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8 Tips to Help You Brainstorm Writing Topics

Abby Slutsky graduated University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English and writing. She has written copy for more than 12 years.

You need the perfect topic to write an article. Sometimes brainstorming one can be challenging.

You need the perfect topic to write an article. Sometimes brainstorming one can be challenging.

Whether you are a novice or experienced writer, it is not unusual to have writer’s block for a week, a month, or longer. Creating fresh and interesting articles is a challenge for every writer. Yet, some writers seem to overcome this problem more easily than others. What strategies can you use to help you generate new article ideas?

1. Think About Your Interests

It is always easy to write about your passions. The more you know about a topic, the easier it is to find narrow topics to write about within that category.

Sometimes, things you struggled with when you initially became interested in a topic can provide ideas for articles. Strategies for how to become better at a particular passion can also provide an article topic. Some topics, such as reading or gardening, can provide unlimited content because you can focus on one book or plant.

2. Watch TV, Movies, and News

Reading or listening to the news can provide countless article topics. Additionally, by choosing an article topic that is frequently on the news, you can take advantage of hype to make your article appealing to read.

However, do not just limit yourself to listening to the news. Sometimes, watching television—whether it be a sport, reality show, or something else—can trigger an idea for a topic. For example, I was glancing at a football game my husband was watching and decided to write an article on why I disagreed with the decision to permit football players to play the game without masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Make a list of the conflicts or issues that contribute to the storyline of a movie or television show. One of these issues might be the basis for a terrific article. What would be a logical way for others to solve them? What should someone avoid when facing one of these issues?

3. Check Out Social Media

Sometimes, people on social media may ask a question or have a problem that can inspire an article. Maybe you know how to answer their question or can think of a method that will help them answer it themselves. "How-to" articles are popular, and many readers love getting help problem-solving.

4. Look at Old and New Photographs

There are many free sites that you can explore to pour over photographs. Find one that catches your interest, and it might inspire an article. You can also explore your own photos by looking in the gallery on your phone or checking out photographs in a family member’s photo gallery.

5. Read the Comments on Existing Articles

Do not limit yourself to comments on your own articles. Scroll down and read comments about the article you are reading. Sometimes, readers have insights, comments, and questions that can provide a focus for an entirely new spin on an existing subject.

6. Pay Attention to Conversations

Sometimes, a conversation can trigger an idea for an article. I wrote one of my articles after sitting by the pool with a single friend. She was discussing the chances of getting scammed using dating websites. She began talking about the traits of scam artists and ways to investigate potential scammers. Thirty minutes later, I was researching the topic.

7. Explore Writing Prompts

Read writing prompts for non-fiction and fiction, and you are bound to find a topic that revs up your creativity. Wattpad has a very extensive selection of writing prompts, but there are many websites that share them.

 A change of scenery can help inspire you.

A change of scenery can help inspire you.

8. Visit A New Place Virtually or In-Person

Fortunately, you do not have to leave your home to explore. Take a virtual visit to a museum, a foreign country, or anywhere else that you can explore from the comfort of your home. Getting away may generate some new ideas. Consider doing some sight-seeing in your town. There may be historical buildings or small museums you have never seen.

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What About Article-Generation Sites?

I did not list article-generation sites in this article. Yes, on occasion they can help you find a topic. However, more often than not, I have not had a beneficial experience with them. Often, I receive nonsensical titles with a very occasional golden nugget. Feel free to try them, but keep in mind that it may take many tries to find a topic that you can turn into an article. That being said, perhaps, you will have a better experience with them than I have.

Make It Easy to Jot Down Ideas No Matter Where You Are

As a last note, at least for me, inspiration for writing ideas frequently appears at odd times. I keep a notebook and pen in my car and another set next to my bed. In the middle of the night, I may wake up with an idea. Sometimes, I am stopped at a red light when an idea emerges. Make sure you have the ability to write down your ideas for articles whenever they appear, and you will have a constantly growing list of writing topics.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Abby Slutsky

Comments

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on March 20, 2021:

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 19, 2021:

Abby,

This is a good article. There are definitely times when I get stumped.

Sometimes I wake up or am lying in bed and cannot sleep until I get up and write down my thoughts.

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on March 19, 2021:

You are right. Thanks for sharing.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on March 19, 2021:

I get ideas at random times and like you say here, inspiration can strike you at any time.

I mostly write about what I know. I think the more you know on a topic or the more you research it, the better it comes across.

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