It is sometimes good to pause and sample the simpler things in life. This humbles us, takes us back to our roots, and reminds us that, no matter how we may see the world, we are not the centre of it. You can use this idea in your writing, too. Those of us who enjoy writing huge, bold, enthusiastic pieces filled with mystery, adventure or suspense will find writing about the basics an interesting experience, especially when we are struggling to think up new ideas.
So far, we have discussed using thought showers to generate writing ideas and honing your free writing skills to re-engage yourself with writing. Today, we will examine how you can use everyday life to discover new writing ideas and continue to flex those writing muscles even when you feel impossibly stuck.
The basic principle here is to look around you at the world you can see and pick out appropriate stories. The people, the animals, the plants, even inanimate objects: everything has a story to tell and many of these are worthy of writing. The key thing for you to do as a writer is separate those that are simple from those that are mundane. For instance, I would probably not find many people who were interested in a story based on how I prepared my packed lunch today (if I’m mistaken, please let me know – I do have specific packed lunch habits). However, if I could convey the passion, energy and hurriedness of lunchtime in a busy restaurant kitchen, then that could be worth a read. Readers may be interested to see how I, as a writer, managed to build that sense of urgency.
When you take a step back from bigger or more outrageous storylines and focus on something small instead, you need that energy in your writing to keep your readers’ attention. The emotion within does not have to be negative, but it does need to be present, guiding your readers from line to line, from paragraph to paragraph. Taking the time out to examine something more down to earth and discover how exciting you can make it is a great exercise for any writer.
So, when you feel as though you are lost for writing ideas or stuck on a particularly nasty piece of writing that does not want to budge, consider taking the time out to write about something simple. Look around at the real world and think about an everyday story. How did it feel when you first met your partner? What does your dog think when you leave for work? Could you write something from the point of view of your fridge or your television? There are an infinite number of everyday stories to tell, and you can use the energy you create within them to help you in the rest of your writing.
This month’s theme is IDEAS. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of original ideas, then please post a link in the comments or email me on email@example.com with the subject: Ideas.