What to write about when you don’t know what to write about
If you are reading this post, I assume that you have just drifted away from your empty word document in search of a magic wizard that will give you an epiphany on what you should write about. In today’s times, that magic wizard is probably Google.
Fortunately I have about three things you can write about when you are stumped, have no idea what you should be writing about.
Whether you are writing a blog post, an essay for class, or your dissertation, these tips are simple and easy to use. How do you think I wrote this? 🙂
Tip #1 – Write a List
They first thing you may want to do is write a list. This list can be pretty much anything. If you are writing a blog post, you can probably just stop right here because this concept has become the basis of entire websites. People love lists – particularly funny ones.
The list can be about anything and it’s pretty easy to do. I like to start by creating a list of things I like. It can be as specific or as general as you like. If you have a general category in mind then make a list of favorite songs. Already have a post on favorite songs, then create a list of favorite songs for dancing in the rain in April. See what I did there?
General ideas can become pretty specific. It just depends on context.
If you are entirely stumped on what to write a list about, then literally bullet point whatever randomness comes into your head. Then, look back at it.
As you read your random list back, you may start to see a pattern and idea forming because the beauty of the brain is that it likes to create patterns and meaning where there isn’t any. So, this random list may just become the basis of an idea for a blog post, essay, or even a novel.
Tip #2 – Write down how you feel right now
A great thing to do when you don’t know what to write about is to start by writing about what you know about. Regardless of how emotionally ‘connected’ you may or may not feel, just about anyone can write at least a sentence about how they feel. If you can’t, just write about what you’re thinking. Just write something.
Also, in my experience, I find that the people around me tend to feel the same way. Is the rain making you a bit depressed? Chances are everyone is bummed about it too. While writing about depressing rain is when it ruins your outdoor BBQ isn’t exactly star material, documenting a solution to that problem is awesome and noteworthy.
In life, there are many perceived problems, but there are very few problem solvers. So, start with what you know to be true for you, then work your way towards something new like a solution or tip that is helpful for others.
Tip #3 – Write a review
This is a really awesome and simple thing for you to do when you need a topic to write about. In this case, the topic is already pretty much chosen for you. Whatever you are reviewing is the topic. So, I like to pick something that I already love.
Have you watched any amazing movies lately? Are you obsessed with a show on Netflix? Have you recently discovered a book that you love?
Then write a review about it and share that love with others. If you want to write a really good review, then try to think critically about what the subjects and themes mean in a bigger context. Also, you always want to focus on the benefit that the particular song, book, movie, or product had for you.
Within an academic context, this is also a really good way to start finally writing your essay or dissertation. Look at each academic journal article like a mini book that you need to review. So, you can write a brief summary, and then think critically about what the academic is saying. As you start to compare their thoughts to others, you will have material that you can use to create your own arguments and conclusions.
I hope this helps you finally start writing. It’s also great to remember that your first drafts will never be seen, so never stress about anything that comes out on the page. So long as you have something on the page, you can give yourself a satisfying high-five. That is most of the battle.
Wishing you an awesome, writing-filled weekend,