Sometimes you might look at your notebook or word document and wonder what you should start writing.
After all, how are you always supposed to come up with the next New York Times Bestseller or hot blog post idea? You know you want to write, you but can’t bring yourself to come up with a new, revolutionary work that will “WOW” everyone.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there; everyone struggles from time to time to try to come up with new, fresh writing ideas. It’s natural to feel stumped when coming up with new topics that make you stand out from other writers.
Sometimes it takes a little inspiration that comes from the world around you to help you find your next story. Here’s eight ways you can generate writing ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Listen in on conversations
You can learn a lot about people by eavesdropping. Go to a local cafe, the park, or even your local McDonald’s to draw inspiration from those around you. You can start by jotting down what you hear and later expand it into a manuscript.
For example, if you wanted to write a short story or novel, listening to people can help you master dialogue. Dialogue is one of the hardest parts for writers to make sound natural. The more you listen to people, the more you will be able to convey how others think, feel, and act in your manuscript. Try making a story about someone different from you by listening to them.
If you’re looking for a news story, find out what people are talking about. You want your story to be something people care about, and listening others is one way to get into their brains.
2. Listen to a song
Do you have a favorite band? Maybe it’s time to take your passion for music and turn it into a story or blog post!
Music is a form of poetry that comes from the heart. The lyrics can help you discover what the artist of the song finds important. One line or even a word might help you find your next work. Try listening to a few songs and to see where the lyrics take you.
3. Read or watch the News
It’s amazing how many questions, discussions, and topics that get people talking. You can learn something new or find an idea that inspires you by simply watching the news.
The news is also a great way to expose yourself to a new topic. Try turning on a channel you wouldn’t normally watch and see if you can find something that resonates with you. Who knows, you might be surprised with what you can discover by listening to people you normally wouldn’t!
4. Research a new topic or culture
People want to read stories that are interesting and teach them something new. Think about what countries you’d like to to visit and why.
Do you like Asian culture? Or perhaps you’ve always been fascinated by British architecture. No matter what country or culture you choose, be sure to pick something you’re interested in!
Once you identify what culture you’d like to delve into, go to the library to find books about it. Do they have a certain religion? Or maybe you’d like to learn more about their food. You can learn more about your desired country or culture by reading books published by experts.
5. Jot down a list of your passions
Do you have something you are passionate about? Think about what drives you every day and write about it! Chances are if you love something, you’re very knowledgeable about it and can share your knowledge with others. You’ll be motivated to work on your story if you have a clear message or goal in mind.
For example, one of my passions is writing. I look into what I like about writing and write on topics to help educate people about it. This blog is dedicated to being a source for writers to learn more about the craft.
6. Think about who you wanted to be as a child
Did you dream of being a researcher from NASA or an idol with a hit song? Or perhaps you wanted to be a T-shirt designer or a writer.
You can make your childhood dreams come true by writing about something you always wanted to do. There’s so much to learn about different industries and potential career paths. You might even find new career opportunities if you’re lucky enough and can set yourself on the path to have the job of your dreams.
7. Use a prompt generator
This is more geared towards people who want to write stories. However, you might find it helpful if you are writing a blog post too.
Prompt generators can help writers get started by creating a random topic or character for you. A prompt generator allows you to explore a new character archetype or scenario you might not have thought of on your own. A prompt generator is a good basis to draw inspiration from and to help you start to get words on the page.
Check out this comprehensive list of plot generators to get some inspiration for your story right now.
8. Draw from your own life experiences
Have you traveled anywhere interesting lately? Dig up photos from your trip and write about one of the places you found to be the most intriguing.
Or maybe you’ve been in an interesting debate and you’d like to explore both sides more. You can do research to find more about the topic and why you are passionate for your side.
Try writing something you have directly experienced yourself. If you have solid beliefs and a foundation for what you want to write about, you’ll find the words flow from your finger tips easily. Your own experiences are the perfect place where you can share your thoughts and feelings through your writing.
How do you generate story ideas? Let me know in the comments below.