Does figuring out what to write about hold you back from writing? Given a topic to start with, it’s much easier!
Most of us were trained to write about what we were told to write about. Think back to your school years. Did your teachers often free you to write about anything you chose? Or did they assign you a book, person, place, idea, or other specific topic to write about? And then there was the pressure of being graded and judged against others writing on the same exact topic…
Writing articles or blog posts gives us freedom to write about what we want without the fear of a “grade” but puts us in a more challenging position—we have to choose our topic and take responsibility for our own words.
Where we can find those topics and ideas that put us in the place where our fingers just dance freely across the keyboard and the words pour out?
What is inspiration? Here are two of the many definitions of inspiration:
- Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
- An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or intervention.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, © 2000
Inspiration comes from emotion. To be inspired we have to feel something first—love, hate, anger, regret, pity, elation, happiness, compassion…
When’s the last time you were moved to one of those emotions? What’s the last event that moved you to tears? Think about when you were moved to act with compassion and intervene on behalf of someone else.
Brainstorm on Paper…
Start with a blank piece of paper. Write an emotional word in the middle of your paper. Now let yourself free write around that word whatever comes to mind.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes…
Imagine you are your reader.
When’s the last time your reader got frustrated or discouraged? What can you write to help them through that?
When was the last time your reader felt truly inspired or successful? How can you help them reach that place again, or celebrate it?
Be Okay With Emotion…
So many of us grow up hearing “be tough” or “big girls don’t cry.” There’s always room for emotion. Emotion is what inspires us, what motivates us to act, and what guides us. Yes, we should balance it with reason. But if we don’t let our emotions free, we’ll be living an uninspired life.
And what’s there for writers to write about without inspiration?
So get emotional, get passionate, be real, and write about that. That’s where inspiration is hiding.
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