Students often complain that they cannot think of anything to write about. In many cases, we tend to think of our own lives as a bit boring and that nobody wants to hear what we have to say. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The world around you is filled with topics that can be explored. The trick is to pay attention. Below are a few ideas to get you started.
Keep a Journal
Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and observations can provide you with ideas for later writing tasks.
You can write about things that happen in your day, but you can go well beyond this. You might choose to describe the view from your window. You could pick a human quality to write about such as commitment or friendship and explore your thoughts.
Even ordinary objects or activities can be “jumping off” points for journal writing. Choose something you do every day but expand upon your thoughts, impressions, or feelings. For example, you could explore your ride to school or work. It might seem mundane at first, but you will be surprised at how much you can write once started.
Once you are in the practice of brainstorming and writing about a wider variety of topics, objects, people, and events, you will be primed to write!
Start a Clippings File
Gather items that interest you including articles, photos, song lyrics, book reviews, quotations, humorous anecdotes, and so on. You can keep these in paper form or on a platform such as Trello online. In either case, you can create separate sections with categories or themes.
These clippings can spark your own ideas as well, so you can include these thoughts in your various sections, too. When looking for ideas, simply browse through the clippings to find some motivation.
Books, Movies, Videos, Art
Books movies, videos, and artworks can be used as sources. You can write responses, reviews, or descriptions. Asking yourself questions about the characters or plot in books or movies can act as prompts. Does one of the characters remind you of someone? Has one of the events ever happened to you – or would you like it to happen? Do you agree with the views expressing a video? Comparing a book to a movie, a book to other books, or movie to other movies, and so on is another option. How does a sculpture make you feel? Is the panting calming or exciting?
Well, you get the idea.
Be aware during your day so that you are engaging with the world. I know this sounds obvious, but all of us sometimes (and some most times) go through daily routines without noticing even ten percent of what is around us. That’s normal; but, by deliberately focusing our attention, we will discover a lot of inspiration.
Also, always trying to be aware of your surroundings and accessing them for new thoughts and ideas will help you when relating to texts, books, movies, and other materials noted earlier. Making connections and building your web of knowledge is always good.
Teach Myself? Teach Myself!
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