Why Writers Should Also Be Photographers

Don’t forget to check out my new fantasy novella, a short, fun read that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Did I mention there are dragons?

How many pictures do you have on your phone? Seriously, go take a look! I have thousands. I keep telling myself that I’m going to go through and delete some old ones that I don’t care about anymore (you know, like the bazillions of screenshots of memes and actors and recipes and-), but so far, it hasn’t happened.

Sometimes, though, my surplus of pictures has proven to be a good thing. I’ll see a picture I’ve totally forgotten about, have a flood of memories take over my brain, and get a spark of inspiration.

(And if you haven’t checked out my posts about finding inspiration, this is a great time to take a look, as this post goes hand in hand with those. The Elusive Inspiration series has been especially insightful for many!)

In today’s world, practically anyone has the chance to take great pictures, thanks to smartphones. And a lot of us already enjoy taking pictures, whether it’s to remember a moment or show others where we’ve been. But how often do we actually use these pictures? How useful are they really?

There’s at least one thing you can use your gazillions of pictures for: writing.

I don’t see many people talking about how photos can help you write, but where better to get a writing prompt than from a picture of a pretty flower you took three years ago? What better way to get your creative juices flowing than to look at a picture and attempt to describe it the best you can? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a thousand words isn’t a lot! Why not put on a stopwatch or timer and see how long you can keep writing about a single picture?

The point is that you can do so much with pictures, and most of us just have them sitting around collecting metaphorical dust! If you get stuck while you’re writing, one great option is to pick a random photo and just go. Describe it, write a story about it, talk about why you took the picture… The sky’s the limit! I love how art and writing often work hand in hand.

And if you don’t already take pictures, it’s time to start! Snap shots of things that you find beautiful, inspiring, interesting, or even just normal. Capturing everyday things can be inspiring, too; it gives you a chance to look at something you see often in a different way.

You don’t have to be a stellar photographer either. Don’t worry about the spacing or lighting or editing (unless you want to!). The point is to capture a moment.

So, it’s time to dust off the camera. Get outside and take pictures of anything and everything. Your writing brain will thank you later when it’s inspired by that everyday but somehow captivating photo of the busy street below your flat!

Want to learn more about how to write a great story? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to get a FREE storytelling guidebook right off the bat, plus insider looks into my upcoming works, more writing tips, book recs, and much more! You still have time to sign up before the July newsletter is sent out!

Photo by Patrick on Unsplash

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