Can’t think of anything to write? Here are five tips to get those ideas running.

For some of us, coming up with an idea is more difficult than writing.

It may sometimes feel like we have a million concepts darting in our mind like the flying keys in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone and we have to catch the right one. On the other hand, it may sometimes feel like our creative mind is blank and incapable of generating any ideas.

Fortunately, here are five tips to help you come up with writing ideas whether it be for an article, essay or report.

1) Do your research

Clearly, you do research to develop an idea or topic that you have already come up with; however, your research is also a good opportunity for you to come up with an idea or topic if you do not already have one.

For example, during February (Black History Month in the US), I watched documentaries on African-American life and culture, which then led to me watching Black British history documentaries which in turn gave me the idea to write an article on Black history.

2) Talk to people

If you find research tedious or have still not come up with an idea, you could ask your family members, friends or colleagues about what to write about. Even though there might not be overlap between their profession and your profession, they might come up with intriguing ideas that match your work or interests.

For instance, even though my mother’s profession is not in writing, she gave me the idea to write an article on how streaming platforms have changed people’s watching habits.

3) Reflect on your experiences

Although you can get ideas from individual research and other people, you can just as easily get ideas from reflecting on your own experiences. In fact, all my advice articles came from me just contemplating my university and work experiences.

The best thing about this though is that you do not have to do laborious information seeking since you already know the time, place and outcome of your own experiences.

4) Revisit your old ideas and writings

If reflecting on your own experiences did not give you any ideas and was not time-saving enough for you, then you could try revisiting and improving your old ideas or writings.

By revisiting your old ideas or writings, you not only quickly get an idea but you also do not have to do laborious information seeking and do not have to write that much more content as there is already enough content on your original piece.

However, just because you are reusing an old idea or piece, it does not mean that you should copy and paste the same content onto your new piece. It will most likely be the case that you will read your old piece and identify parts that you can improve by adding, reducing or rearranging content. After you do this, you will see that you have written a better piece and realise how much your writing has improved from when you first wrote your original piece.

5) Take a break

If the four previous tips have still not helped you come up with an idea, then maybe you just need to take a break. After all, ideas do not only come to you when you are working but also when you are relaxing.

Hopefully, you will use these tips to come up with future ideas. Aside from that, good luck with writing.

Photo by Green Chameleon (@craftedbygc) on Unsplash

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