Things to Write About: Great Places to Find Ideas

Publish date:

Look around and you’ll find there’s no shortage of interesting things to write about—whether you’re in search of blog topics or creative story ideas. But in spite of that, I found myself sucked in to the advance copy of a book I recently happened upon in my inbox: 642 Things to Write About, by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto (Chronicle Books).

Image placeholder title

We receive copies of a LOT of books for writers here at the WD office—and, of course, our colleagues at Writer’s Digest Books are constantly publishing wonderful new resources for writers, too—and our well-stocked library is one of the best perks of working here. With so many great resources on hand, when a new title stands out, it’s worth taking notice—which is why we'd like to start sharing some of our favorite finds with you here from time to time.

What I immediately loved about this book is that it was compiled by 35 writers--all participants at The Grotto, a workspace for professional writers in San Francisco—and the inventive creative writing prompts inside are proof that 35 heads really are better than one. Here’s a sampling of a few of my favorites.

5 Interesting Things to Write About

1. What is the sound of silence, and when did you last hear it? What was missing?

2. You can keep only one memory from your entire life. What will it be?

3. Something you never told your mother.

4. Write an anonymous letter to a stranger detailing the things you’ve learned about life.

5. Five ideas for a novel that you’ll never write.

See what I mean? (Note: We have no affiliation with Chronicle Books or The Grotto. I just like the book. Honest.)

More Places to Find Creative Writing Prompts

• Among our most popular features here on are our Daily Creative Writing Prompts, so if you haven’t checked them out before and are in search of more fun or interesting things to write about, don’t miss out! They're free and easy to access, wherever you are.

• We offer up a Your Story prompt in every issue of Writer’s Digest, and the winner(s) appear(s) in print! View our latest challenge (also free to enter, of course) on the Your Story homepage. We’re always inspired by the creative story ideas submitted by readers month after month—and we’d love to see yours among the next round.

• I was really excited this year when WD Books released an updated 10th Anniversary Edition of The Writer's Idea Book by Jack Heffron. A longtime friend and colleague of mine, Jack offers up gem after gem of inspiration in these pages--so if it's not already a staple of your bookshelf, it should be.

What are your own favorite resources for finding creative blog topics or story ideas? Leave a comment below and let us know—your fellow writers (and WD editors) will thank you.

Jessica Strawser
Editor, Writer’s Digest

Follow me on Twitter: @jessicastrawser
Like what you read from WD online? Don’t miss an issue in print!

What Is a Pantser in Writing?

What Is a Pantser in Writing?

The world of storytelling can be broken into many categories and sub-categories, but one division is between pantser and plotter. Learn what a pantser means in writing and how they differ from plotters here.

Too Seen: The Intimacy of Copy Editing

Too Seen: The Intimacy of Copy Editing

Novelist A.E. Osworth discusses their experience working with a copyeditor for their novel We Are Watching Eliza Bright and how the experience made them feel Witnessed.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: From Our Readers Announcement, Upcoming Webinars, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce a call for From Our Readers submissions, a webinar on crafting expert query letters, and more!

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a prime number poem.

Stephanie Dray: On Writing Women's Legacies

Stephanie Dray: On Writing Women's Legacies

Bestselling and award-winning author Stephanie Dray shares how she selects the historical figures that she features in her novels and how she came to see the whole of her character's legacies.

From Script

Taking Note of the Structure of WandaVision and Breaking in Outside of Hollywood (From Script)

In this week’s round-up from, learn about the storytelling techniques used in the nine-part Disney+ series "WandaVision," outlining tips for writing a horror script, and breaking in outside of Hollywood as a writer and filmmaker.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 10

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a get blank poem.

take two 3 mistakes writers make in act i

Take Two: 3 Mistakes Writers Make in Act I

Without a solid foundation, our stories flounder. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares insights into the three mistakes writers make when creating the first act.

David Jackson Ambrose: On Balancing Magic and Practicality

David Jackson Ambrose: On Balancing Magic and Practicality

Novelist David Jackson Ambrose discusses the initial themes he wanted to explore in his latest novel, A Blind Eye, what the editing process was like, and how his books always surprise him in the end.