The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
For years I’ve contemplated my choice to be a writer. I’ve been warned against dedicating my life to a job that is so self-reliant. I know I’ve disappointed people for not sticking to a more financially promising career path; I myself worry that I won’t live as comfortably as I hope. I’ve spent weeks trapped in the mode of writer’s block, unable to complete even a sentence that comes close to my usual writing standard. I’ve had times when I was too sad to write or was too insecure to try. In the past, I’ve even spent time trying to convince myself that writing isn’t the one thing I love, and so, for a short time, I became a Biology major (this did NOT last long). But in all my moments of contemplation, I’ve had something happen that reminds me of why I chose to be a writer.
Long car rides with only terrain to look at, unexpected rain, conversations with strangers who leave life-long impressions — these are the experiences that drive me to write.
Everything we live through is worthy of writing about because every moment that makes life feel like LIFE is beautiful. But as a writer always looking for inspiration, it can be hard to realize when you’re living through an experience that others would love to read. That’s why sometimes I prefer to look elsewhere for a spark of inspiration. I watch movies about writers who live through their own contemplations and use that as the match to reignite my passion to write.
Today, I wanted to share them with you. I hope they do for you what they have always done for me.
Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous tells the story of 15-year-old William Miller who successfully fools Rolling Stone into hiring him after reading some of his masterful work. After landing a writing gig with the magazine, Miller’s journalistic career takes off and he gains a lifetime’s worth of content-worthy experiences. This movie is a coming-of-age story mixed with a hint of sex, drugs, and rock n roll.
I love this movie because of Miller’s character specifically. Miller is 15 yet accomplishes so much, triggering my self-confidence. I aspire to be a lot like young William Miller when I grow up.
On the Road
Based on Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road, this movie tells the story of the young writer, Sal Paradise, whose understanding of life is completely redefined by his friendship with Dean Moriarty, the person who takes Sal on a cross-country journey of self-discovery. This movie encompasses all the nitty and gritty aspects of life and has themes of freedom and nonconformity that invoke sentimental feelings for the nomad wannabee.
The raw emotions and intensity of this film always strike a chord with me. I put this movie on when I feel like I’m too caught up in the anxieties of my sad, conformist life. This movie has the power to transfer me elsewhere.
Dead Poets Society
This movie takes place at Welton Academy, an all-male preparatory school. The school’s four pillars are “Tradition,” “Discipline,” “Honor,” and “Excellence,” and are completely ignored when a new teacher by the name of John Keating or “Captain”, as he likes to be called, comes along. Captain teaches his students about the beauty of English literature and inspires his students to live their lives according to their own passions and not by the expectations of their parents. Themes of life, death, and carpe diem, as well as love, rebellion, and passion, are all touched in this film.
This is one of my top five favorite movies ever. I’m sure to watch this film only very rarely so that it always remains an absolute pleasure to see. There are a few things I force myself away from over-consuming and this movie is at the top of that list.
Fun Fact: This movie is free to stream on Youtube Movies.
Stuck in Love
This movie beautifully captures the complexity of love, life, and passion and uses writing as the bridge that ties these characteristics of the human condition together. More specifically, it follows the life of a famous writer who, after recently divorcing his wife, falls in a depressive rut that causes him to lose touch with his passion for writing and a strain in the relationship he has with his teenage children.
I remember watching this movie when it came out in 2013 and being enthralled. It was one of the first movies that exposed me to the troubles of everyday life on a level that I could understand at 12 years old. I’d go so far as saying that this movie taught me to use writing as a way to sort through the complexities of life.
Fun Fact: This movie is ALSO free to stream on Youtube Movies.
This movie, (Greta Gerwig’s specifically, though all versions are great), is a beautiful adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women. The movie mainly follows the life of Jo March, a young female writer who struggles to make a name for herself due to the gender inequality that persisted throughout the 19th century. Similar to William Miller’s character in Almost Famous, Jo finds her passion for writing at a very young age and is confident in her ability to create great work. However, to me, Jo’s story is on another level of influence to due to the multiple obstacles Jo has to overcome to achieve her dream of being a published writer.
Before Sunset, ah so lovely. Although the plot isn’t exactly centered around writing, it truly acts as a work of inspiration. Before Sunset tells the story of a novelist named Jesse, who, on a European book tour, happens to run into his forgotten love, Celine. It’s a cinematic treasure that tells a beautiful story of “what might’ve been.”
I love this movie because the dialogue itself sounds like it was pulled right out of a romantic storybook. This movie encapsulates what I mean when I say that everything we live through is worthy of writing about.
With Emma Roberts as the central role, Adult World tells the story of an aspiring young poet who, after much convincing, gets her literary idol to be her writing mentor. This movie depicts the accuracies of what it’s like to live the “starving artist” lifestyle. Roberts’ character, Amy, reluctantly works in an adult bookstore after realizing that her dream to become a “great poet” might actually take more than a college degree.
What I appreciate about this movie is that it doesn’t falsely glamourize the in-between stages of life. There are very few movies about young adults just graduating from college that aren’t about how they miraculously ended up waltzing right into success. This movie is one of them. In a way, it’s a feel-good movie. It reminds me that I am right on track and doing what I should be.