Writing begins with your imagination. Ideas formulate as a result of your interpretation of experiences you’ve had, what others have written, or a spiritual revelation you’ve felt. No matter the source, something within your imagination created the thought that birthed an idea for your writing.
If you feel empty or lost for topics, go back to what ever it is that “tickles” your creative juices. If it means spending time browsing the bookstore or museum, taking a walk in the park or on the beach, listening to your favorite music, or just spending quiet time alone, schedule the time and do it.
Discovering what you like to write can be an exciting adventure. It is very important to explore and not place limits on your talents. Before settling into any one particular subject or topic, consider writing at least one article under each of the following headings: personal experience, how to, and informative.
With the personal experience topics, never assume something you’ve experienced is of no interest to others. Topics like overcoming the loss of a family member (or pet) are popular, especially if you can offer insight that can help others overcome their grief. Another topic might be sharing information, support, and examples of positive outcomes when raising a special needs child. The level of encouragement for other parents can have an enormous impact of hope that could never be measured.
“How to” articles always seem to maintain a following: Descriptions of simple functions you take for granted can be a struggle for others. Topics like lawn treatment tips, basic plumbing, quick and economical window treatments, and other home improvement strategies, or offering support with basic computer functions all make great topics which can generate audience interest.
Informative articles provide comprehensive details about a specific topic. It may include the history or origin of a special event or holiday, rationale for its creation, who was the founder/originator, its significance to the world and/or impact on groups or individuals, and what makes the event or situation memorable.
Making a Decision
A great way to decide the topic of your first article is to spend some time brainstorming ideas. Draw three circles. Make a list of your personal experiences in one circle and “how to” or ideas for informative topics in the other two circles. Draw lines that extend from each circle. Starting with personal experience, write two words representing various experiences you’ve had that you would like to describe in writing. Do the same exercise with the “how to” and informative circles. Decide which subject you’d like to address first and begin writing all you know or can remember about the topic. Before you know it, you’ve developed and great foundation for an interesting article.