Think You Don’t Have Ideas to Write About?

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

re you one of those writers who, perhaps often, moans that you don’t have any good ideas to write about? Well, you’ve got a problem and I know what it is and how you can fix it.

Our world is literally swimming in ideas. Looking out my window I see an orange tree, some red bougainvillea, some tall succulents, bamboo, rosemary and other plants.

There’s also a Quan Yin Statue, a fence, an air conditioner and an instant hot water heater. If I remember to look a bit further to my right I can see the edge of a bistro table and two chairs. That’s at least a dozen things you or I could write about right now.

Would you want to? Maybe not, but I see several articles that would work in a gardening blog, or as articles for a gardening magazine, a trade gardening magazine, an appliance trade magazine and more, for pay, and sometimes good pay.

Quit judging your ideas!

If you think you’re running out of ideas, the problem isn’t the number of ideas, but the fact that you’re judging most of them bad ideas, or inadequate or something.

Instead, get in the habit of writing all of them down, the good ones, the silly ones, the bad ones where you can retrieve them. Writing them down seems to do a couple of things. It gets them out of your head making room, it seems for more. When you check out your list you’re probably going to be amazed at how many are actually things you can work with.

Years ago I realized that I threw out way too many ideas because they didn’t suit me at the moment, or felt boring, or like too much work. The more I threw out the fewer ideas I had. I suspect our brains are designed for generating ideas and can actually shut down or slow down that process if we don’t pay at least some attention.

Since then I’ve given my mind permission to have all the ideas it wants and I take responsibility for sorting out the good ones from the bad. I get many of these ideas, particularly the ideas about writing topics, written in my various idea files. When I’m stuck, I always find something I can work with.

But, as you look at the list from my window, you say “I don’t know how to garden!” or “I don’t know who Quan Yin is and I’m not sure I want to!” I suggest that with Google not knowing something isn’t the excuse it used to be. Even if you have no intention of learning how to garden, you could write about how a plant or flower looks to you. You could make comments about the ugliness of the air conditioner or the sense you might have on an overly hot day when you stepped into the room it cools. If you have strong feelings about statues, express them — someone else might enjoy finding they are not alone because they feel in a similar way.

Try capturing your ideas without judgement, knowing writing them down doesn’t obligate you to write about them. A week is a good start; two or more weeks might be better. Notice how your idea about your ideas begins to change.

Write well and often,

Writer, life and writing coach, book ghostwriter, Grandmother, Buddhist. Liberal who listens to the other side, political activist-www.DemocracyCounts.org

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