Whether you’re trying to fill out your social media content calendar or hoping to find a fresh idea or two to help your manuscript along, it is extremely comforting to know that there are so many great places to find writing inspiration online. While it’s true that taking a short walk, getting some exercise, and spending time with loved ones are classic methods for refreshing your creativity, we’ve all had those times where you absolutely cannot leave the office, as your dreaded deadline continues to creep closer and closer.
I personally rely on a number of creative resources to get my writing inspiration online from the comfort of my home office, and if I’m fishing for a brainstorm and I need it NOW, the following 50 online destinations are my go-to sources to give my writing the boost it needs:
Social Media Platforms
My personal all-time favorite social media site for finding writing inspiration is Twitter due to its never-ending stream of freshly baked content. Twitter is an awesome resource for learning which kinds of content are universally appreciated and which ones completely missed the mark, what my clients’ competition are up to, and browsing through a feed filled with up-to-the-moment news that may be incredibly important or hilariously irreverent to whichever audience I’m writing for. Taking the time to read and research social media websites is one of my tried and true methods to discover ideas that are worth inserting into social media calendars, and while Twitter is my personal favorite, I highly recommend investigating these other micro-blogging platforms for the extra creativity you’re looking for.
Twitter – An unending parade of breaking news, thoughts, opinions, reactions, memes, announcements, and so much more; the internet’s pulse.
Facebook – A massive audience that isn’t shy about sharing their opinions and feedback, and it’s an excellent resource for brand research.
LinkedIn – If you want to get in the mindset of writing professional B2B marketing speak, here’s the ultimate cheat-sheet.
Yelp – Makes studying how customers truly feel about different businesses incredibly simple, and their reviews provide plenty of insight into the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the brands being reviewed.
Mastodon – Commercial-free communities of people united around certain interests, such as illustration, films, or photography. Browsing through their well-behaved communities is often a breath of fresh air.
Quora – People ask questions, and others answer them. A handy resource, because if one person is curious about something, you can bet that there are plenty of other people online who are too!
Tumblr – Its value depends on the individual site, but you might be surprised to learn how many interesting articles, pieces of art, and other notable gems never leave their Tumblr pages.
Reddit – It’s far too easy to get sucked into the black hole of passionate discussions and captivating content on this website, and there’s always something new to see here.
Google+ – Yes, people still use Google+, and while it’s not my thing, I recommend dipping in once in a while to see what Google’s hardcore fans are posting and sharing.
It’s one thing to veg out on YouTube or binge watch a new movie on Netflix, but both platforms are goldmines for finding stellar writing inspiration and recharging your creativity at the same time. I’ve researched many topics that I wasn’t completely familiar with on YouTube to get the information that I needed for that special tweet or blog post, and I’ve been inspired by the bold and innovative programming being streamed on Crunchyroll and Hulu with awesome new ideas that I’ve applied to my own manuscripts over the years as well. Most importantly, now you’ve got a solid excuse to watch eight back-to-back seasons of The Walking Dead on Netflix!
YouTube – When it comes to watching videos for research or fun, this is easily the internet’s video juggernaut.
Vimeo – The home for a number of great artistic short films and videos that you won’t find anywhere else.
Crunchyroll – A giant archive of anime and dramas, but let’s be real: You’re only here for the Japanese cartoons.
VRV – A fascinating collection of assorted videos from the far-flung corners of nerd culture. VRV’s eccentric lineup includes weird cartoons, enthralling nature documentaries, and obscure horror films.
Prime Video – You’ve already paid for Amazon Prime, and if you can sift through the poor user interface, there’s actually plenty of good content to be found on Amazon’s exclusive channel.
Hulu – Awesome library of brand-new and older TV shows from a number of networks, and Hulu rotates the lineup with new programs on a regular basis.
Netflix – Not only does Netflix have a staggering number of movies and shows available at any time, they keep putting additional effort into creating original content that’s genuinely worth watching. (Most of the time.)
Crackle – A free alternative to the major subscription-based video streaming services, and it’s stocked with some decent content too!
Although we will never know the identity of the person who famously said “A picture is worth a thousand words,” they were absolutely right. I’ve pulled a myriad of ace ideas from amazing illustrations, beautiful photography, and the goofiest of GIFs for my social media content and personal writing, and while each of these sites excels at a different method of hoarding and presenting remarkable images for creative types like yourself to appreciate, Pinterest is hands-down my favorite. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve browsed Pinterest, only to find a gorgeous picture and think, “How can I adapt an element from this amazing piece of art into my writing?”
Pinterest – A gigantic hoard of artwork, infographics, photography, illustrations, and images of everything that you’d ever hope to want to write about at your fingertips.
DeviantArt – There’s some brilliant art hidden away on DeviantArt that for some reason or another will never be shared anywhere else. Definitely worth a look.
Flickr – A huge storehouse featuring all kinds of eye-catching photography.
Dribbble – An impressive cache of art posted by designers and artists with the hope of having their creativity noticed and to inspire others. There’s so many pretty things to see here!
Behance – Owned by Adobe, this amazing platform is a wonderful tool for finding ideas by browsing through mountains of gorgeous creative artwork.
Instagram – A social media site with photography at its core; not only is there a ton of excellent snapshots to spark your imagination, the social aspect of Instagram makes it clear what types of visual content their users appreciate and identify with.
Imgur – Memes. This site is for memes. Everyone loves a good meme, and it’s a helpful tool for writing instantly liked social media content.
Giphy – The best place to find that perfect GIF to garnish your perfectly-written social media post.
News & Reference Websites
These websites may come across as utilitarian, but search engines, wikis, and news sites have been the foundations for gathering writing inspiration online since the internet’s earliest days. I’m a Microsoft nerd, so the beautifully designed Bing is my default search engine, and whenever I need additional information to develop a writing hook for just about any subject under the sun, Wikipedia has always been there for me. Just don’t be afraid to take your time when leafing through news websites; each site may share the core story well-enough, but note that individual sources tend to spin their reports to better suit their respective audiences…
Bing – Microsoft’s visually impressive search engine. Getting rewarded with redeemable points to research writing ideas is a nice bonus!
Yahoo! – Have you ever tried a less-popular search engine just to see if you’ll find different results for a subject that you’re curious about? I have, and it’s worth a shot!
Buzzfeed – A strange jumble of engaging news, silly listicles, and interesting editorials that makes it incredibly easy to find out what kinds of content readers are sincerely interested in.
Wikipedia – The website you use to look up anything that would’ve been printed in an encyclopedia. (RIP encyclopedias.)
CNET – A fantastic website for keeping up with the latest technology news.
CNN – A well-respected news platform with a liberal slant.
NASA – If you need a piece of news for a social media post that everyone can appreciate, I’ve learned that all I need to do is look towards the stars above. Seriously, everyone enjoys seeing a photo of a pretty nebula or the newest robotic probe from NASA on their timeline.
National Geographic – I frequent this natural science website for their fascinating reports on the animal kingdom, not simply for specific facts about whatever species I am currently writing about, but because wildlife-themed stories are often a hit with general audiences.
Nothing gets my mind in the mood for some creative writing more than a playlist packed with my favorite tracks, and Spotify effortlessly tops my list as the best music streaming service available. It might sound strange, but these different musical services each have their own unique niches just as the image-heavy websites noted above do, so try them all to see which one delivers what you need to hear to get your fingers moving across the keyboard.
Spotify – Gigantic archive of music of every variety, perfectly organized, and just how you want to hear it.
Last.fm – Another great tool for building randomized playlists built around your musical style.
Pandora – Here’s yet another noteworthy “creates a personal radio station based on what you like” service.
SoundCloud – My personal pick for listening to podcasts, but there’s plenty of other nice music here too.
IHeartRadio – There’s no better platform for listening to live radio stations.
When you’re bogged down behind schedule and in front of a blank Word document at the office, you can’t just drop everything and go for a jog on the beach or rake a few piles of leaves in your yard to clear your mind, but I’ve found that taking just ten minutes to fight some cyborg dinosaurs or burn rubber in a virtual race car can be just as revitalizing for your creativity. I highly recommend taking a well-deserved gaming break for those frustrating times when you want to write, but your brain just won’t cooperate.
Windows Store – An excellent choice for people who literally aren’t able to get away from their PC, and there’s a decent number of entertaining titles available that range from Candy Crush Soda Saga and ReCore, to Gears of War 4 and Sea of Thieves.
PlayStation – Sony’s gaming console features a generous stable of top-tier third party games that will keep anyone with taste entertained for hours, like Overwatch, Resident Evil 7, and Shovel Knight.
App Store – Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone writes on a PC, but Mac players also have a sizable stockpile of premier games available on the App Store, such as Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee and Minecraft.
Call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to take the time to read a book, I’d prefer it to be printed on paper instead of pixels, but I can’t argue with the instant satisfaction of downloading a book to your device, as well as the notable savings that often accompany buying eBooks. Whether you’re into new or old titles, or conventional or niche, there are universes of writing inspiration to absorb from the internet’s biggest eBook stores, but when it comes to price, selection, and usability, I’d prefer to read a digital copy of my favorite book on Amazon’s Kindle platform.
Amazon – This mega-site’s origins revolved around selling books, and since then, Amazon has mastered the ability to properly present eBooks via their easy-to-use e-reader app.
Nook – I whole heartedly recommend checking out Nook’s substantial collection of eBooks as well!
Audible – There is no finer place to download and listen to an audiobook online.
Scribd – You may not have heard about it, but this subscription is a buffet for avid readers of novels, magazines, and audiobook listeners alike.
Wattpad – A popular community among writers, who directly self-publish their original stories directly to the website. This is an incredible resource to become inspired by exclusive manuscripts of all genres.
There you have it! Hope you find this list helpful when you’re trying to find writing inspiration.