Stuck? Use Literature for Inspiration

8 prompts from books to spark your imagination.


Jordan Gross

3 years ago | 2 min read

In the words of Austin Kleon, I stole like an artist.

One of the first personal development books I ever read was Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning. I raced through it like an Olympian and quickly began implementing the morning SAVERS into my routine.

But not all of the suggestions worked for me. I didn’t love practicing visualization. I’m not much of a journaler. So, instead of giving up on the whole thing, I used Hal’s book as inspiration. I asked myself,

“How can I use this book to create my own morning routine, and subsequently, my own book?”

And that’s how my first book came to fruition. Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness. I used literature for inspiration, and in your pursuit as a creator of any sorts, you can too.

The Curiosity Challenge

Have a look at Mark Haddon’s, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Really study the main character Christopher. Then, create your own story based on a neuro-diverse character.

The Afterlife Challenge

Mitch Albom’s Five People You Meet in Heaven is one of my favorite stories of all time. This book provides a hopeful perspective about what happens when we go to heaven, and how this affects the way we spend our lives here on Earth. Whether you’ve read it or not, come up with a story which represents your own version of heaven.

The Library Challenge

Matt Haig’s Midnight Library is another, more recent favorite of mine. When thinking of your own stories, try to include one which takes place inside a library.

The Dream Challenge

There’s no book which showcases the beauty of living out one’s dream quite like The Alchemist. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to replicate the importance of pursuing a dream. Create a story about a character in pursuit of their dream.

The remaining 4 challenges are part of SFS: a summer fiction series presented by Vocal, an amazing platform for creators. Click on this affiliate link to get more information and join the contest. It’s an awesome way to get inspired, use literature as inspiration, and win cash prizes in the process!

As a creator, it may seem daunting to constantly have to come up with new ideas. But ideas can form in a millisecond. All it takes is a book, a sentence or a word for you to come up with a new idea. These are just a few options. I encourage you to try them out, and I hope the next time you read anything, you’ll come up with your own challenges too.


Created by

Jordan Gross

Sharing personal development through creative storytelling







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