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Be A Hoarder! Or How I Learned The Important Lesson Of Being Hungry For Writing Inspiration.

Updated: Jul 30

Be a Hoarder! Or How I Learned the Lesson of Being Hungry for Writing Inspiration

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Every writer knows two things:

A good story is unique, as in something readers haven't seen before, and is relatable, as in something that rings true.

That can sometimes be a tall order, especially in a modern information-technology world where it all has been done before. Finding something novel to say can mean pushing the boundaries of reality further and further. A problem all science fiction writers, for instance, are very familiar with.

Then you're told to bring it back down to reality? Goodness, gracious.

Ok. All that is perfectly doable for us creative types. And if you struggle to come up with killer story concepts, head to this post here.

Cool Ideas: The Power of Productive Thinking - #1 Brainstorming Method

Today, I want to give you a related piece of advice. Maybe advice is too strong of a word, but definitely advice adjacent.

In this post, I will tell you about a lesson I accidentally learned from my grandfather. One that has forever changed how I approach my everyday interactions and experiences.

My Grandfather was a Hoarder

I remember visiting his house as a kid and having to squeeze even my small child frame through and around so much stuff, it's unfathomable thinking back on it now.

See, my grandfather worked for a museum and was a collector and restorer of antiques. Furniture, toys, machinery, you name it. So not only was his home filled to the max, it was filled with some of the most remarkable pieces of history I have ever seen. To him, every piece of "junk" was a meaningful artifact from our past.

Hoarded old junk - Ai generated image
Image made with Leonardo ai

In other words, he was (thankfully) not your storing poop-in-a-jar type of hoarder. Though I'm sure, those kinds find meaning in their... "possessions" as well.

Most people would scream if they saw the state of his home. I may be able to appreciate his love of the past, but damn, that house was anything but a healthy expression of a passionate hobby.

If fact, it was disgusting. And it eventually killed him. He died of a bacterial meningitis infection and a host of cancers that I am sure were directly related to living in the mold and dust-infested house.

Ok. This took a dark turn. Frankly, there are lighter topics in general.

Now that I have you all uncomfortable, let's tie this into how it can help you be a better writer.

Oh god, I'm stretching the limits of decency with this one.

My grandad may have been suffering from some kind of mental illness or obsession, but you know what? When you needed something, you better believe he had it.

It might take him 5 years to find it in the basement, but he had it. He had an answer for everything. He had an example of every great thing from history and knowledge of everything in his house. Where it came from. How long ago. How it was made. Why it was made, and he even had a wonderful story to go along with it.