A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Originally published March 27, 2014

When I was a child, I lingered with my Golden Books, intently studying the pictures. They were as important, if not more important, than the story. 

We all know how moving a picture can be to help tell a story - whether simple or complex. But how about the picture being the source of inspiration for a story or article?

If you're feeling the late winter slump (particularly those of us who live where spring is in a holding pattern), grab a book of photographs and find a cozy spot to browse and reflect.

Time LifeNational Geographic, and even your own photo albums are chock full of material to get you thinking. Not only that, but it is relaxing and will help take your mind off everything that vies for attention.

I keep my iPhone or camera handy and I'm in the routine of capturing special moments in time. 

I took this picture when I went snowshoeing this winter and it produced several ideas for an article.

When I woke up one morning in my daughter's apartment, this is what I saw:

(That one is tucked away for later).

Here's one from my backyard, just before a storm. As I watched the sky groan with turmoil, it conjured up a plot of the struggles that can come in a relationship.

Finally, some years ago, my 5-year-old made this drawing on our computer. It sparked an idea for a children's book I'd like to write:

If you haven't tried letting pictures help you write, try it!

Whatever your genre, pictures will help you paint a thousand words.  


After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com

Photo credit: Kathleen Moulton © all rights reserved


Anonymous said...

Absolutely lovely post. Kathy, and your photos are amazing. You always produce such inspirational ideas! Thanks once again.

Karen Cioffi said...

Kathleen, I agree with Anne, the photos are amazing. Using images to spark ideas or enhance your writing is a great writing tip!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Kathleen, I think some of my best poems are inspired by pictures (and articles) in places like National Geo, Smithsonaian, Archeology, etc. An author I know, Leora Kyrgier , is also a photographer so I've long seen how those two talents benefit one another.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Multi Award-Winning Author of the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers including the second editions of the Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo and The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditorKind )The latter is e-book only.for the time being.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Aww, thanks, Annie. You are always so encouraging. : )

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thanks, Karen!

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thanks, Carolyn!

Unknown said...

Great post, Kathleen. I recommend using Pinterest boards to collect photo ideas for characters and settings.

Debra Toor,www.ecostoriesbydebtoor.com

Linda Wilson said...

Kathleen, this is a lovely post. Your words and pictures are an inspiration. They're beautiful.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Yes, Debra. Pinterest is a great resource. Thank-you!

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thank-you, Linda!

Unknown said...

A lovely, feel-good post! Pictures indeed speak a thousand words.. I loved the pic where reflection comes from the morning sunshine.. it is beautiful.. all the pictures are! :)

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