How to Start an Inspiration Scrapbook

Poetry Scrapbook

Words are everywhere. They are on our toothpaste tube when we rub the sand out of our eyes and brush the scum off our teeth in the wee hours of the morning. Words are on our cereal box, our t-shirt, and the signs that mark our neighborhood streets. Words are even in our heads, as we internally tag each object around us with its corresponding name.

So if words are all over the place, why is it that we can often sit down to attempt writing- a poem or a story or an essay- and we can’t find the words? Well, it’s not that the words aren’t there. It’s just that for whatever reason… maybe we had a bad day, or we’re distracted by that upcoming test, or we’re excited about a birthday party… sometimes we aren’t feeling inspired.

In order to combat that “writer’s block” that often hits even the best authors and poets, I have decided to show you how to create an Inspiration Scrapbook. Remember that words are everywhere, and often it’s as simple as a snip of the scissors to save a special word for later! Sometimes it’s not a word, but a photo or an event, that makes you want to write. You can save those little tidbits in your Inspiration Scrapbook as well, in the form of a ticket stub or a blue ribbon or a greeting card.

Poetry Inspiration Scrapbook

What you’ll need

  • inexpensive scrap book (the one photographed is from a $1 bin at a big chain store)
  • scissors
  • glue, tape, or glue stick
  • pens, markers, crayons or pencils
  • magazines, greeting cards, photos, ticket stubs… anything that has inspired you!

Getting started

This is not a project that you would generally sit down and finish in one session. Just get it started! Add to it whenever something inspires you, but you just don’t have time to break out your poetry journal and write it down at the moment.

  1. Find an image or word in a magazine, greeting card, photograph (or anywhere) that makes you feel like writing a poem! For the page on the right, I started with the picture of my friend eating a s’more on a camping trip! Yum.
  2. Cut out the photo/word and glue or tape it onto a page in your scrapbook.
  3. Organize your scrapbook any way that feels comfortable for you. I like to place each main inspiration on a separate page. You see, the left side started with a cute puppy that looks like he might get into some trouble!
  4. Add on to each page as you see words or photos that go along with your main inspiration. I got a valentine that had the word “sweet” on it. When I was done with the card, I cut out the word and put it in my scrapbook alongside the s’more photo. You can also add stickers and hand-written words in marker, pen, or colored pencil. It’s your inspiration, so make it unique!
  5. Write your poem. When you want to sit down and write a poem in your Poetry Journal, open up your Inspiration Scrapbook to a page that seems full of fantastic ideas. Translate and transfer: That means, translate the pictures into words, and then write all the words down in your Poetry Journal. Put them together into a poem.

Here is the poem I wrote from the page of sweets. Can you find the pictures in the poem?

Sweet Tooth
Gooey, crunchy, sweet.
I’ll chomp down any sugary treat.

Dum-dums, cocoa, cake, and s’mores,
All I say is, “Give me more!”

But now my sweet tooth’s really sore.

Remember, you don’t have to use all of the images and words from your scrapbook in your poem. Can you find which ones I left out?

Poetry Scrapbook with Poem

Keep your scrapbook and your journal with you, and add to them as much as you can. If something inspires you when you have time to open your journal and write, do it! But if you think, “This is a really cool word or picture,” or, “I feel so proud of this blue ribbon,” and you don’t have time to write about it, put it in your scrapbook for when you do. You’ll never be at a loss for words.