“I Don’t Know What to Write About.” Really?

The same way not enough time and lack of motivation are excuses, not “knowing” what to write about is, too.


“I want to write something, but I don’t know what to write about.”

Are you sure about that?

This, in reality, is just another excuse for not writing. It may not seem like it, but anything that keeps you from writing, when you’re fully capable of sitting down in front of a computer and typing words, is technically considered an excuse. So the same way not enough time and lack of motivation are excuses, not “knowing” what to write about is, too.

Why is it an excuse? And what can you do about it?

Write whatever is on your mind

You know what to write about already, because you’re a human being. You have thoughts, you read, you talk with people, you watch videos online, you exist in the world and interact with it. I didn’t start “writing” until I’d been keeping a diary for awhile. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing about your own thoughts and opinions or a story based on something you overheard.

The first step to “being a writer” is to sit down and write something. If you haven’t written anything because you don’t know what to write about, your problem actually stems from the fact that you haven’t taken the initiative to sit down and do something with your thoughts and ideas.

Writing doesn’t really have rules

At least, in the sense that a person can sit down and literally write about anything they want to. Anything.  It doesn’t matter if it’s been done before, it doesn’t matter if it’s short or long or there’s stellar character development. Every writer starts out writing virtually unpublishable content. That’s normal. If you never start writing, if you never stop worrying about whether or not you’re “doing it right,” you’ll improve over time. You’ll be just fine.

Write about not knowing what to write about

Here’s how to eliminate this excuse from your life: literally, just write. It might seem more complicated than that, but it really isn’t!! Get rid of your distractions, prepare to write something you won’t want anyone else to ever see, and just go. Just start. People hate when I give this advice. Why? Because they don’t want to admit that the problem is … them! Nothing personal, but you’re the only one who can make yourself write.

What’s stopping you? Work through those things, the real things, not the excuses you dish out in place of them, and use writing as a tool for getting out all your ideas and frustrations and disappointments and triumphs. You DO know what to write about. You might be afraid or embarrassed or you’re just a procrastinator (I understand, there’s no shame in that).

GET WRITING ANYWAY! At first, yeah, it’s probably going to be pretty bad. One of these days I need to dig out something I wrote in middle school and show it to you guys. EVERYONE STARTS THERE! The question is, are you going to drag yourself over that hurdle, and the next one, and the next one, until you can actually write something other people will want to read?

No more excuses. You DO, you CAN, you WILL. Ready, set, WRITE!

Image courtesy of iDigitalTimes.