It’s impossible to run out of things to write about. But some days the brain fog sets in for real, right! So, to make it easy on the tired, old cerebral cortex, I’ve compiled a few lists of brilliant ideas, writing prompts, and inspiration. So let’s see how to figure out what to write about.
My first “writer’s block” lasted six months and almost had me quitting for life! But as any writer knows, you can’t stop writing even if you run out of ideas. What helped me was these three lists and two actionable strategies, described below. They guarantee to get those creative juices flowing again.
After reading this article, you’ll be armed with the inspiration and creativity that you thought had been leached from your very soul!
So, how to figure out what to write about
What You’ll Find In This Article
These 3 lists will give you bucketfuls of writing prompts, and a handful of power words, for all occasions: fiction and non-fiction. And the 2 strategies will get you making your lists of writing prompts and tantalizing topics for the next year to come. At least!
If you are more of a creative genius type, you might enjoy mind mapping instead of lists. Here is a free mind map tool.
Want to start writing right now?
33 Awesome Writing Prompts for Fiction Writers – List No. 1
Copy and Paste this list on the inside of your brain. And you’ll have a new idea for each day of the month.
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- A routine shopping trip goes awry.
- What are those noises, and where are they coming from?
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- The journey back home.
- She was such a quiet child…
- A romantic meeting leads to a life-changing event.
- Take a trip down memory lane – write about some of your favorite childhood memories. Or just one.
- How to make a grown man cry – with pictures?
- What’s so great about Mondays, anyway?
- Adventures of Prince Ballabos – the Flying Dog.
- How to eat your greens with a smile?
- Anyone up for a game of Poker?
- The path at the end of the garden led us to an…
- Boy was my face red!
- You wake up from a nightmare, only to find out you were never asleep.
- My favorite kinds of people.
- Why I Love Dogs?
- The Color Green.
- The Boy That Broke The Internet.
- Once upon a time, in… (add your location).
- Trapped in a stuffy room, with no idea how you got there, your first thought is…
- The best holiday you never had.
- When the circus comes to town.
- A day in the life of a renegade junkie.
- Two nights in Denver.
- The Halloween Horror involving two cats, one girl and a bucket of popcorn.
- What I love about…? (fill in space)
- Life’s a beach.
- Take a chance and roll the dice.
- Happiness is… (fill in space)
- When life gives you lemons.
- My adventures in the jungles of Borneo.
- Who let the dog out?
So, I just made these 33 writing prompts up right now. Now, try to make your list. You’ll be amazed at how this exercise loosens the bolts and screws.
Why Are Writing Prompts Great For Writer’s Block and Low Inspiration Days?
There are 3 Reasons.
Firstly, the exercise itself unlocks the mental/psychological block. I think it is fear. Ask yourself what it is that’s stopping you from picking up the pen. But before you try and answer yourself, promptly pick up a pen! Then write 33 ideas down. Freestyle it. Just write whatever pops up, as I did above.
See how easy that was?
Whether it was fear or procrastination or something else, it is irrelevant. It disappears when you pick up the pen and write anything. So that’s the second point.
And thirdly, you get your creativity back. As writers, we probably think too much and suffer from various neuroses. All you have to do when you don’t know what to write about is – PICK UP A PEN and write down the first thing that pops out of your mind. Then repeat. Again and again and again. Even if the only thing coming out is “Aargh!”, just keep at it.
33 Trending Topics for Bloggers and Content Writers – List No. 2
If your well of ideas has run dry, do a quick search of what’s trending. (Whatever you do, don’t type in “What’s trending on…?” LOL! Waste of 2 minutes I’ll never get back). Type in “What’s trending in the world of…” and use one of the topics prompts below.
- Interior Design
- Off-grid living
- Going Green
- Natural Living
- Health and Fitness
- Website designs
- Google algorithms
- Party Ideas
- Vegan Ketotarians
Using one of the prompts above, create a vision board on Pinterest. Or make a lovely collage/vision board stick up on your wall.
Alternatively, pick a topic and write down a list of questions. The answers will form your article. Here’s a basic guideline, using the 5W’s and an H format.
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- What do I know about…?
- Where can people go to…?
- How do people find out more about…?
- Who are the experts on the subject, and what do they have to say?
- When did … become popular?
- Why is this topic interesting, and to Who?
You get the picture.
33 Imaginative Meanderings for Daily Writing – List No. 3
Now we come to List 3. And once you have your list, the challenge is to write about everything that particular word conjures up for you.
These words are also known as Power Words. Power words have an essential place in content writing. They can persuade, charm, entice, and convince your readers.
Power words have the power to evoke emotions. This forms an immediate connection between you and the reader.
When you are at a loss on what to write about, think outside the box by focusing on just one power word instead of a topic or an idea.
Boom! And that’s power words done and dusted.
Before we get on to our 2 actionable strategies here are:
5 Helpful Tips To Come Up With Your Ideas On What To Write About
- Decide if you want to write fiction or non-fiction.
- Write about things/issues that excite, inspire, and motivate you. In other words, your passions.
- Write about topics you already have experience in and/or knowledge of.
- Write about life experiences. Describe them and share how you were affected and how you used the experience to your advantage.
- Ask five people for five ideas.
Don’t forget to use mind maps and vision boards. They are great writing aids.
Strategy 1 – 30 Prompts from the Love and Loathe list.
When you don’t have Google to help you find writing prompts do this next trick to come up with your writing prompts. I call it the Love and Loathe list.
Jot down between 5-10 things you love, off the top of your head. You’ll find your list changes slightly every time you do this.
- the spiritual side of life
- being free
- the planet
- people who chop down trees
- wasting time
- animal cruelty
That’s already 20 writing prompts!
So now, I can start at the top of each list and jot down five ideas that spring to mind from each list.
So let’s go:
I love food: First five ideas are
- yummy treats
- creating salads
- growing food
I loathe rudeness: First five-word associations are
- bad manners
- unhappy person
- deserves punishment
- “Seriously, dude!?”
So my first story could be about a grumpy, older man that found sustenance through being rude to everyone he came across. Until one day, in the middle of one of his usual rants, a young girl approached him, and instead of responding in kind to his rantings, she gave him a big hug. So taken aback was he that he lost his train of thought and so on.
That’s how easy it is.
Now for Strategy 2. It works like a charm.
Strategy 2 – People, Places, Things, Color, Mood
For this exercise, jot down 10 of each. Then you pick a random number from each list. Write down your five choices and away you go. Story no.1
- Angry landlord
- Naughty childhood
- Gym instructor
- On a boat
- In a plane
- On top of the Eiffel Tower
- A lush valley
- An arid plain
- In a busy street market
- Outer space
- In a dorm
- A back alley
- The Queen of England’s summer castle
- A trumpet
- A butcher’s knife
- A toy box
- A treasure chest
- A brand new red convertible
- An old broken shoe
- A mousetrap
- A diamond earring
- Two fluffy kittens
- A hot bowl of soup
- Sky blue
- Powder pink
- Emerald green
Emotions/State of mind
Then pick five numbers.
I’ll go with 2, 5, 3, 8, 10
That gives me
- An arid plain
- A toy box
Now write something! You have a character, a location, an object of interest, a terrible choice of color, and a mood. Who could ask for anything more?
I sincerely hope you have found these tips stimulating, or at the very least, thought-provoking.
Before I end off, I want to add another helpful habit you may want to adopt.
Years ago, I read a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Her advice: Morning Pages – Every morning, as you wake up, grab your journal and write four pages (8 if your journal is not A4). Whatever comes to mind, scribble down. It can be an uncomfortable process. Sometimes the nonsense that gets written down is embarrassing. But don’t worry. You never have to reread it.
What morning pages do is
- Get you writing
- Gives you a routine (which can be expanded on)
- Gets your head cleared (it’s a cathartic exercise)
Doing this brings impressive results. Writing is hard work, and to be successful, we need to treat it like a job without losing the joy. So when I slump and get demotivated, I start the practice of morning pages again, and after a few weeks, I’m back on track. And morning pages get relegated to the back burner again. (I’d love to say I do them every morning, but I don’t).
Now that you are armed with over 100 writing prompts, 2 actionable, and fun, strategies, and five excellent ways to find new ideas, what are you waiting for?
Coming up with ideas on what to write about has never been so easy. Right?
Off you go and get writing! Time is of the essence.