Inspiring Images

I love using images to give me a dose of visual inspiration. They’re packed-full of energy and potential. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Well, now it’s time to tease out those words and use them in a piece of writing.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Choose an image that appeals to you
  2. ‘Free flow’ thoughts and ideas
  3. Choose a writing form
  4. Write!

Choose an image that appeals to you

First, find your image. It can come from just about anywhere – a painting you see on the wall of a café, a poster at a bus shelter, a photo from a magazine or newspaper… There are numerous places to look online as well, of course. I often use stock photography sites (such as or and scroll through the Editor’s picks or through the categories that interest me. It’s amazing the array of striking and provocative photos that pop up.

Can any image be used as inspiration? The ultimate aim here is to relax and have fun while writing. So if you enjoy tackling dark and menacing themes then choose a photo with those characteristics. But that’s not for everyone. It’s always worth being aware of how the images you come across make you feel. If it feels more comfortable to go with a light-hearted subject then honour that feeling and choose a photo that fits your mood.

You may wish to use one of your own photos, such as a holiday snap or a picture of family and friends. If you have a photo that brings you joy or intrigues you, then it can be fun to see what writing emerges from it. Just be aware that writing has a way of accessing thoughts and emotions you may not have even realised were there. Choose a picture that feels safe enough to play with.

By Jill Wellington on

Gather your thoughts & ideas

Once you’ve found an image, examine it carefully and jot down what you see. Explore the other sensory elements it evokes. What smells, sounds, tastes and textures does it conjure up in your mind? And how does it make you feel? Are there people in it? Who are they, why are they there and what are they thinking? If it’s a landscape or an object, then what is its history? These notes will give you material to fuel your final piece of creative writing.

Choose a writing form

Now, it’s time to decide what form your creative piece will take. Will it be a poem, a short story, a letter…? If you’re not sure, take a look at this list of writing forms for inspiration.

Based on the picture above:


At this point, you may wish to get creating straightaway. Or, why not take a look at these writing tips and reminders for an extra helping hand?

Happy writing!

Explore my Write to Relax series for more ideas and inspiration.