Hey there! It’s me, Heidi.
Well… I’ve already done it. I’ve already skipped a day of blogging. SOOOOOOO today you’re going to get a twofer. That’s write… TWO for the price of one! And, considering that reading my blog is completely free, I’d say you’re getting the sweetest deal around, wouldn’t you?
Ok, so since I’ve been having such trouble finding something to write about, I decided to write this blog about finding something to write about. So meta of me, right?
There are a bunch of different ways that I find something to write about. The way I like best is to come up with something organically. To be inspired with a thought and to know I just have to write it down. But, that’s not always how things work out. You see, writing requires thinking. THINKING. As in… you know that huge brain you’ve got in that head of yours? You have to actually use it. And using your brain to write isn’t always easy. Some days you just plain old can’t think of anything interesting to write about, and some days you just don’t want to.
I’ve got two different tools that I use when I have the urge to write, but I can’t think of something to write about:
- The Happy Book: A Journal to Celebrate What Makes You Happy by Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder
- 642 Things to Write About by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto
Whether you’re a poet, a novelist, a journalist, a screenwriter, or any of those other awesome writer types out there, these books are (in the words of Tony the Tiger) grrrrrrrrrrrreat!
The Happy Book allows a little more than just writing, which, for the multi-artistic person is so fun. You can sketch, cut and paste, write, color. This book includes it all. In the gallery above you’ll see a few of my Happy Book entries as an example. The first is a prompt that challenges you to write down all of your favorite childhood books, and the second prompted you to plan out your perfect dinner party – the meal and the guests. I chose to cut out pictures of foods that I love and paste them into the journal instead of writing. One the page next to it (not pictured) I pasted pictures of the people I would invited in a circle as if we were all sitting around a table. Both were fun little exercises, and everything in the book is focused on turning a bad day into a good one. To help you reflect on the simple things in life… things we often take for granted. If you’re having a brain fart, you can always go to your Happy Book and use one of the prompts either just to answer the prompt itself, or to allow the prompt to launch you into a larger project.
642 Things To Write About is strictly for writing. Each prompt has lines drawn underneath for you to write on. Not much room to draw or cut and paste, but that’s not the point of this book. I really like this one because I’m not writing about personal things necessarily. You, of course, can use this as a journal if the particular prompt is very personal to you, but I much prefer writing about the sillier things. For example, in the pictures above you will see some of the prompts I have responded to such as writing a haiku about a tomato and the beginnings of a story involving elderly spies. In the third picture, you’ll see a prompt I responded to that had much more serious content – a girl looking through a sky light down on her ex-fiance’s wedding. I, of course, have absolutely no experience involving this whatsoever, but you see how when you are forced to put yourself in someone else’s shoes a great story can come out of it? I think that’s one reason I like theatre and books so much – you get the inside scoop on how the other half lives.
Both of these books are great resources, they’re fun to use, and they can help you come up with some excellent pieces of writing. Know upfront that not everything you write about has to be perfect. Sometimes the goofiest prompts and the worst things you’ve ever written can give you the best ideas!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you on this topic. On to article #2 that I promised you!
If you have some other ways of coming up with writing topics that you like, please comment below! I’d love to hear what you have to say, and I’d love to try out your strategies!
Until next time,