I would be lying if I said I always have something to write about.
Sometimes, I wouldn’t write because I had no idea what to even talk about.
Most of the time nowadays I’m reading different Medium articles, writing my ass off, job hunting, and hanging out with my cats while I’m healing from my divorce.
I have all this free time since getting fired. So obviously I’m going to keep writing.
But with all this time, what can I even write about?
When you have too much time on your hands, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
What the hell do I do with all this extra time? What should I write about?
I’m somewhat of a confessional writer, but am not. I would rather write articles about social media, Medium, writing, self, self-improvement, and growth than write about my life.
But other times, I want to write about something random but don’t know where to go from there.
Since I have so much more free time, I can now provide valuable insight into my lovely readers (like you!) that can benefit them in the future.
If you struggle with coming up with writing ideas, here are different ways to get inspiration.
Read. Then Read More.
Reading is an underrated hobby most people don’t get to enjoy.
You’re hallucinating words on something made out of a dead tree. You’re getting lost in translation. Vividly experiencing another human being’s imagination.
It’s a drug.
You can hallucinate from reading.
And that can give you unique ideas on what to write about.
Explore On Quora
Quora is one of the most useful tools you can use as a writer.
The Q&A site allows users to ask and answer any question they want. According to Search Engine Journal, you can use Quora to “drive traffic to your site, build your authority on topics, and even get some SEO benefits.”
Say you typically write about Marketing. You’re having a tough time brainstorming a new blog post idea and venture over to Quora for help.
The front page looks like this:
One of the topics I follow on Quora is Marketing, so I have a tab that can take me to all of the hot new Marketing questions being asked. If you don’t follow a tab, you can search for it in the search bar.
When I searched for marketing, these were my results:
I was given thousands of search results that could help me write a new blog post in Marketing here on Medium.
So whatever topic you want to write about, you can find it on Quora.
Quora is a place to gain and share knowledge. It's a platform to ask questions and connect with people who…
Don’t Be Afraid to Eavesdrop
I do this all the time.
And I’m not ashamed of it.
It’s definitely a controversial source of inspiration. It’s common to think of eavesdroppers as nosy and intrusive. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Eavesdropping can help you look at certain situations from another perspective. It can help you think outside the box by looking at something from the outside in.
This can help you write blog posts that allow you to be the Devil’s Advocate. People love reading controversial topics, so getting a differing perspective on a subject will entice readers and encourage them to take action.
Take The Time To Look At Art
What do you think of when you first see this painting?
Do you think of the ocean?
What about the beach?
Could it be a thunderstorm?
Does it make you think about the time you got a cramp while swimming and your Dad had to come save you?
But does it make you feel any sort of way?
Sad? Lonely? Depressed? Energized? Relaxed?
It kind of takes me back to the times I get my really bad panic attacks. You know, when an anxiety attack is reeeally bad, I don’t scream it all out and breathe hard and fast.
I don’t move at all.
It’s like my body is filled with sand, and I can’t move.
My chest barely moves, and I’m breathing through my nose.
I can feel my heart beat faster and faster. I can feel my tears slither down my cheeks.
Sometimes I can taste them when they fall in between my lips.
I want to move, scream, do something, but I can’t.
It’s horrifying. And sometimes it lasts for almost an hour.
Only when it passes, whether the sinking feeling disappears or somebody finds me and touches me will I be able to move.
Then everything comes out like I’ve been smashed by a wave while boogie boarding.
The blue shades and subtle white tones in the piece above take me to an ocean I can’t swim out of. But it inspires me to write a blog post on how to swim when I feel like I can’t.
When we listen to our favorite musical artists, we experience a sense of euphoria.
The extravagant melodies and exquisite lyrics tell enchanting stories we can remember for years.
Have you ever listened to the lyrics of a song and thought, “Holy shit, I need to write about that?”
Music is just like reading and art—they each take us on a journey to self-discovery.
Stock Photo Sites Like Unsplash And Flickr
Take a few moments to look up random photos on stock photo sites like Unsplash and Flickr.
When I looked up the term “forest” on Flickr, I got the typical pictures of lush trees. But one picture stood out to me. Can you guess which one that is?
That’s right—the man on the tree.
I thought, “What is he doing there? What is he staring at? What’s on his mind?”
But I imagined what it would be like on the tree.
What would I be thinking about?
Use stock photo sites to spark your imagination.
You never know what might come to you.
This is similar to eavesdropping, but it’s more acceptable to some people.
Looking at the people around you allows your imagination to go wild.
You can imagine what the businesswoman standing in line in front of you at your favorite coffee shop is like outside of the office.
You can watch the young couple playing Frisbee at the park laugh together when they do silly dance moves and imagine that they’ve been together for 10 years but are still in love.
You can think about the elderly man sitting across from you on the train as a man battling with his gender identity all his life and he’s cranky because he’s regretful of hiding his true self all these years.
Watching strangers in crowds gives you the freedom to change people’s lives without them ever knowing about it.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
— Louis L’Amour
Read more work from Katrina Loos:
Katrina Loos is a writer and poet based in Oklahoma City. When she’s not reading and writing, you can find her on Twitter, loving on cats, and reading and writing some more.