Ask yourself what your purpose is for writing about the subject. There are many "correct" things to write about for any subject, but you need to narrow down your choices. For example, your topic might be "cat food." You should ask yourself, "So what?" Why should I write about this, and why should anyone read it? Do you want the reader to pity you because of the intolerable food your cat has to eat?
Ask yourself how you are going to achieve this purpose. How, for example, would you achieve your purpose if you want to describe some book as the best you've ever read? Have you defined for yourself a specific means of doing so if you tell the reader that you really liked the book?
Gather as many good and bad ideas, suggestions, examples, sentences, false starts, etc. as you can. Jot down everything that comes to mind, including material you are sure you will throw out. Be ready to keep adding to the list at odd moments as ideas continue to come to mind.
Pretend that you are being interviewed by someone or by several people, if possible (to give yourself the opportunity of considering a subject from several different points of view). What questions would the other person ask? Try to teach the subject to a group or a class. See if you can find a fresh analogy that opens up a new set of ideas. Build your analogy by using the word "like." For example, if you are writing about violence on television, is that violence like clowns fighting in a carnival act (that is, we know that no one really is getting hurt)?
When you sit down to write...
- Does your mind turn blank?
- Are you sure you have nothing to say?
If so, you're not alone! Everyone experiences this at some time or other, but some people have strategies or techniques to get them started. When you are planning to write something, try some of the following suggestions.