Finding things to write about

Can't think of anything to write about? I'm sure that you're interesting; the problem probably lies in your process. - Start by reading more. When you read more you start to see the interconnections between what you are reading and what you've already read. You also tend to have a context and the ability to form opinions when your professors assign reading. If you go to the Claremont Colleges you can request any book in the world, for free, through Link+ or Interlibrary Loan. When I was in 5th grade we took a field trip to a retreat, but I spent the whole day reading. The cutest girl in the school came and sat right next to me and I kept on reading (books don't give you very good advice about what to do in those situations). In 6th grade we had to keep a reading chart and were supposed to read 100 pages in a quarter; I had about 2100 pages and that was counting only books I could remember reading and not counting the newspaper. Around 8th grade I started reading nonfiction and I've hardly read fiction since then. If you don't have time to read, either schedule time or quit your least favorite activity. Justine Musk says to develop a writer's intuition, you should read more. Reading is the best way to boost your vocabulary (and SAT verbal score), get a sense of how to write and spell. Phonics stink. - Keep track of every good idea that you have. When I'm away from my computer I use the notes app on my phone. Most of my ideas come right before bed, in the shower or in transit. I keep a Google Doc with possible post topics. If you're short on ideas ask other people what they've been thinking about lately instead of how their day's been going. Or like the above, start reading RSS of interesting people. Good ideas tend to snowball together. - Write every day. Writing every day is actually much easier than trying to write occasionally, and makes essay writing easier. When you write every day you're not worried that you have to write the greatest thing the world has ever seen, you can just write whatever you think will be interesting and wait for good ideas to bubble up. If you're staring at a blank screen, try outlining your post/essay and then following the script. Separating planning from process makes it way easier. - Get as much feedback as you can. Tell people that if you write something crappy, you want to know it. The best way to do this is to write for an audience, and the bigger the better. There, I just wrote 350 words in 20 minutes - more than a page. The truth is that you already do a lot of writing every day, on Facebook and Twitter and text messages and email. Ostensibly this post is about writing but it really applies to any area of life in which you'd like to improve.

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