Using Lists to Write About What You Know

Updated on August 9, 2017

It never fails. I finally have some quiet time in the house to write, so I grab my cup of coffee and head into the office. I sit at my desk, get ready to write something amazing, and...nothing. No words are coming to me. I thought of so many things I wanted to write about while I was busy running errands earlier but now that I have the opportunity to put some of those words in a readable form, they have completely flown out of my head.

If this has ever happened to you, then you know how frustrating it can be! There are few things as tragic as a writer with no words. Fortunately, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help deal with those brain freeze moments so I can get my creative juices flowing once again. And hopefully these tricks can help you, too.

What do you know about? List it.

My memory is not the best, so I rely on lists. And even with my trusty lists, I will still invariably forget to pick something up at the grocery store, to my husband's dismay (I usually forget something of his). But at least I drive away with the bulk of the items needed.

With writing, it's important to have a list of topics to choose from when coming up with a blog article. I like to think of a list of topics as a full deck of cards. To play most card games, you need to use a full deck. You may not personally play with every single card in that deck, but your game could be seriously hindered if any of those cards were missing. Same with your list of topics — the more topics you have listed, the better the odds of something sparking your interest and getting your brain working.

So, how does one come up with a list of interesting topics? Think of the things you like to do— things you are passionate about, or perhaps just curious about. Whatever you wonder, or believe in, or question — all of those things are a writer's gold mine. Your thoughts and words have the potential power to connect with others who are passionate or curious about some of the same things you are.

Your list should have a strong variety of topics, and don't be afraid to examine the same topic from different angles or viewpoints. The more you research and discover about your topic, the more interesting your writing will become. And don't be surprised at the things you discover about yourself along the way.

Keep your list close by so you can jot something down the moment the idea strikes you. It can either be kept the old fashioned way with pencil and paper, or you can also keep it on the notepad in your smart device. Just make sure you take it with you throughout the day/night so it gets used a lot.

I like to look over my list and tweak it here and there throughout the day. My mood changes a lot on what I find interesting so as a result, my list goes through a lot of changes as well. The one thing I try not to do is completely erase or delete an idea just because I'm not excited about it at that exact moment. I will slide it down to the bottom of the list and save it for another day. You never know when you can use it later, so waste not, want not!

Sometimes lists grow so much that they need to be kept in their own journal, which is fine too. This could be a little book or document where you can write down topics and even begin working on expanding on your ideas. Don't be afraid to sketch or jot down random bits of information as you go.

The trick is to figure out what will work best for you and what you will honestly stick with. Any writing topic list needs to be an ongoing project so make it as interactive and interesting for you as possible. Use different colors, or paper, or whatever gets you planning for your best articles yet.

Do you like to use lists when choosing topics to write about? Feel free to leave a comment below to share your listing tips.

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