When I’m confronted with the blank page the situation can go one of two ways. I could either write with inspiration or struggle to find the words or ideas to make my writing session satisfying. Yes, I have a lot of ways that I generate writing ideas to do my homework for me. Some of them involve doing writing exercises and using prompts. However, I also like to turn off the computer and derive inspiration from life and the world around me. Here are some ideas:
Do you have any hobbies? If so, this step should be easy. If you knit, start a knitting project. If you paint, work on your next painting. The goal is to do something that isn’t writing – something that will help your mind relax. When you’re in this state, ideas may come. If not, at least you had fun!
Get a Hobby
If you don’t have a hobby, consider getting one. That way, you can always have a way to spend your time if you’re not up to writing. Hobbies can include physical pursuits such as running or hiking, artistic pursuits such as painting, cooking, needlework, knitting, etc.
Physical activity is good for the mind. Simple, repetitive pursuits such as walking and running can go a long way to help keep your mind healthy. Not only that but when you’re not thinking about the activity you are doing, it gives you a chance to focus on your writing and get some ideas or work through anything you are stuck on.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with ideas at the movies, in a restaurant, or even at the mall. The book store is one of my favorite places to go because you can see what people are interested in reading. Pay attention to the “Staff Picks” sections, the bestseller section, and special displays scattered throughout the store. Also, browse through the magazine rack.
Read the Paper
Even something as simple as reading the paper can have big results. The paper is ripe with stories that could easily be turned into something creative. An article about a tragedy could inspire a movie plot. A human interest story could become a poem. Marie R. Landes, an essay writer, suggests clipping any articles that you find interesting and keep them in a scrapbook or folder. When you’re stumped for ideas, look through the articles to see if anything stands out.
In the Present Exercise
One of my favorite ways to get creative essay writing ideas is to do writing exercises and weed through what I came up with to see if there’s any material I can use afterward. One of my favorite exercises is something I like to call the “in the present” exercise.
This exercise is a powerful writing tool because
- It can help home your descriptive writing
- Gives you insight into the world around you
- Alerts you to potential ideas that you may have missed
- Teaches you how to be an effective observer
All of these skills are essential to a writer. Not only that, but the act of writing in a controlled and subconscious way is a great tactic to help alleviate the “blank screen syndrome” or “writer’s block”.
How to Do the Exercise
The instructions for doing the exercise are fairly straightforward. Just set your timer for ten or fifteen minutes. Then, all you need to do is write about your environment while paying attention to all of the senses. What do you see, touch, taste, hear, and smell?
If I were to do the exercise now, here is how part of it would look:
The timer ticks relentlessly. My fingers tap on the keys. My water bottle doesn’t have a cap. Where is the cap? Oh, I see it, it’s on the other side of the desk. The squirrels are back – I see them from here, skittering on the tightrope.
It doesn’t look like much, but if you do this for ten or fifteen minutes a day, you will find your creative mind awakening. When you do sit down to do creative writing not only will you have plenty of ideas, but the words will flow.
Finding creative essay writing ideas doesn’t need to be challenging. These offline methods are perfect for stimulating your creativity and giving you some ideas to work with within your writing. Wherever you go, be sure to keep a notebook and pen handy so you can jot down ideas as they come.
About the author: Alissa Zucker is one of the writers at Mcessay.com. She is interested in reading classic and psychological books which give her inspiration to write her articles and short stories.
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