I'm sure you've gotten to that point: you're about to write an article for Odyssey or a paper for that one class and you've been thinking about it all week. The only problem is, you have no idea what to write about, and it's been stressing you out. I had a similar issue this week, so here are five ways to brainstorm ideas to write about.
1. Review your past week and upcoming week
This may sound kind of stupid. Just think about what you've done? And what you plan to do? Yes, exactly! Chances are, you did something noteworthy this week, whether it be some strange dream that led to a major self-discovery or an instance where you had to put on that customer service voice when speaking to a rude customer.
Whatever the situation, it could be totally interesting and worth writing about. The same goes for thinking about your future week. Are you planning on taking any trips? Are you about to get out of school? Sure, writing about your hopes or plans can be kind of weird if you haven't experienced them yet, but if you write about what you're planning to do on your trip to Chicago, for example, then you can write another article about how it went. BAM! It's a two-for-one.
2. Think about what you're interested in
Well, duh. But, seriously, I feel like I forget about this one a little too often. It's not just about what hobbies you may be into, though you can definitely write about that, but it's also what shows you watch or what music you listen to. Are you secretly an avid candle maker and want to educate the public about your hobby?
Or maybe you just listened to Olivia Rodrigo's new album "Sour" and want to analyze it. Either way, if you're interested or fascinated with the topic you write about, you're way more likely to be naturally engaging and exciting to read, so it's a win-win.
3. Find out if there are any news stories that need your take
This can be a little daunting, because it probably feels more official and requires a tad more research than writing about your own life, but I can promise you that there is way more news out there than just politics (but if you want to write about politics, all the more power to you!).
News encapsulates way more than just politics, for example, sports, culture, entertainment, etc. So, if you just watched a historic game of basketball, maybe that's your sign to pick up your computer. Or maybe a controversial influencer just did another controversial thing that you have a specific commentary on. Whatever the story, never feel like your voice is too small or insignificant to be heard, because it can only be silent if you never write it.
4. Ask yourself what's important to you
Maybe this seems too close to the second suggestion, but I would say it's pretty different. Not only does this one probably create the best articles, just because they're usually deeper and more impactful than others, but they also create the ones I am personally proudest of.
For example, I recently wrote an article about sexism in gaming, which was something really important to me because it impacts me personally, and I firmly believe that no woman should ever have to face harassment because of their gender. Even though I have an interest in gaming, it was more than that, because I wrote about something I cared about and something that I viewed as greater than myself.
These topics are hard to come by, because it's hard to be really passionate about everything, but if you can embrace your passions and are willing to be slightly vulnerable, the end product is definitely worth it.
5. See if anyone else has any ideas
For those of you who are super independent, this suggestion is probably not it. But I am a believer in "if all else fails, ask for help". This doesn't have to be an end-of-the-earth emergency, begging for help across the internet. But, it can be worth asking your friends or family or fellow Odyssey members if they have any ideas they'd be willing to share.
Oftentimes, they're happy to help and maybe there's a gem in there somewhere. Be sure to ask if they want credit for their idea though, in which case you can cite them if they demand it. In my experience, though, people are very willing to help out as long as you are willing to ask.