Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Guest Post Wed: Out of Journaling Topics?

Journaling Topics -- They're All Around You!

Do you ever sit down with your journal and find yourself fresh out of ideas to write about? Virtually anything can be a journaling topic. If you are finding it hard to think of something to write about, here are some ideas that might get those creative juices flowing for you.

Pithy sayings
A never-ending source of ideas to write about are the wise words of others. You can find these statements anywhere. If you read the Bible or other inspirational literature every day, choose a statement, paragraph, or thought from your day's reading, and expound on it. What does it mean to you? How could you apply it in your own life? What changes might be required? What improvements might you see in your own situation if you applied the wisdom in the pithy saying to your own choices?
 
Nature
Are you near a window? A view to the outdoors can provide a myriad of writing possibilities. Even if all you can see is the sky, look for words to express what you see and how you feel about it. Is the day gray or sunny? Is it cool and rainy, hot and balmy, or frosty and clear? If you can see plant or animal life, get specific about what you see. Leathery brown oak leaves hanging tenaciously to a branch long after the other autumn leaves have made their downward journey? Sparrows squabbling over seeds in the bird feeder? There's much inspiration in a view out the window.
 
Unsent letters
Here's a topic for a very personal journal. Do you have feelings that are clamoring to be expressed, but they really wouldn't serve a good purpose if you gave them free rein? Pour out your feelings on paper. Whether it's a secret admirer sort of fantasy or a frustrated bawling out directed at your boss, letting those feelings out can make them easier to deal with in the future. It can also let you see just how unreasonable and unwarranted some feelings are, helping them to change. (If it makes you feel better, these journal entries can go through the shredder before someone sees them!)
 
Memories
What is your earliest memory? Write about your first pet, your first party outfit, or your first perm. Did you learn to ride a bike, skate, or swim? Was it scary? What happened? What accomplishments from your youth still make you glow with pride? How old were you when you learned about death? What happened and how did it make you feel? Have you ever witnessed a birth, either human, animal, or spiritual? Describe your observations and emotions. Even if you are relatively young, memories are a rich wellspring of journaling ideas.
 
Daydream a little
Where would you like to be in 10 or 20 years? What would be different in your life if you could have what you wish? Now make the exercise practical and think about what you need to start doing or stop doing now in order to see those dreams become a reality. For instance, if you dream of feeling great, you might need to stop smoking or start exercising now. If you dream of being in a meaningful relationship, you might need to start socializing more and stop being so critical of every person who comes your way. Write about your thoughts.

Journaling topics are all around you if you use your eyes, ears, and imagination. You can look outside at nature or inside at the items on your desk. You can mentally go back into the past or forward into the future. You can write descriptions of things or expressions of feelings. Try to combine the two for a special insight. For instance, maybe the tenacious oak leaves make you think of how hard it is to give up a broken dream. Connections like this can be found in some of the finest poetry and prose ever written.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at http://writesparks.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

5 Places You Can Find Writing Ideas

If you've ever struggled in coming up with creative ideas, welcome to the club. For most writers, discovering new writing projects involves conscious pursuit of their thought trails. But where do we start on our quest for inspiration? Here are a few places you can find new ideas for writing.


1. The world around you.
Just like a photographer, you must start looking at life through your own personal lens. You will get a tremendous amount of writing material if you start filtering your own experiences. Soon you will start noticing ideas everywhere around you. Very often the muse will come at strange times and from unusual sources, so be prepared. The world is full of surprises that can materialize in your next book or article.

2. Writers' associations and networks.
If you are a professional writer, you probably belong to an association or writer's group. Generating new ideas will feel much easier after meeting other members or attending writing workshops and conferences. You can also generate new ideas from subscribing to newsletters and discussion groups for writers.

3. Community
Although writing is an activity that you undertake by yourself, balancing your solitary experiences with group ones will give you a lot of new topics for you to write about. All you need to do is get involved in community's life -- perhaps by volunteering to care about the elders or counsel youngsters. Conversations usually have a lot of stories embedded in them, so one of the stories you hear may turn out to be that spark you need to get inspired.

4. Personal interests
Your own history as a person is certainly something worth writing about. Take a more personal approach and see what stories are embedded in your past experiences. For instance, if your life-long hobby has been looking at the stars, you can turn your passion into a book about watching the stars in a particular area. Or if you have had to adapt recipes daily because of a food allergy, you can focus on this topic and write about how you eat.

5. Family
People have weird things happening to them every day, you just need to pay attention to them. The adolescents in your family may get you thinking about anything from young love to social injustice once they start telling you about their experiences. You can also resort to pulling out the photographs at any time. Good times or sad times -- your writing ideas may simply pop out of some forgotten pictures of you as a child.

Certainly, you have more ideas than you imagine, but you need to learn to first notice them and then let them grow. Carrying a small notebook or pad with you will help you keep track of your ideas and before you know it, you will virtually be swamped with new creative projects.





Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at http://writesparks.com