Instagram for Writers

I’m a little late to the party, but, Instagram might be my new favorite thing on the internet.

I’m often flummoxed about what to tweet on Twitter. Even though I write 800-1200 words a day, that 140 characters is daunting. Instagram takes all of the pressure off. I find something visually striking, something that peaks my interest. I see something that’s funny, or beautiful, or – whatever looks good as an image. Small caption. A cool filter. A few hashtags and I’m good to go.

This is my dog, Koda. He is the inspiration for many of my canine friends that I write about in my books. I have been snapping pictures of him recently, and sharing them on Instagram.

My dog Koda on Cape Cod. #writerinspiration

The other day, I was using the fire pit in my backyard. The embers were glowing as the fire died out. I snapped a pic and posted it to Instagram, inspiration for a volcanic planet that might appear in a story someday.

Embers glowing, like the surface of a volcanic planet. #amwriting

Perhaps a beautiful sunset on Cape Cod strikes my fancy. One day I might need to describe a sunset in a story. Post it to Instagram and save it for later.

Waiting for 4th of July fireworks at Rock Harbor. #writerinspiration #saveitforlater

I love it. The pressure is off. I can let the image do the talking, gather inspirations for my own writing, and share something personal on social media that has value. You can see more of my photos on Instagram @alisonpotoma.

Who else is using Instagram?

500 million users. Okay, that’s a lot of people. There’s potential here.

Independent Writers, like writerposts, hoping to motivate others with quirky quotes.

Poets like amyflyingakite who combines beautiful images with lovely poetry.

Famous authors like rickriordan, who posts his new book covers, release dates, book tours, etc. as well as random visits to parks and baseball games.

In my own feed?

NASA. They post something miraculous about the universe every day. Star clusters, rocket launches, solar twists. Each picture blows my mind and reminds me of how small we are. The images are humbling and inspiring.


Fellow authors and illustrators! Like my friend, Sarah Lynne Reul, who has been drawing on photographs for #100daysofdrawingonphotos. You can read her blog post about it here on Writers’ Rumpus. It’s fun to see what everyone is working on, and support their endeavors along the way.

National Geographic. They say “Life is an adventure,” and I believe it. People, places, things from all over the world that I never would have dreamed existed, now appear to me everyday, perfect inspiration for my writing.

Where can you learn more about Instagram?

If you’re interested in other ways you can use Instagram, check out Jane Friedman’s article: 5 Ways to Use Instagram as an Author, where she talks about using Instagram for the writer’s life.

Or the Book Designer’s post, the Top 7 Ways Authors Are Using Instagram, which focuses on building a fan base.

There’s also the Writer Un-Boxed post: Why Authors Should Use Instagram that discusses the importance of being involved in social media.


Any thoughts about how you use Instagram or Social Media as a writer? Feel free to share!


  1. I’m on Instagram and, like you, I find it a relaxing place to share things I think are beautiful or striking in some way. I’ve just started to put a couple book-related pictures on there, but for the most part it’s a pressure-free way to enjoy social media. I’m @amymreade.


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