Don’t you hate it when you finally have time to write, but not one idea pops into your head? Do you feel like you could write a best seller if only you knew exactly what to write about? Can you see your name in the byline now, but don’t have a topic for your article? Below are some ideas to get those juices flowing and move you closer to your first Pulitzer Prize.
Ask friends for ideas.
Brainstorm a list of topics. Don’t limit yourself just keep writing everything that pops into your head. You can edit the list later.
Collect ideas. Surf web sites, books, and articles to determine what people are talking about. Perhaps one of their ideas will spur yours.
Do something mind numbingly repetitive. Sometimes the quiet repetition gives your mind time to relax and stop whirring long enough to think new thoughts. It is your minds way of not being bored. Kind of like hide and seek for mental matter.
Edit your old work. Go back to work on pieces that you put aside or turned in but where rejected. Some extra work and you may find a treasure.
Fake it. Just start writing. Even if you are not sure what to say at first, write. If you continue to write, you may find your way to something worth writing about. You can edit it all later.
Good ideas multiply. Don’t be afraid to share ideas with other writers. Find a chat session or a writers’ group to throw ideas around with.
Have a note pad with you at all times. This includes in the car and by the bed stand. I even sometimes use a tape recorder if my hands are too busy with something.
Institute rules that give you time, space, and silence to write.
Jot down your dreams.
Know your limits. Pressure can mean blockage. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to projects, people, or plans that get in the way toward your goal of writing.
Love-What do you love? If you love to do something, eat something, travel somewhere, others will too. Tell your readers what you love.
Make files to store partially written ideas or to store inspirational articles, quotes, etc.
News – Watch your local, national, and international news. Don’t just focus on the headlines. Sometimes the most obscure story can be the jumping off place for a great story.
Observe the world around you. Set time to sit in a mall, at a coffee shop, or in a park. Watch the interactions going on around you. Who are these people? What brought them here?
Paste pictures that inspire you in a notebook. Review it periodically.
Quietly observe your thoughts. Similar to meditation, sit quietly and let your mind wander for ten minutes, or longer. See where it goes.
Sleep. A tired mind is like an unfueled car. You won’t get very far without fueling up.
Try new things. Sometimes our writing rut mimics our life’s rut. If you jump your life out of the rut, so to your writing will follow. Learn a new craft or new language; meet new people; travel somewhere new.
Use writing prompts. There are dozens of books and websites that have old fashioned writing prompts. Don’t be afraid to resort to them: They may be just the jump start you need.
Visualize yourself doing things. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes in your mind. What would you have done differently? How would things have turned out?
Whine. Complain about something that really irks you. Perhaps do some research and find out if there is a better way of doing things. Not only will you feel better for getting your complaint off your chest, you may also have found a great subject for an article.
X-marks the spot. Make a brain map of all the information in your brain. Drawing the map may show you ideas that you already have stored away but just hadn’t thought conscientiously of.
Yoga – Stimulate your brain with exercise.
Zen Buddhists may have the right idea. Don’t push too hard. The desire to write may actually push the ideas away. Walk away for a bit and come back later if you need to.
You can certainly use these ideas individually or combine to come up with an answer to your writer’s block. The most important part is that if you want to be a writer, write. Unless you plan on using excuses within your story, don’t bother making them up. Wait! Maybe there’s a good article there: “10 Believable Excuses to Get You Out of Anything”. I better get writing.