What can you learn from the humble magpie?

When I was a kid, I couldn’t just read books and comics. I had to try create my own.

A slideshow of creativity was already brimming in my head that I had to find an outlet for.

It hasn’t stopped since and I hope it never does.

If I hadn’t have started creating, I genuinely reckon my head may have exploded.

Or I’d have had migraines, at the very least.

So, I did what anyone tends to do when they don’t have much of a foothold into what they want.

I read a lot of theory.

You’d be surprised how many ‘learn how to write fiction’ books that there are for kids. Millions.

Out of all of them, though, there was a quote from this book that stood out to me:


(Write your own chillers by Pie Corbett).

I’ll paraphrase the quote, as the years have eroded my memory:

“A good writer should be like a magpie”.

Simple, isn’t it?

So, when a magpie builds its nest it takes little pieces of things it likes (normally gold/silver) and puts them there.

Meaning that it has a little treasure chest of good stuff to come back to.

We read things all the time in life. Whether it be from books, newspapers, blogs or those random articles that float across our timelines and newsfeeds.

While some of them are just schlock – some can be inspiring, or at the very least interesting.

You should make a note of these things.

In a notepad if you’re old school, or on Google Keep if you’ve embraced the 21st century.

I do it all the time. Everything from sales copy to film reviews.

While you shouldn’t jack another writer’s words and use it in your work, you can use it to inspire you.

When Picasso first started up his gig as an artist he used to borrow, re-imagine & copy little bits from everyone around him.


It was through doing this that he worked out what he was good at, and what he wasn’t.

This led to him finding his own style and niche in the market. He did alright, didn’t he?

Newspapers are great for magpies. Great stories often start after the writer’s interest has been piqued by an article in their local chip wrapper.

Moral of the story is – have your own moodboard of quotes and things that inspire you and use them as fodder for your own creativity.

If the above interested you, then this might too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s