Effective Ways to Generate Writing Ideas

Good writing ideas don’t just suddenly appear. Sometimes you’ll experience having trouble on how to start an essay or other composition because you can’t come up with any topic. While there is no standard formula for writing ideas, there are many effective strategies to inspire you.

Here are some techniques in generating writing ideas:

Practice Freewriting

Freewriting involves writing down anything that you think of without any outlines or notes. Just follow the impulses of your mind and continuously write for about 2 to 3 minutes without checking for spelling or grammar. No matter how nonsensical your thoughts are, don’t stop writing.

Once done, go through what you’ve written and look for any useful ideas that you can consider as a topic. Keep any leftover ideas as they’re still a part of the process, and you might need them as references.

Freewriting is effective for generating writing ideas as it releases your thoughts where you can find unexpected inspiration. It can also help overcome writer’s block and improve your unique writing voice. Other benefits include:

  • Improves Creativity: A rough idea can be a source of new inspiration and discovery. While outlines can help organize your thoughts, freewriting allows your creative juices to appear without any conscious control. This practice boosts your writing productivity and creativity over time.
  • It Makes You Trust Yourself: One of the hardest parts of writing is creating the first draft, especially if you don’t have any clear topics yet. When you free write, you start to trust yourself and your imagination that you’ll get a great idea out of it.
  • Lets You Discover New Ideas: Freewriting is like scanning your brain for ideas and letting them materialize on paper. Since your subconscious is always observing and making connections, writing your thoughts down will turn those observations and connections to consciousness.



Brainstorming is an important part of the writing process because you start to explore and develop topic ideas. It’s more than thinking about what you’ll write; you need to try different techniques to explore new avenues and improve your creative writing.

Here are some brainstorming techniques to help you generate new ideas:

Mind Mapping

A mind map creates connections between various information through visuals like images and diagrams. You can do this on paper or use online mind mapping tools. This is used to organize information and make it easy to process and comprehend.

Mind mapping can improve creative thinking, the flow of ideas and make you feel more confident in organizing information into a logical idea. This can also be a good pre-writing activity for students to teach them how to associate a web of ideas and develop their creativity.

Keyword Searching

Try searching online for keywords when you run out of topic ideas. You might find something to write about when you scan the list of phrases that people usually search.

Word Association

This brainstorming technique involves connecting related words. It can spark new ideas, which can be the inspiration for your topic.

Make a List of Ideas

One of the simplest brainstorming techniques is to list down different ideas, then choose one to develop. For instance, if you’re writing a non-fiction piece, list down facts, questions, or any related ideas that you can develop. If it’s fiction, write different elements, characters, or scenes that you want to incorporate in your work.

Don’t make any outlines yet. After listing down your ideas, group them according to relevance and provide a label for each. Write a sentence or two about each group, and you’ll be able to create topics that you can develop.


Research online or read reference books to generate different ideas for your topic. You can draw inspiration from numerous facts and information that you’ll find. It’s also recommended to look at current events or social media for trending topics that can make your piece fresh and relevant.

Remember to evaluate the sources you find, as the quality of your piece depends on your sources. Make sure to differentiate between trivial and authoritative information. For example, if you’re writing for academic purposes, look at journal articles or academic sites to maintain reliability.

Having a good topic for your essay, research paper, or other composition will not only interest your readers. Still, it will also let you express yourself effectively and creatively as a writer. If you follow creative strategies in finding a good writing idea, your work will be more profound, and you’re on your way to becoming a great writer with continuous practice.

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