“I don’t feel like writing anymore.”
“I’m not motivated.”
“I don’t know what to write!”
I’ve heard from so many writers lately that they’re in a slump. There’s not much to do. They’re stuck at home most of the time. You would think it’s the perfect time to write, but the lack of stimulation results in fewer ideas.
Here’s an idea! Use conversations with others as your motivator. Whether in person, a video call, a phone conversation or even messaging, this short list of people and conversation starters can add to your idea bank:
We all know people who love talking about their own experiences. Encourage them. Be a good listener. Something they share just might spark an idea.
“What was your greatest adventure?”
“Have you met anyone famous?”
“Do you have a favorite memory about . . . (your childhood, your wedding, your first days on the job)?”
“Do you remember much about your grandparents?”
These people study interesting topics and pay attention to the smallest details. Professors are great at supplying little-known facts, and one of them may just give you an idea for the theme of your next short story or novel.
“You know so much about ___________. What’s the most interesting thing you have learned?”
“What got you so interested in _______________?”
“Which sources provide the best informations about ___________?”
“What else do you hope to find out about_________?”
The movie buffs
Plots, genres, interesting characters—movie buffs can provide a wealth of information.
“What is your most favorite film? Why is it your favorite?”
“Which film genre do you prefer? Why do you like that genre more than others?”
“Who is the most interesting character you’ve seen in a movie? Why do you think so?”
“Movies are set in so many different places. Which film had the most interesting setting?”
You could ask similar questions to voracious readers.
Talk with this group and you’re sure to unearth little known facts about the history of the world. Ask,”What period in history do you most enjoy studying?” Then encourage historians to talk with you about topics from that era:
Philosophy, Politics, Economics
Traditions and Customs
Science and Health
Arts, Entertainment, Sports
Another lead-in to talking with historians is to ask about the historic accuracy, or inaccuracy, of period films they have seen.
The news junkies
If you’re looking for an interesting angle or plot twists, the news junkie might be your go-to person. News junkies follow the winding paths of current events. Talk with them not only about stories in world and national news, but also about local news. Some of the best story ideas come from local newspapers.
“What’s the most intriguing human interest story you’ve recently read?”
“Are you following any unsolved mysteries in the news?”
“Have there been any funny, strange or odd stories lately?”
“Who’s been in the news?”
If you are looking for a fresh perspective on any topic, kids are the best resource. Ask a question, and then just sit back and listen. Most kids will tell you exactly what they think, unfiltered. No list of conversation starters is needed for this group. You’ve been there. You know how it works!
When talking with family and friends, weave some of these questions into your conversations. You just might find the motivation you need to start writing. If nothing else, it will make for interesting conversation.
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