Choosing Topics to Write On By. J. Kukuruza

When we taught college classes, we assigned an essay a week on different rhetorical modes. After we had assigned a rhetorical mode for them to tackle, the first question was always, “What is the topic?” Our answer was ALWAYS, “Your choice.” This would elicit responses such as, “But we need a topic!” Or, “We were always assigned a topic to write on. I don’t know what to write about!” The frustration they were experiencing was obvious and always, again, led to the advice to pick something they were curious about if it were an explanation essay, or something they had a definite opinion on (if the essay were to be argumentative) that could be backed up by facts. As to a narrative essay–they should pick a time they remembered and write about it so that the reader would feel they were there, experiencing what the writer experienced. There would be much head-shaking and looks of discouragement–but they would try and most did an admirable job.

In your writing, the same thing should apply, we believe. It does not matter what genre you choose, it needs to be something you are vested in some way or another. What intrigues you, as a writer? What do you see, hear, experience that makes you want to explore further, write about?

If you feel like you are stuck in, for example, writing murder mysteries and cannot break from this mode, what else interests you? Can you weave a tale from seeing, for example, a homeless person with their dog, nothing more than a backpack, and wonder what that person’s story is? Plus, go one step further and watch, observe nuances, and then dare to talk to the person that you now THINK you know. They could help you write a different piece of work by their experiences, an editorial if you’re inclined towards journalism, a narrative, and yes, even a murder mystery. This may sound a little extreme to get a topic going, but think about it. If you are open to what is going on, how people feel or don’t feel, how certain things make an impact or can be shuffled off the shelves of your mind, you are now reaching new material, new topics, and developing new passions and desires to write about.

It is our opinion that there is no shortage of topics to be written about. Risk being open and human. If you want to write children’s stories, sit with children and listen to their stories, their interests. Talk to others who seem to share your particular fascinations with certain topics or issues.

It may seem we are being redundant but we truly believe if you watch–nature, people, animals–you will be afforded more topics and more in-depth material than you ever felt possible. One thing, as a side-note, that we find fascinating, is sitting in a waiting room anywhere, or a library and notice what people are reading, doing to amuse themselves. And many times, we wind up researching and developing topics that have personal significance to us. In short, the things to write about are there–You just have to see them, hear them, and put them into words.
Happy adventures in writing.


Judy Kukuruza’s book “One Body, Many Souls” can be found on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2FuA241; Their website is at https://onebodymanysouls.com/. Their blog is at https://storywritersthoughts.wordpress.com/.

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Blogs by J. Kukuruza

When it comes to blogs, have you ever thought about how many different blogs you may read? What topics they cover? Do some inspire you to want to respond? To offer a comment at the end? If so, then great! Blogs are actually as important and even more often read than op-ed offerings in a small town newspaper. If you choose to blog, they can be offered as your opinion, or about facts you have on a topic or issue–IF you blog.

There really are no restrictions when you blog. You are not confined to a word count or paragraph count because these are irrelevant in a blog. Of course, if you go on for several pages or thousands of words, you may lose your reader’s interest 🙁 Many aspiring writers appreciate the freedom blogging offers. As your blog gains an audience, there are responses or helpful criticisms from the readers, allowing you to polish and work on your writing and gain the pointers you may be seeking. Remember–the better your writing, the bigger your audience and it becomes a win/win for you and your readers /followers.

There are several advantages to blogging. Of course the first is getting your writing “out there.” You are sharing your thoughts and your voice. Another is adding your blogs to your writing resume so that when you submit your work to a publisher, that publisher sees your efforts to keep writing and getting your work before the public. Last, but certainly important, you could be read by people willing to pay you for your work. Publishers and website perusers scan blogs because they are easy to scroll through, and show what kind of writer you are. A short sample of your writing, style, and thought processes are apparent in a blog without them having to labor through a much longer work.

So how do you get started? There are several sites you can google to show you how to create and get a blog site going. A few are: wix.com and WordPress.com. Both are free and there are directions to help you get started. Another thing you can do is browse different websites that you are interested in and see if they offer you a place to post or share. This could lead to your having a blog connected to their site. There are also writer’s groups you can join that will have blog challenges or contests that you can participate in. Some may have you follow a prescribed theme while others allow creative freedom. We are participating in a blog challenge presently that was offered by Writers of Kern. It is a 26 day challenge that we write for every day for 26 days. Our fellow members read and offer comments which are usually quite helpful each day or soon after our blog is posted. There is one more we would offer that is great for challenging your writing skills called–creativecopychallenge. wordpress.com This particular challenge gives you a certain amount of words to incorporate into your writing to see if you can weave a tale with all the words given.

Blogging helps you in the ways mentioned above and also helps you use self-discipline to keep you writing. If, for instance, you are participating in a challenge, you have to submit every day for a certain amount of time. That means whether you “feel” like it or not, you have to write. For us, that is good. Self-discipline is not one of our strong suits 🙂

We hope this helps and you will use it. Writing a blog is good so you stay on top of your writing skills, get your material to an audience, and one of your random readers could wind up being your employer, paying you to do what you love.

Happy writing.


Judy Kukuruza’s book “One Body, Many Souls” can be found on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2FuA241; Their website is at https://onebodymanysouls.com/. Their blog is at https://storywritersthoughts.wordpress.com/.

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