The cursor flashes on and off the screen. I stare at an 8.5 X 11 void of emptiness. My mind is just as blank. I fumble painfully with the first sentence. I desperately want to fill the pages with as much words as possible. This feels worse than writer’s block because I can’t think of anything to write in the first place. I have read countless writing textbooks that give good tips on how to come up with topics and ideas such as observation and gathering information but not putting any of these skills into practice can have a traumatic effect on your writing career.

 The main reasons why aspiring writers such as myself have trouble coming up with ideas is due the fact that we don’t observe more or feed ourselves useful information. It is hard to come up with anything meaningful if your mind is nothing but a messy mush of Facebook, Call of Duty and Facebook. I don’t even know what current events that have surfaced this year. If you ask me about the government shutdown, the earthquake that has devastated Japan and Libya’s struggle against President and oppressor Muammar Gaddafi, I have nothing useful to contribute to such topics and that is really bad for an aspiring journalist.

Coming up with article ideas to write about is not easy but it should be a natural process and skill for the person who loves to write. I came across a few tips and reminders I picked up from my textbook and online sources that will always keep your mind fresh and make writer’s block feel non-existent.

 Web consultant and active blogger Dan Harrison from suggests that you need to read, read, and read. Reading the news or picking up a novel or non-fiction book can inspire some ideas and keep you informed. The author of my textbook Word’s Worth Terri brooks urges that writers need to observe everything that surrounds them.

Keep track of things that happen to you or around you. Take a walk outside the park and you might spot someone unique or something that catches your eye. Talk to your friends or family, they probably have something interesting to say that can you ask questions about. It is all about being curious and treasuring your experiences. This may be general knowledge for writers in general but for all of who struggle with writer’s block following and practicing these tips can unclog the mind and free up some ideas.

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