Patricia Capracotta 53 articles

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Finding Something to Write About

Ideas are supposed to just flow effortlessly when you're a writer, right?

Right. If by effortlessly you mean, dragged kicking and screaming after sitting staring at a blank page for hours (or DAYS) waiting for inspiration to strike you dead, then sure, it's effortless.

The truth is that writing topics are not in fact just born consistently out of a stream of endless, flowing ideas from the Universe. They have to be coaxed and cajoled from their hiding spots and then propped-up and complimented into becoming something readable.

There is an easy way to keep ideas for topics out in the open. And although it may sound redundant, I can assure you that if you practice this daily, you will always have something to write about.

At some point in your day, sit down at either your computer or with paper and pen, and just, write. Free-writing is one of the most prolific ways to coax ideas out of your head. This works for fiction and non-fiction topics alike. The ideas are always in there, you simply get bogged-down with everything else going on in your life and forget to talk to them - this is true even if you don't have very much going on outwardly.

Once you have written this way for about 30 minutes you'll start feeling and noticing fresh new insights. You're not done there, but these are the new shoots that will give you enough to help them bloom into great topics to write about.

Pick one of these new insights and then start asking it some questions. Just like a journalist, ask 'who, what, where, when, how', and most importantly 'why' of your topic. Don't stop with one response to why, keep asking why. You're not only narrowing down your topic, you're exploring other facets at the same time and giving yourself enough information to get writing.

If you feel like you need to do a little research at this point, don't be afraid to do so. You can only expand on the subject and possibly bring more topics to light in this process.

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