It happens to all writers. You want to write a blog post, a short story, a novel, a journal entry, or just do your daily writing, but coming up with things to write about is impossible. You need to get your creative juices flowing, but you feel like you’ve hit a wall. Writer’s block happens to every single writer at some point.
Writing ideas can be challenging to come by when you feel like you’ve hit that wall, and although there are remedies for immediate relief of a lot of issues in life, there’s no magic potion to immediately fix a case of writer’s block.
This article will give you ideas because sometimes you just need some writing inspiration to get you going and moving in the right direction.
Things to Write About:
1. Creative Writing Prompts
Sometimes you just need to be given a writing prompt to get your imagination to spring into action. The ability to write is there, but there’s a mental block, and the ideas are just…stuck. Writing prompts are great ways to practice writing creatively. You can use a prompt to inspire you to write an entire story or just to get you thinking creatively and help to get you in the right frame of mind to focus on what you really want to write about.
Online and in Print
There are many places you can find creative writing prompts. Many websites online will give you ideas, storylines, characters you must include, or just a conflict. As a writer, you take that prompt, and you must expand on it. These are fun ways to get your creative juices flowing and can inspire some truly brilliant ideas for a short story of your own.
There are also books that you can buy whose entire point is to give you ideas for writing. Most of them have space in which to write after the writing prompt is given. While the prompts themselves may not be subject matter or storylines you would ever want to write professionally or would ever consider for yourself, sometimes just getting the first few words of a story can help to inspire you to get creative and put your own spin on the idea that you’ve been provided with.
Examples of Writing Prompts
A writing prompt gives you the beginning of a story or the plotline of a story, and you have to finish the story in your own words. Basically, it gives you the topic, and you have to come up with the rest. There are books available that have these prompts for nearly every genre you can think of. So if you write romance, get a romance prompt book. If you write thrillers or mysteries, find a prompt book of that genre. Horror? You guessed it. There is a prompt book out there for nearly every type of fiction there is.
There is usually an entire page in a prompt book dedicated to each prompt. At the top of the page is the actual prompt, and the rest of the page is blank space in which to write your short story. You can get creative and limit yourself to the space given in the book, or you can open a blank word processor document and make the story as long as you want. There are many different ways you can make it a personal experience and even part of your writing process. Below are a couple of examples of prompts.
The Mysterious Box
Things just haven’t been the same since I brought the antique jewelry box home. I bought it at a yard sale because it looked “different”, but I had no idea just how odd this item really was. When things started moving around my house, I knew that it had something to do with that jewelry box. Desperate for answers, I went back to the house that had the yard sale I bought the box from. I rang the doorbell and waited nervously. The old lady who answered immediately knew why I was there. She told me she couldn’t take it back and was nervous to tell me the secret about the old family heirloom. It turns out that…
Chance for Love?
Emily knew that she had to stop falling for every tortured musician that made eye contact with her. She knew guitarists were her weakness, so why did she continue to go to the local band shows? True, there was nothing else to do on a Saturday night in this small country town, but she should know better by now.
Tonight, it was a tall guy, shaggy black hair, pale blue eyes, and the sort of depth you’d expect from someone who spends all of his time writing sad lyrics in a small, messy apartment. He approached her in the parking lot after the show and told her that he hated to trouble her, but his car wouldn’t start, and the band had left, and he wondered if he could get a ride home. Then he told her he wasn’t even supposed to be there tonight.
He was a fill-in for his friend’s brother. He’d played the show as a favor, and his real job was as an elementary school teacher. Emily felt the sparks flying from the moment he approached her, and she could barely believe what she was hearing. He wasn’t in the band! This wasn’t her usual “type.” Did this mean that she didn’t have to feel guilty if she pursued this? Smiling, Emily told him…
When you are given starters like these, you have the main idea provided for you, but a few questions remain, and you have to fill in the blanks that those questions leave. Prompts like these can be a great tool to help you find your own inspiration.
2. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
There’s nothing like some self-reflection to get you inspired. Most writers find inspiration in their own past experiences at one point or another, and thinking about the interesting things that have happened to you can help you get inspired and find special meaning in the life you’ve lived. Inspiration may suddenly find you and just turn on like a light switch when you engage in this sort of personal writing because it’s an exercise in real life, and the most exciting topics to write about are often the ones that we’ve experienced personally.
3. Old Friends
Is there an old friend who is no longer in your life? Think about your childhood. Who was your best friend? What is your fondest childhood memory with that friend? Maybe it was going to the county fair on a hot summer day and riding the rides until you thought you’d throw up. Perhaps it was playing baseball. Maybe it was riding bikes together.
Write about someone from your childhood that you now miss dearly. Almost everyone has that close friend from childhood who moved away or just moved on in life that we still think about now and then.
Write About Your Firsts
You don’t have to be a thrill-seeker to have some fantastic life experiences. Write about some of your “firsts.” You can either write them as memories or put them in story form. You can format it in whatever way you enjoy writing them most. This practice can help you figure out which experiences mean the most to you and can give you ideas to base stories around.
This practice can also be an excellent idea for a writer who is trying to relate to one of his or her characters in a story. Give them one of your memories, and you can suddenly relate to them more.
Some examples of the experiences you can write about in your own life:
- Your first bike
- Your first day of school (elementary, middle, high, college)
- Your first best friend
- Your first date
- Your first kiss
- Your first experience with heartbreak
- When you got your driver’s license
- The most unusual place you’ve ever been
- Your first job interview
- Your first job
4. Scroll Your Favorite Social Media Platform
It seems counterproductive to stop writing so that you can scroll through social media on your phone. However, this can be what inspires you to start writing. Read a motivational poem a friend shared, and think about why that person shared it. Maybe you can invent a character crisis that would create the need for a motivational share like that on social media. Is the person dealing with some unknown issue and is really begging for attention? What could it be?
The ‘know it all’ friend who posts political, religious, and social issue things constantly may just be the exact target you need for the subject of a story. Why does this person think the things they think? Why do they feel to push their beliefs onto others as though they are somehow superior to their peers? Invent a story about what happened to this person to cause this sense of entitlement and pushiness.
New ideas for writing can be found across social media by simply being creative and inventing stories about the sorts of people and situations you find there.
5. Get Personal
Think about things that are personal to you to draw inspiration for writing. Below are several examples of things you can think about when trying to write.
What’s Your Favorite Song?
Music means a lot to most of us. Think about your favorite song. What about it appeals to you so much? Write about the lyrics and how you can relate to them. Write about the beat of the music, the instruments used, and how they affect your mood and your train of thought. What do you think about when you listen to this song?
Have you ever been grocery shopping, at the gas station, at school, or at work and had an attraction to a person, romantic or not, that didn’t go anywhere? Maybe you were new and briefly met someone who could have been a great candidate for a best friend. You didn’t speak up, or you didn’t get the chance to talk, and the other person just went about their day, and you never saw them again. Write about this experience.
You can either write about how it affected you emotionally not to have brought the relationship to fruition or to never really have the chance to connect. Or you can get creative and write the story of what might have been if you had been able to connect with this person.
Your Favorite Season
What season of the year brings you the most joy? The natural wonders of the seasons and everything they bring with them as they arrive can give you a lot of inspiration. Think about the colors associated with each season and how they make you feel. Write about a specific memory, good or bad, that occurred during that season. Think about which season you like the least and why. Writing about a season of the year can get you to think about your senses. Think about the sights, smells, and sounds associated with the seasons and the feelings and memories they invoke.
Your Most Interesting Family Member
Do you have an interesting member of your family you can write about? Did your sweet old grandmother used to be a party animal? Talk to members of your family and write about a time one of them had an adventure. Maybe you have a veteran in the family who has old war stories he can tell. Perhaps you have an artist in the family who has had some fantastic experiences she can share. Talk to family. Not only will it give you things to write about, but it just might bring you closer to the people you care about most.
6. Other Creative Prompts
It doesn’t have to be personal for you to write about it. It makes sense to look inward first, but sometimes we still don’t find inspiration when we do so. In these cases, there are several other things that can get your creative mind working so that you can write without that dreaded wall coming between you and creativity.
Write a Fairy Tale
Put spins on fairy tales you remember from your childhood. Fill them with mystical creatures, ethical dilemmas, a magic spell or two. Maybe the heroic prince is physically hurt while battling other mythical creatures on another adventure, and the princess locked in the tower has to save herself.
Write About a Recent Dream
Write about a dream you had recently or one that is recurring. If you’ve dreamed about the same thing more than once, write about what that may mean.
Grab a random book. Flip to a random page. Blindly select a random sentence. Start a story with that sentence. Or write an acrostic poem. To do that, choose a random word and begin each line of a poem with the letter than the word it starts with. Refer to a crossword puzzle, dictionary, or word from a book to find the word you want to use for the poem.
Additional Ideas: What Should I Write About?
Below are some additional ideas for what you should write about:
- Write a story about the places you visited.
- Write how a specific conversation changed your whole life.
- Imagine you were stuck in a place with the person you couldn’t stand – create a plot.
- Think about a person you see daily but have never met or had a chance to talk to, and write a story about them based on your impression of them.
- Write a story where animals are like people. They study, dream, and work, and they can outsmart people.
- Create a story about your failed dream or how you ended up doing something else.
- Write a story about someone who changed your life either for the better or worse.
- Write about three weird things about yourself.
- Compile some memes, and create a story out of them.
- Create a life hack that people will be amazed with; it could be based on your own experience or someone else’s.
- Write a story about dealing with life-changing moments.
- Create a story that revolves around enhancing one’s lifestyle.
You Aren’t the First or Last Person
As a writer, it can feel devastating to hit that wall where inspiration seems like it’s dried up and blown away. Most other writers have experienced it. You aren’t the first and won’t be the last. This time most will most likely just be one of many times you’ll run into the issue in your writing career. Finding inspiration in some of the ideas and examples that this article has provided may make your life easier as a writer. Whatever you do, write. Don’t stop just because it gets hard. You can write, you should write, and all it takes is a little inspiration.