So, if you are reading this, I'm going to assume that you want to write something and you might have be sitting on the couch with pen and notebook in your hands, or you may be staring at a blank Word document on your computer screen, wondering what it is you want to write about, or you know what to write about, but don't know how to start.
Many thoughts might be running through your brain right now. Is there a right idea? A wrong one? Should I just stop now while I have still have my sanity?
Well, for starters, you should take several deep breaths and step away from your notebook or computer, because panicking about won't help you.
Now, not to put pressure on you or anything, but if you are committed to write, you need to have an idea that you're passionate about. Doesn't matter if it's fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, you need to like your idea if you want it to work. Readers can and will sense it if you're not a fan of your own work and will tune out.
Passion is key for good writing, because without the drive and wanting to write, what's the point?
That being said, you don't need to have the perfect idea right away, and you probably won't, especially if this is your first time writing, but that's okay. It takes time and lots of drafts before you figure out the true story. Trust me, I know from experience.
So take some more deep breaths.
For anything nonfiction, since I don't have much experience with it outside of school assignments, it depends on what topic it is you are discussing. But for essays and research papers, I would stick with the evolving thesis, which basically is allowing your topic to grow and change as you write and research whatever topic you pick.
If you're writing about you, like and autobiography or memoir, I would just write and see where it goes. Similar advice if you're writing about someone else, like a biography, only make sure your facts are correct about that person and their experiences.
For fiction, write what interests you. What you prefer reading is always a good start. Me, I like writing paranormal fiction, so that's my primary focus. But there are so many genres anymore, from sci-fi, fantasy, romance, mystery, and every genre in between.
So just have fun with it, and be you.
As for poetry, it's not something I particularly enjoying reading or writing, although I've done both and am trying to do again, I don't have a whole lot much advice.
However, besides checking out the types, seeing which style vibes best with you, which books are a great platform to do that research, poem writing prompts can be helpful if you are starting out and are having trouble writing a full one yourself. I have used these prompts a couple times and it worked out pretty well for me.
For all of these types, if you're having trouble finding inspiration, I suggest either going outside or reading pieces related to whatever it is your writing about.
I have found inspiration for my book within other books, or simply looking around in town, sometimes even in nature or events if it was poetry. The trick is to relax and let your mind wander.
There are also apps that let you write and publish short stories, poems, and quotes if you're looking for inspirations. I would recommend Writeco, since they provide prompts and you can see other peoples posts, but there are others too. Pinterest is another great place to research.
Great ideas tend to appear when you are not looking.
Sure, you probably will change your idea a few times before finding the one that speaks to you. I have, at least three times, if I remember right. That's okay. It allows you to figure out your process and to become a better writer. My writing certainly has gotten better over the years.
But stop staring at the white blankness and start writing! You won't know what you want to write about until you start.