey complicated information, Scientific American is a master in concise journalistic language. Check out this article on Schrödinger’s Cat.

“In the world’s most famous thought experiment, physicist Erwin Schrödinger described how a cat in a box could be in an uncertain predicament.”

‘Reimagining of Schrödinger’s Cat Breaks Quantum Mechanics—and Stumps Physicists’ by Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American

Poetry Daily: Brief but Beautiful

Here’s an idea: add a poem to your breakfast reading for a daily injection of rhythm and pace. Click here to see which poem made the coveted spot today.

Your Best Writing

Remind yourself of when you nailed it. Dig out written work of which you’re particularly proud, whether an academic paper, a great feature or a witty email. Indulge in how fantastic you are. Repeat.

Brainy Quote: Short and Poignant

Bite-size inspiration for any time or place, Brainy Quote is perfect for dipping into when you need a quick burst of well-written words. Check out these quotes from Plato, Abraham Lincoln and J.K. Rowling.

The New Yorker Short stories: Brilliant Fiction

The New Yorker: so good it made this list twice. For inspirational fiction, New Yorker short stories are a fantastic way to immerse yourself into a writer’s style, without reading an entire novel. The Other Place is an engaging story about a father’s own childhood and concerns for his son.

“He hates reading, but he is bright. He is interested in crows because he heard on a nature show that they are one of the only species that are more intelligent than they need to be to survive.”

‘The Other Place’ by Mary Gaitskill, The New Yorker

Spoken Word: Pace and Passion

Tired of reading? Relax your eyes with a little spoken word for clever metaphors and impeccable pace. Try Youth Speaks for politics, Rudy Francisco for romance and Sarah Kay for poignance.

Bonus: for a reminder on how writing can impact the lives of others, check out Call Me Ishmael on YouTube for personal book reviews. Readers share their favorite books and the impact it’s had on their lives.

The Search for Well-Written Words

Where do you look for writing inspiration? Let us know on our Facebook group.