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What Do I Write About When I Don't Know What to Write About

Updated on November 16, 2013

What's My Line Show from 1956

Quick Checklist of Writing Ideas

Here is a Quick List of Some Writing Ideas

  • Product Review
  • Book Review
  • Movie Review
  • Hobbies/Crafts
  • Old Family Recipes
  • Unusual Jobs
  • Dangerous Jobs
  • Sports
  • Unusual Holidays
  • Family History
  • Pet Care
  • Strange Foods
  • Free Source for Ideas
  • Unusual Animals
  • Health/Disease
  • An Amazing, Yet Unknown Comedy Act.
  • A Great, But Not Mainstream Musical Group.
  • A Review of a an Exceptional Eatery You've Had the Pleasure to Dine In.

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

Mining Writing Ideas From Everyday Life. Nearly Everybody is an Expert at Something.

Did you ever sit down to write a Hub on HubPages, or a Lens on Squidoo, or an EZine article, or to write on your own blog and be at a loss for an idea. All you have to do is dig into the treasure trove of your everyday life experiences and do a little data mining, and you can come up with some zingers of ideas that you will surprise yourself with. Think about products that you use every day and the ones that you like and why you like them. Write a review about those things you like best.

Have you read a great book that you'd like to tell someone about, or tell EVERYONE about. Write a book review. I've read some really great books, that I haven't even touched the surface of book reviews I could write. Or, seen a great DVD at home that you think everybody should know about, because maybe it isn't widely publicized anymore and has disappeared from the public's eye. The only movies that you read about regularly are the ones that are new releases in the theater, or newly released on DVD, but how about some old movies that made you laugh hysterically, or made you cry uncontrollably.

Do you know something about a hobby that you can share with other people that may turn someone on to your hobby, such as bird watching, hiking the Appallachian Trial, or milking cobras (OK, maybe that last one wouldn't interest too many people). But, do you know a lot about photography, or how to set up a darkroom (for those who can still find actual film).

Do you have some favorite recipe that was handed down through your family that the general public may not know about (like Broccoli pancakes). Maybe you have some ethnic recipe from the old country that isn't publicized in any cookbook that you could share with us.

Do you have an interesting or unusual job that people might not be familiar with? (For instance, when people ask me what I do for a living I tell them that I test strippers which usually starts a lengthy conversation). It's what I really do, believe it or not. Ask me about it sometime!!! Kind of like "What's My Line." "What's Your Name, and What Do You Do?" Or, perhaps you have a job that is exceptionally dangerous that not many people really know a lot about. Are you an undercover cop that has infiltrated a notorious gang or Colombian drug cartel?

Milking Deadly Venomous Snakes

World's Most Dangerous Jobs

Wings of the Albatross

Have You Ever Pursued a Course in Creative Writing

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William T. Vollmann--Prostitutes and Pornography-An example of an author who many consider to be highly over-rated.
William T. Vollmann--Prostitutes and Pornography-An example of an author who many consider to be highly over-rated. | Source

The Controlled Accidental Pattern of a Landing Albatross

You Can Write Like the Controlled Accidental Landing Pattern of an Albatross

Perhaps, you worry that you lack abilities in spelling, grammar, or both. If this is true, fear not, you are not alone, but there are solutions to help you overcome your inadequacies. If you do your initial writing off-line in a program such as Word, that has built in spelling and grammar checks, it will be immensely helpful. Many community colleges also offer non-credit (and usually inexpensive) adult education courses for various elements of writing. If you are not a native English speaker, consider taking ESL classes. A lot of times these are offered for free or very inexpensively until you get into advanced coursework.

My point is that no matter where you are today in your writing ability, you can write SOMETHING about SOMETHING, and perhaps, even if it's just by accident, you can produce something that LOTS of people are interested in reading about. After all, that is the name of the game isn't it? You want to draw traffic to what you write, and the only way to get more traffic is to experiment, become keyword savvy, and write more.

A big part of learning how to write effectively is learning how to read effectively. Read other people's work. Sooner or later, you'll start to understand the difference between good and engaging writing versus drab and uninspiring writing. Nearly every place you find people who successful writers, you will find a mix of both. I'm not really sure why people read drab and uninspiring writing, but there must be a place for it, as I recall there was much of this forced down our throats when we were taking high school literature courses. (Maybe it was more an acquired taste for literature that made no sense to me). Did you ever read a poem that just constantly repeated itself, a poem that was like trying to follow "The Myth of Sisyphus." I'm not implying that this is bad literature, I'm implying that Sisyphus's life was boring and repetitive, trying to accomplish and impossible goal.

My underlying point here, is that if you have ever seen an albatross landing and imagined that an airplane you were flying in would land the same way, you would never fly in an airplane again. But, the albatross is undaunted by it's clumsiness, and in spite of it all continues to do it over and over again. So, must a writer continue to do it over and over again, undaunted, and refuse to be disappointed by the rough landings along the way. Most great successes in life come from the willingness to repeatedly fail and to never give up trying.

So, my parting words to you are even when you feel like your efforts are fruitless, and you are landing like an albatross, successful landings sometimes hit a lot of rough spots along the way.


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    • pocono foothills profile image

      John Fisher 4 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      @MsDora--Thank you for your comment. I suffer through those droughts too, occasionally. It's always a good idea to carry a small note pad around with you, because you never know when an idea will pop into your head.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Voted Up! A very helpful article. Many of us expereince droughts of ideas. You give very practical suggestions. Thank you.