Best Places To Go To Get Inspiration For Writing in Singapore
Stumped on a line for dialogue? Maybe it’s a difficult inciting incident. Perhaps you’re tired of conventional character tropes.
Sticking to your tried-and-tested methods for curing writer’s block get tedious at times.
There are only so many writing prompts, blurbs, and Tumblr blogs we can visit to get our creative juices flowing.
In light of Phase Two, we’ve compiled a bunch of places you can visit in Singapore to get your writing fever back. Remember to mask up and stay hydrated!
Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates Art”. Funnily enough, art is always inspired by our surroundings, human experiences and emotions which stem from real life. The Singapore Art Museum (SAM), is a contemporary wonderland of Southeast and East Asian art.
The visual arts space is one of the most vibrant and joyous spaces I’ve ever visited. The exhibitions and installations of the SAM never fail to excite their visitors. Past exhibitions include artworks that act as an extension to classroom subjects such as social studies and art, to thought-provoking art about the human body as well as the famous Singapore Biennale 2019.
If you visited the SAM as a child, you might be familiar with Walter the bunny, who used to flop on the grass outside the SAM and greet their visitors.
Convinced that this is your next writing hotspot? Well, you should be pleased to know that the SAM is air-conditioned and contains many comfortable sit-down areas planted around the museum! Here’s a tip, try to form short stories or characters through the installations which you visit. You could examine the material used, if faces can be found in the artworks or through the colours that bleed through the canvas. Who knows? Let go and let the art guide you naturally.
When I was in secondary school, we had a very unique poetry writing workshop which involved us roaming the streets of Singapore in our sticky pinafores, searching for inspiration in the oddest places. One of these places was the Singapore River. It was a scorching day and I wrote a poem about how the sun will one day grow to eat us all.
The Singapore River has become quieter these days with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are less people out and about and you can actually hear the birds chirping, or the occasional squirrel (don’t ask why but…we saw a squirrel once) instead of office workers chatting about office politics.
Source: Via Singapore River Cruise
If you’re the sedentary kind, you might want to consider taking a short boat ride with the Singapore River Cruise! However, you can now only catch the boat at either Clarke Quay or opposite at Riverside. Nonetheless, this different mode of transport may also give you a different perception of writing your stories.
Source: Via Alamy
(Note: Safety netting has been removed but ‘X’ markers are in place to ensure safe distancing.)
Alternatively, you might want to grab a drink from The Central’s Starbucks and stroll over to the blob-shaped benches decorating the edges of the river but do beware of the social distancing measures!
It may not be the ideal place for writing your next rom-com novel but it is certainly a place filled with rich history and lush trees. Fort Canning Park has sprawling green spaces and ancient artefacts which are guaranteed to reel dystopian or war-story writers in. The “Forbidden Hill” is also home to Shakespeare in the Park and Ballet Under The Stars.
Source: Via Freepik
Source: Via Visit Singapore
Personally, Fort Canning Park inspires writers to think calmly and is a great place to brainstorm on new characters or story worlds. Don’t hold back when you’re one with nature!
Though it may be slightly more crowded during the weekends, Fort Canning Park is still a great mini getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, where one may be too distracted to write. It’s a stone’s throw from Fort Canning MRT.
Grab some mosquito repellent and your writing materials and you’ll be good to go!
How many of you grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Geronimo Stilton? Is it safe to say that our tongues are not used to the warm embrace of Singaporean literature? Do you have a favourite Singaporean writer? Do you know any Singaporean writers?
Hawker centres have always been a unique part of Singapore’s culture. Affectionately known as Chomp Chomp (Serangoon Gardens Food Centre), is one of Singapore’s most popular hawker centres.
Source: Via Seth Lui
Stories such as Grasshoppers by O Thiam Chin encompass aspects of hawker life. However, budding writers appear to be more heavily influenced by westernised literature. I believe that finding inspiration in our local elements would make our stories a lot richer and more relatable.
Alternatively, you could people-watch. But appropriately of course. Part of getting inspiration comes from listening to the people around you and observing their body language and quirks.
Need more convincing? Stall 36’s $3 Black Carrot Cake is to die for.
Source: Via Tidbits Mag
Try your hand at writing something truly Singaporean. No one can do it better than you.
Cottagecore cafés gleam like disco balls against the dull digitised background of the technological era. This quaint bakery cum café cum retail store is easily identified through their iconic dried bouquets hanging upside down at their entrance.
Plain Vanilla Bakery has a few outlets around the island, and they are all equally warm and inviting. It’s one of those highly aesthetic cafes which is a must-have on any study blogger’s page.
Source: Via Time Out
Writing in a café may be an overrated activity in current times but there’s something quite magical about Plain Vanilla, it’s radiates the write/right kind of energy to settle you in your Zen as your character embarks on their journey.
Source: Via The Honeycombers
Maybe it’s time to give Starbucks and Coffee Bean a rest and step out of your comfort zone. After all, one’s environment affects the way one writes, drastically.
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Hannah Elizabeth Lim
Currently studying content creation and writing across media platforms. Probably reading conspiracy theories when the writing fever doesn't hit.