How to Write When You Don’t Know What To Write About

So you want to write, but don’t know where to begin

Your mind is scrambled. You don’t have an overarching idea to plan out. What are you meant to do? Should you write whatever comes into your head? Should you try to make your work a cohesive whole somehow? Should you really be trying to shoehorn your short pieces into a novel?

Don’t be scared. You’re not alone. This blog post deals with these questions.

500 words for 31 days

I signed up to write 500 words a day every day for 31 days.

No, I’m not setting myself a NaNoWriMo style task where I have to write a novel.

What is the purpose of this exercise, then? I’m just trying to get into a daily writing habit.

Are you wrapped up in your non-writing life? Come and join me for 500 words a day. Send me a tweet to let me know you’re in. 

How does someone become a writer?

With writing. A writer is someone who writes.

If you’re doing this along with me, that means you can write anything for this 31 dat stint. I mean, honestly, I just want to be a writer, and if a writer is someone who writes, then goddamn it sign me up to the writing-every-day bandwagon.

Emails don’t count. Blog posts  count. Poetry counts, fiction counts, magic realistic shopping lists count. So long as you have the spark of an idea, however small, you can work with it.

And the thing with small sparks is that sometimes they can ignite a mighty fire. 

Maybe we’ll find ourselves writing shopping lists in a dieselpunk world and suddenly BAM there we go with a novel idea: and we have our daily writing habit to thank for this.

Google is your friend

Of course I Googled ‘what to write about if you don’t know what to write about’ when I was researching this blog post. There’s a load of hits for this topic (unsuprisingly!), but one or two links stood out.

There’s Things To Write About over at Udemy, Stuck for Ideas? 20 Quotes Telling You What To Write About at the fantastic Write To Done, and a little gem that also came up: 5 Ways To Find Time to Write When Busy (I am busy! You are busy! Everyone’s busy! We all need this!).

Making the time suck work for you

Social media can help you out if you’re stuck. This probably sounds counter-intuitive, being that social media is the biggest time suck ever, but be constructive with it. Let everything feed your writing; stories that other people share on social media, for example, can be a fertile feeding ground for writing ideas.

Some social media sites help more than others, of course. Pinterest is especially good for writing ideas as everything there is visual. Instagram, too! So if you’re on Pinterest (follow me! we can be friends!), there’s a board simply called Writing Prompts which you’ll find very helpful. I’ll be writing about the image below later.

What inspiration can you find today?



3 thoughts on “How to Write When You Don’t Know What To Write About

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