Writing Ideas: Part One

Hey there! In the mood to write? Not sure what to write about?

No sweat. The hardest part to writing well is making writing a practice. So the “what” on any given day doesn’t matter nearly as much as taking a few minutes to write something. Anything! And so today (and from time to time in future posts), I’m going to share with you a few ideas to get your pen to paper. Or fingertips to keys. Your call.

Now, many of these ideas came from friends, teachers, and colleagues over the years. So I can’t take credit for most of them. But neither can those friends, teachers, or colleagues either—necessarily. Many of these ideas belong to a vast collective library of “try this” activities that you can now take and adapt for yourself, just like we all have.

Okay? Ready? Let’s go.

Real-Life Fiction

Step out on your front porch. Look out your back window. Go to a coffee shop or a park. In short, find a place where you will find people. Find a person, a couple, or a small group. Who are they? What are their names? Where are they going? What are their greatest fears? Their deepest secrets? No, you don’t need to stare at them. In fact, if they’re walking past, that’s better. The instant you get started, the real becomes fiction. Let the rest live in your head. If this still feels a little awkward, there are other options: find a picture in a magazine, a photo online, a muted TV show you’ve never seen before.

Just Write

You’ve been told to “just write.” That can be annoying, right? Well, tough. Do it. Yes, now. Just right. “I have nothing to say today. I have no ideas. Blah, blah, blah . . . I just ate a cookie.” This is all perfectly fine. Keep writing nonsense. Time yourself for fifteen or twenty minutes, and don’t stop. If you run out of ideas, say so. “I’ve run out of ideas. I don’t know what else to write.” There’s a pretty good chance that in the middle of all the gibberish, some pretty cool stuff will come up. And if not? That’s fine. Try again tomorrow. So, what are you waiting for? Write!!

Set a Mood

Still with me? Okay then. Here’s one more idea for today. If you’ve read any of my interviews about the writing process, you probably know that I like to write to music. Give it a try! Play some classical music or some crazy dance beat. Blare the banjo, or relax to some easy listening. My advice would be to listen to something without words. Now, you have a soundtrack. What do you see in your mind’s eye? Write it down.


Having fun? I sure hope so! As I said, I’ll come back from time to time to give more writing ideas. Have any ideas of your own? I’d love to hear them!