How an everyday object can inspire you to write

If you are a new or inexperienced writer and struggling to find something to write about, discover how an everyday object can inspire you to write.

There are numerous books and websites (serious and not so serious) which suggest multiple uses for anything from coconut oil to a dead cat (this is a reference to 101 Uses for a Dead Cat by the cartoonist Simon Bond – his cartoons are a mixture of hilarious and sick so if you haven’t seen them before be warned).

Use you imagination

Coming up with alternative uses for everyday objects (dead, alive or inanimate) is not an exercise in finding the most macabre but rather a chance to use your imagination and not to be limited by what you know. For example, look around for any day-to-day object and imagine how it could be used in a different context or in a new way. Children are great at this – for example, they would have no problem in finding any number of imaginative ways of using a cardboard box or a plastic bottle.

Have a go

To get you started, try scribbling down as many unusual uses you can think of for one or more of the objects listed below. These are just a few ideas off the top of my head but if you have got some better ideas then go for it.

Consider all aspects of the object and not just those which determine its function – this will give you far greater scope for coming up with some less conventional uses.

  • A paper clip
  • A dustbin
  • A paint brush
  • A stool
  • A tennis ball
  • A plastic bottle (take a look at designrulz for some amazing ideas)
  • A wellington boot
  • A shovel
  • A pencil

Share your ideas

There are no prizes for the best but I would love to include some of your ideas for unusual or unconventional uses of everyday objects on the Beginners Guide to Writing website. You can email them to me at

How an everyday object can inspire you to write (or 101 uses for ….)

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