My online critique group, wac, is engaged in a new writing exercise. The results have been interesting, amusing, informative, hilarious, heart-tugging, and more. So what is this exercise?
Make a list of 20 Firsts and 20 Lasts. From that list a writer can find many topics to be used in future writing.
The list of Firsts is far easier to do. Once you begin, your mind reaches back into the netherlands of your youth and many Firsts pop up. The list of Lasts is more difficult. Sometimes, it might not be the last ever but only the last time you did something of a significant nature. Perhaps the last time you smoked a cigarette or had a drink, Then again, it may be a final thing, such as the last time you saw someone no longer living.
Our wac members have been sending their lists in, and I've found them to be a wonderful way to get to know each person a little better. Personality emerges quite clearly through these lists. Some things have been as expected while others have been surprises. One this morning found me giggling all the way through it.
Try making your own Firsts and Lasts lists, then refer to it again when you're searching for a topic for an essay or story. Out of those forty things you've listed, you'll probably find 35 stories to write-- at the least.