The number one question I get asked when I tell someone I'm a writer is, "Where do you find all of your ideas?" This has never been a problem for me. In fact, I have the opposite problem. I have so many ideas swirling around in my head that it is hard to focus on just one. If you struggle coming up with ideas to write about I have some tips for you.
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
A good place to start when looking for writing topics is your own hobbies and interests. If you are an avid gardener, you might want to write about gardens. If you love to cook, consider writing for the food section of the local newspaper or a gourmet magazine. If sports are your thing, you could interview athletes for sport's magazines.
Every time I travel to a new place, I see so many interesting sites. If you love to travel you could pitch a travel article to a magazine before your next trip. You might even get some of your expenses paid for. I have also written about new plants, animals, and tourist attractions I have seen on my trips.
The first thing I do every morning after pouring a cup of coffee is to read the newspaper. You are bound to come up with new ideas every time you read the paper. Whether you enjoy reading the front page or the arts and entertainment section, you will find some new topic to write about. Take an idea and put a new twist or spin on it.
My family is a great source of inspiration for my writing. If you enjoy writing for children or parents, you will get lots of great ideas just by observing the members of your own family. Even if you do not write parenting articles, you could write about a hobby someone in your family has or write about your dog or cat for a pet magazine.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND SCRAPBOOKS
Many times looking at old photographs is a good way to get ideas for your writing. Old memories will surface and you will remember long forgotten events. Maybe you will stumble across a picture of your kids learning to ride a bike or a camping trip you took with your family. There is no end to the possibilities.
When you finish with your writing for the day, you might unwind by watching a little TV. I have found that educational stations like Animal Planet, Food Network, and the History Channel always give me ideas for stories and articles. You will not feel so guilty about watching television if it inspires you to write.
I do not know about your dreams, but mine can be kind of crazy sometimes. You should start jotting your dreams down as soon as you wake up in the morning. You might find a great plot for a story.
This one always works for me. When I'm a little bit tired and the ideas just will not come, I go for a walk or a bike ride. The exercise wakes up my brain and I starting thinking again again.
You probably learned this technique in school and used it to write compositions. Brainstorming is a very effective way of getting writing ideas. Pick a topic that you want to write about. Then start brainstorming about that topic and write down every related word that comes to mind. For example, if your topic is dogs, you may write down leashes, dog food, ball, bones, collar, Frisbee, walking, pet, friend, etc. Keep brainstorming on your topic for ten or fifteen minutes and you should have an idea for a story or an article.
LISTENING TO MUSIC
You might not be able to write while you are listening to music, but it is a great way to come up with ideas. Music often brings up memories of your past and it helps you to relax. Next time you are stuck for an idea, turn on the radio for a few minutes.
I hope some of these techniques for finding writing ideas work for you. I know they have always worked for me and I rarely ever run out of writing ideas. Happy writing!