Whether you write fiction or blog articles, here are 7 ways you can come up with ideas if you’re feeling stuck. I’ve never had trouble with writer’s block because I have a ton of lists all over the place with ideas for when inspiration strikes. For me, ideas come pretty naturally because I’ve always been a writer, but that’s now how it works for a lot of people.
To help inspire you, here are just a few of the places to get ideas from.
Take Inspiration from Other Writers
You’ve probably heard it already, but that’s because it’s true: A good writer is also a good reader. Before I write anything I usually read at least one article in a similar vein. Oftentimes I’ll read several because I’m doing research on a topic where I might not have a depth of knowledge. Research is especially important for my client work, and for topics that I already know about because you can always find new perspectives and advice.
Steal from Yourself
Look at something you have already written. Is there another way to write it from another angle? Can you expand on an idea in a previous piece? Was there anything you didn’t cover? When I get excited about a new idea, I’ll write 3 or 4 titles before I choose how to write the article. That could mean I have 4 totally different articles depending on the title I choose.
Try Out a New Genre
I absolutely love to experiment with genre. It’s fascinating how the same premise and story can be told differently depending on if it’s a poem, story, or comic! for those of you who do a lot of Creative Writing, I dare you to experiment with a genre you have never tried before. Maybe scriptwriting, poetry, or even satire.
Summarize Your Favourite Film or Book
Reviews are super fun and helpful! I have read a lot of books throughout my life that taught me all kinds of things. In 2020, I’ve been on a rampage because I have more time than before. Grab something off your bookshelf or go to the library and ask for a recommendation, then write about it. If a review doesn’t work, then maybe it will at least inspire you.
Think About Your Favourite Piece of Advice
Is there a motto or piece of advice you’ve adopted into your life that others might also find helpful? It can be anything! A quote from a friend or even something you overheard. Perhaps, it’s as simple as a life hack (for example did you know you can use the tiny plastic bread tabs to label your cords?) If you found it helpful, someone else might too.
Give Yourself a Challenge
It’s hard to write something when you’re staring at a blank page. That’s why I love prompts! Take Dr. Seuss for example. He was challenged to write a story with only 50 different words, and he did. Come up with some sort of constraint and challenge yourself. Write a list of words you need to include. Refuse to write words with the letter “y”. Tell a story from 4 points of view. A difficult prompt is a great way to get your gears moving.
Stalk Your Social Media
Often I get inspired by things I found on social media. Maybe a friend asking for restaurant advice or help writing a cover letter. Write an article to answer their question. You can also write a critique or share your opinions for things you have seen on social media or in the news as well. I love sharing my opinions, even if they’re goofy and ridiculous.
There you go! Hopefully, this list helped you try something new to help you beat your writer’s block. And since you’ve made it this far, I’ll leave you with a bonus tip: Write your ideas down! Make a jar of prompts or a list on your phone. I’m not just always thinking about writing, I’m also always writing those thoughts down. Whether it’s while I’m buying groceries or getting squeaky clean in the shower, it’s important to save those thoughts for when you’re in front of a computer.
Good Luck & Get writing!
This article was first published in the publication The Startup