There are many things you know more about than any other writer. Only you have been in your skin and no other online writer, freelancer or blogger can claim copyright on you. Your life is unique and provides a whole novel’s worth of ideas you can call your own and write about. This is a rich source of inspiration, especially in fiction writing where your creativity is expected to manifest. Your experiences, the people you have known and the places you have been to can all be used in writing that is great.
Your memories are a rich selection of unique moments that can be put into a poem, story, blog post, novel and more. Your emotional history has a catalogue of events that probably altered your outlook on life and the world. Consider your childhood, your school days, those tricky teenager years, your first job, your first romance and more. Dig deep into the feelings you had when you had that first kiss, that terrible break up, the loss of people or places close to you, your spiritual experiences and so on.
Create a time line of your life and be as detailed as you can. These are the times you have exclusively lived through. Think about those events which can form the basis of a piece of writing for personal or professional use. Undoubtedly there will be elements of your life which will be too personal and painful to think about for very long so take care of yourself and be in a good place if you want to revisit those areas of your past. It may be however that those dark times in your life can be of value to somebody else. How did you overcome those terrible moments in your life? Can they inspire somebody going through the same? Of course focus too on the happiness in your life, the moments of absurd comedy and all that makes you who you are. Life is a roller-coaster and let others board your personal ride.
Remember that in a work of fiction you should be careful to protect the identities of anybody based on people you know. Obviously do not use their real names, addresses or personal and intimate details. You can however take their personality traits and put them into a character of your choice. Perhaps they have annoying traits or habits such as bossiness, tactlessness, shallow mindedness, recklessness and so on. Do they have a particularly annoying laugh, twitch or facial expression? Think of your past teachers, employers, colleagues, friends, enemies and family members. Is there anything about them that can form the basis of a good character?
Ensure that you exaggerate them sufficiently so as not to be sued. You are not writing to form a personal attack or biography of them. They are there to provide you with inspiration for writing something creative and original. If of course you are writing a factual piece then it may be that you can use their life experiences in your writing. Seek permission first and respect their need to hide their identity if requested. They could provide you with direct quotes and opinions that can be integrated into the piece you are writing.
Many writers create works of fantasy wherein they create their own worlds and universes. Some write about a fictional town or village. In a work of fiction you do not have to dream up an entire world with its own ecosystems, language, culture etc. Draw from the places you have been and assemble them into the town, city and world you are creating. Most of us don’t have the mental capacity to be completely original where every detail is unique. I once wrote a piece inspired by an inner city estate where I lived and worked and created character, events, and surroundings on my experience. Consider the places you have lived, been on holiday, or seen on film and television. How can they be used in your writing? Are there places you have been too that can be used in a factual piece of writing? Perhaps there are issues surrounding a certain place that can form the basis of something interest? There could be a place of great beauty that can be included in travel writing. You could also write about a place that has changed over time. Make your work interesting in the details known to you.