Sometimes book ideas for writers come so quickly you can’t shut them off. They wake you up at night, seemingly calling your name. Other times you sit in front of a computer screen and — nothing. You have no meaningful thoughts and doubt you ever will again. Just take a breath and let it be. Remind yourself that, like waves on a beach, this too will pass.
Consider Life Stages
Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, the pivotal points in people’s lives are always fertile ground for writers. If you want to write fiction, think about the life-changing events you have experienced and imagine those you haven’t. The day you learned you were becoming a father, taking your driver’s test, moving into your first apartment, grieving a death, jumping out of an airplane, entering the military, your wedding day–consider how characters facing these circumstances, might interact with each other.
To write non-fiction, research these topics. Become an aggregator of information and offer needed skills for people who have come face to face with a particular situation.
Write What Sells
There is nothing wrong with wanting to experience commercial success through your writing. Read the top ten books on the New York Times Best-Seller List. What are their common denominators? Look for themes you can emulate or expand upon.
Write What You Know
Are you a gifted plastic surgeon, a successful realtor, a financial services whiz? People are always looking for insider information from seasoned professionals. Give it to them!
Block Writer’s Block
Every writer feels just plain stuck occasionally. Don’t panic; just engage in one or more exercises to shake it off.
- Take a walk, and pay attention to your surroundings. Focus on your heart beat, the rhythm of your pace, the sounds you hear, smells, the temperature, your surroundings. After you’ve stopped walking write down whatever impressions you experienced.
- Go to the mall and notice attention to the people around you. Who intrigues you? Is it the teenage drama queen arguing with her boyfriend, the old woman walking slowly and purposefully, the young man with sagging pants and teardrops tattooed on his face, the woman talking rapidly and loudly on her cell phone, the weekend dad with his son? Don’t judge the people; just experience them. Imagine who they are and what their story might be. Pick out different personalities and imagine how they might interact with each other.
- Read the newspaper. Place characters inside the stories and consider how they might interact.
How to Write a Book
If you need book ideas for writers, by all means read or re-read How to Write a Book, by Marathon Publications’ founder and CEO, Hale Meserow. This report prevents writer’s block and illustrates that the majority of good writing happens during the preparation stage. From the germ of an idea all the way through to a completed project, this document literally tells you how to write a book.