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Great Essayists Always Have Something To Write: Here’s How To Be One

Great Essayists Always Have Something To Write: Here’s How To Be One

ideas to write aboutYou want to write, but you don’t seem to have any idea to write about. And you cannot give what you’ve not got, can you?

Now that’s not palatable for you!

But wait! What if you could be helped to effortlessly gather ideas to get your creative juice flowing? What if you could be shown some often-neglected, but insanely effective means of spawning writing inspiration?

You’d like that, right? Surely, I dare say.

Below are some ordinary tips capable of producing extraordinary results. You have a right to doubt me, but read this to the end, so you can have evidence to prove I’m telling lies.

#1: Read Voraciously

I’ve said you don’t need to be a bookworm to start writing. But believe me, you need to read – and do that a lot – to become proficient. If your passion is to write on poverty and unemployment, you need to read avidly on it. If it’s photography, you must be at par with trends and happenings in that field. Whatever your interest is, be up to date on it.

Even more, you’d need to read outside your comfort zone to broaden your horizon and have a wider reservoir of ideas to draw on.

#2: Be Imaginative

The finest place to cook up ideas is your mind. Sometimes, it may help to close your eyes and experience a self-induced hallucination. Just create pictures – static and moving – in your mind. If you cook up the mechanics of a clock for instance, some great ideas which may spring up include:

  • The hands work in harmony; so being a team player, not a lone ranger, helps.
  • The clock’s working is visible, transparent and open to the scrutiny of all; what if our governance process in Nigeria could be, too?
  • The clock may be dead as stone, but it’s correct at least twice a day; so no one is a write-off…a villain may one day be the hero.

 The clock is diligent, committed to its work, accurate and waits for none; hardwork pays…it leads to efficiency.

#3: Take a stroll

I’ve tried this several times and it works magic. Walking the landscape is a great way to get inspiration about what to write. When you stroll, open your eyes and observe closely, don’t just look.

If you’re entering an essay contest on making the best use of opportunities, seeing a leaf fall off a tree might be a great source of inspiration. Illustrating how the leaf had everything it wanted from its attachment to the tree – water, support, photosynthesis, protection, fresh texture, green colour, etc. – and how all these opportunities ceased by the severance from the tree, might  be all you need to get a winning essay.

While you’d not be required to stare at anything and everything on the street, watching one or two funny, ridiculous, inspiring or pitiable things can spark your creative side.

#4: Take a Voyage

This is an extension of the last point. Travelling has so many benefits for writers. You’d get to see large expanse of seas, wide landscape, green and fresh flora and fauna, the good, the bad and the ugly sides of life.

Also, great writing ideas could crop up in your mind while waiting on trains, in airports, on the bus and you’d often find your pre-conceptions challenged. You’ll appreciate life better, and write better, too.

#5: Join like minds

Birds of a feather flock together…isn’t that what they say? So being around other writers, and working on exercises, reviews and critiques, can help spark new ideas. Look for a close-by writers’ circle, an online writing group, forum or a weekly class. You might even consider taking an online course in writing with an expert tutor.

While reviewing others’ works, a single word, a phrase, sentence or an expressed idea may spur up some others in your subconscious.

Making the most of the ideas

So in all of these, if you can’t write the essays immediately, it’s vital  you take down notes as ideas can slip away as easily and swiftly as they pop up.

How do you generate ideas to garnish your essays? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. Haleemah Oladamade Ahmad says:

    Thanks for the tips, coach!

  2. Halimat says:

    Thanks for the tips. But what bothers me so much about writing is that it tends to take too much of ones time. At times, i get bored when writing long essays and most times, i have to abandon it. How can one solve this problem?

  3. Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I read your 5 advantages you don’t need or so…… I would say you hit the points. Those are the things I take as excuses, and I’m also inspired by you – being an engineering student – and you write so well. Because being an engineering student has always been my great excuse, I’d think I can’t write well because I’m nt from the faculty of art ..bla bal bal… But the passions for writing keep springing up.

    Please, I would need you to help me. I’m a bad writer – i mean BAD, from grammatical constuctions to any point you may think of. I don’t only want to be a good writer, but a better one. It would be a privilege to get a feedback from you.

    • Hi Mike,

      Great to have you here. First, I’m a Law student. We’re in the journey together. I share writing tutorials evry Friday and writing opportunities every other days. Simply subscribe by email to stay on top of all the goodies. Finally, you can read this recent piece I wrote which addressed many of your concerns.

  4. Good day, The Coach.
    Foremost, I’m sorry for mistaking you for one Jimoh I read about on your blog. Thanks so much. I’ve read your pieces, and I’d say you’re doing a great job.

    I’ve also read your book ‘Your Right to Write’. I tell you, it’s a small but great book. It took a different path from what I had expected. No secrets, but full of motivational and provocative stringing of words that awaken the real writer in me. A very inspiring notes. You’re indeed a great teacher.

    Thanks once again. I’d like to have your mail.

  5. Movies! Experience! I try to find something new to learn in everything I do or see… Nice one, Coach; I’ve got this little difficulty of ‘stammering thoughts’. I’m always thinking I’ve not written convincingly enough and sometimes, the flow gets lost. Any advice for me?

    • Hi Skola,

      Nice idea here. Even though I’m not the movie type, I recall once getting tons of ideas from watching “Robots”.

      One thing that can help is to write fast whenever you have to write. Then always go straight to the point. Avoid wasting words trying to put your points in perspective. Just hit the nail on the head and go.

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