When you write an essay, article, or non-fiction book, you normally have a specific idea you want to get across (very similar to the theme or thesis you have when you write an essay). Many writers have an idea they want to get across. However, unless you’re writing a teaching article with three easy points,

Many writers get ideas from listening to the news, reading newspapers or the internet, watching programs about current affairs, noticing topics that are trending… In fact, being alert to what’s going on in the world is usually a great way to get started as a writer. Many local or regional newspapers are interested in stories

Most people are passionate about something. That passion often leads them to learn a lot about that particular subject, and gives them a desire to pass on their knowledge or understanding to others. This is one of the most common ways people find their ideas. Out of their lives, and values, they think of something they

Most of our writing revolves around people in some form or another, so it makes sense that many of our ideas come from people. It might be someone we know, or it might be a total stranger we happen to run across once. The idea could be as comprehensive as discovering something about your mother

Yes, you are allowed to steal ideas. That’s because you can’t copyright an idea. And what I would do with an idea might be very different from what you would do with it. Now, there are some common sense boundaries. If I tell you I’m going to query a specific editor about an article on

Have you ever had one thing remind you of another? Maybe it’s a smell that reminds you of a similar smell from the past. A person who makes you think of another person you know. A line from a poem or story that makes you recall an event that happened to you…. That happens to

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you could overhear things that were supposedly private? You might have been standing in a check-out line while a mother and her young son had a long, heated argument about buying a certain kind of candy. The mother may have been embarrassed, but so were you.

I’ve been talking about how to organize your ideas. Now I want to talk about where those ideas originate. You might ask, “Don’t ideas just come?” For some of us, the answer is a loud, “Yes.” There are people who are overwhelmed by a constant flood of ideas. I’ll talk about that problem later. I