Learn to Write by Catching Ideas

Pic by Adi Respati

One excuse new bloggers frequently say when they stop writing, “I have no idea what to write.” And here is how I usually respond, “Getting new ideas is very easy. Writer’s block does not exist!

Where do I get my ideas from? I make them up. Out of my head.
– Neil Gaiman

My own explanation: Ideas are like Pokémons. Yes, those cute monsters that I capture and keep inside my Poké balls. They are everywhere, running wild and waiting to be caught.

Gaiman has a pretty cool technique for getting ideas: By asking questions. He said the most important questions were, “What if…?” and “If only…”

I have my own technique: By opening up my five senses when I consciously experience life on daily basis.

Take a look at this picture.

Pic by YIM Hafiz

It is durian, an exotic fruit natives to Indonesia. It has pungent odor, famously because the diverse sensations unique to each nose. Some people say it smells like propane, others might mention wet socks, rotten onion, etc. I recognize sulphur. Its ripeness can be smelt even without having to open the hard thorn-covered husk. Inside there are three to six avocado-like seeds, covered by yellow or reddish custardy flesh. It tastes as sweet and soft as cream.

In my country durian is a seasonal fruit. It can be eaten fresh, or served as desserts, pastries and durian-flavored beverages.

One evening I and Ibnu, my fiancee, strolled along a street near my office. When we walked past a durian ice cream stall…

The conversation took less than 5 minutes, and I could come up with 5 new blog post ideas:

My Favorite Fruit: The King of Fruits

Durian is interestingly called the King of Fruits, just google it.

Durian, An Oddity to Taste Before I Die

If you are an American and never tasted durian, why don’t you give it a try and video-blog about it? I would love to see your first reaction.😀

Exotic Delicacies from Southeast Asia

This would be good for traveling blogs.

10 Beautiful Places in Indonesia

If you think Bali is the only ‘paradise island’ on earth, think again.😀

My Personal Eat Pray Love

This is inspired from Eat Pray Love, a movie where the star–Julia Roberts–traveled around the globe to meet new people, to learn new language and to enjoy some local delicacies. Which countries do you want to travel to?

My Biggest Fears and the Grand Plan to Face Them

This is inspired from Fear Factor, a reality show that somehow encourages contestants to tackle their fears.

So, that is how I can always come up with new blog posts. You can do it, too. When you walk on the streets, when you meet people, after you read a great book, after you go home from a day’s school or work, ALWAYS open up your senses to recognize those ideas. See them. Listen to them. Speak about them. Smell them. Taste them. They are out there, you just gotta catch ’em all!

What is your own technique to catch writing ideas? Have you tried the technique I mentioned above, and if you have, how is it going? I would love to hear from you. ^.^

Disclaimer: This post is written for my best friend who personally asked me to teach her about writing. I am not a professional writing coach, never got myself into a formal writing class, and never intend to magically turn you into the next J.K. Rowling.

4 thoughts on “Learn to Write by Catching Ideas

  1. I used to hate durian. My family has this unique perk where every male member would hate durian while every female member the otherwise. My mother likes durian very much, but she never eats one at home because she knows that me, my father, and my brothers hate the smell.
    Starting from about 3 years ago, I started to learn to like durian (I don’t know if it was because I feel sorry for my mother or out of curiosity alone). I started by eating it in very VERY small chunks, and by eating durian-flavored candies and ice creams.

    Now, I think I can handle durian pretty well😛

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