What do I write about? It’s a question every writer asks himself. Well, there are several ways you can find ideas and you’ve heard most of them. Write what you know, write what you are passionate about, write about what bugs you, write about your experiences, and the list goes on and on.
I’ll suggest only one idea here. For me, one of the best ways to find ideas to write about is simply to read. This is not a new idea. Nevertheless, reading not only inspires us to write, it generates article ideas as we ponder how we might approach the same subject from a fresh angle.
You can write about any idea from several different angles. When you “hitchhike” on an idea you are reading about, simply add a new a twist or perspective based on your unique experience.
For example, I recently read an archived article in which the author encouraged writers to, “Write to please yourself.” Reading his article inspired me to seriously consider writing to please myself instead of worrying about publication. I asked myself a question; If I am not pleased with my writing, how can I possibly expect to please an editor or publisher? Consequently, I must write to please myself first. I am the primary audience, others are the secondary audience. From this premise, I wrote the blog entitled, “Writing for an Audience of One” featured in the navigation column at right.
Last month, I was frustrated developing new articles ideas and prepping to write another novel. So, I read an article about the angst of the writing process by the late John Steinbeck. I was hoping to find solace from the Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Grapes of Wrath. In this article he stated, “I have written a great many stories and I still don’t know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances.”
I found wisdom in his words. And I hitchhiked on his idea. Writing torments us. But will it always torment us, or will we get better at it? Does the writing process get easier, but not the literal writing? This launched my blog entitled, “Writing: Does it Ever Get Any Easier?”
Read what inspires you. Reading ignites your imagination and generates ideas to explore from your unique perspective. The next time you read, keep a notebook handy and jot down all of the ideas that spin-off of your reading.
There are several ways to find ideas to write about, yet one of the most relevant, effective and applicable is simply to read.
It’s a simple truth; reading inspires writing.
Your Turn: Tell me where you find ideas to write about.
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