Before you sit down to write, you need to have an idea of what you’re going to write about. Now, this can be hard for some people because they just can’t pick an idea out of the air and write a three-page essay about it; however, it is possible to search for an idea, mull it over in your head for a while, and start to write about it. Sometimes, though, you need to find something to write about that you actually know something about; it’s all well and good for me to want to write about horses, but let’s face it, I don’t know anything about them.
The easiest way to practice finding writing ideas is to keep a journal of your daily life. If you write down what happens to you every single day, then you have countless ideas. See, everything that you record during the day is a potential story idea; you could elaborate on a specific event, such as a sports game, a particularly interesting class, or a fight, and turn it into a short story of chapter of a novel. Your life is a never-ending source of ideas (well, until you die, at least), so as long as you pay attention to what’s going on in your life, you will never be bereft of ideas.
If you’re trying to make money by writing articles, then you might not be able to get away with writing about your everyday life; moreover, you’ll need to find something to write about that someone needs to read. Many sites that pay you for your writing already have categories posted that you can write articles to, so you should browse these categories until you find one that sparks your interest. Read other people’s articles, and challenge yourself to do better. Look for article topics that you know something about, that interest you, and that can pay you!
Talk to your friends if you’re having trouble thinking up ideas to write about. I’ve written some articles and essays simply because I didn’t know what to write about and had to ask my friends. Sometimes, one of your friends may come up with a brilliant story idea that he or she can’t put into a thousand-word essay; with his or her permission, you can go ahead and do that as a writer. Your friends may even tell you to just write about something that happened during the day that they thought was hilarious, horrifying, or hilariously horrifying, so listen to them.
Read books and newspapers. Not only can this help you gather story ideas, but it can also help you learn how to write well simply by means of imitating other writers’ techniques. You shouldn’t copy anyone else’s articles or story ideas, but you can always use them as a start-off point. For example, you may read an article about the dropping quality of food at a certain restaurant. People like to read about food, so you could get out there and write a restaurant review, write about your favorite restaurants, write about your school or office cafeteria, or anything else that relates to eating whatsoever.
Look at things that you’ve already written. Have you ever wanted to write a sequel? Well, you can always write a follow-up to an article that you’ve previously written or make a second part to an essay. Did you ever wish that you could have added more to something you wrote but didn’t have the time? Well, if you need writing ideas, then you definitely have time to write about whatever you want, so you can go back and finish what you started.
When all else fails, take a break from trying to find something to write about and enjoy yourself for a while. Watch a little television, exercise, read a book, or do whatever else makes you feel relaxed. It’s easier to think when you’re feeling relaxed, so it should be easier for the ideas to come to you after you’ve had some fun. It doesn’t hurt to take a day off every once in a while, especially if you’re suffering from Writer’s Block. In reality, if you pay attention to your life, you shouldn’t have a problem conjuring story ideas.