[Zetta’s Reference Desk] 642 Things to Write About

642 things to write aboutIt’s 2015 and the following post represents the start of a new, and hopefully ongoing, feature here on Zetta’s Desk and that is “Zetta’s Reference Desk” where I will feature a writing reference book that I recommend and those recommended by my guest bloggers.

If you would like to be a guest and recommend your favorite reference book, please click the “Be My Guest!” link at the top of the page for more information.

The inaugural book for “Zetta’s Reference Desk” will help those of us who always seem to run out of ideas—and run into a writer’s block.


Title:  642 Things to Write About Journal

Author(s): The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto

Published: 2011

Purchased at: Barnes & Noble


I love books and I love bookstores, but the last dozen times I’ve entered a Barnes & Noble, I was not tempted to buy anything sitting on the bookshelves in the fiction or nonfiction sections. Ironically, more often than not, I tend to find something of interest in their gift section. That’s where I found this book and it was exactly what I needed.

After reading the short introduction about how The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto compiled the book and flipping through some of the pages, I just had to get it.

Inside you will find 642 things to write about, and you can either write what is suggested, or find yourself using the suggestions to spark new ideas of your own.

Here are a few things the book suggested and the results of what I wrote:


Write a bathroom limerick.

There was a girl named Marie,

And whenever she had to go pee,

She would sit on the pot,

And from her butt came not

Number 1 or 2—it was 3.


Write ten sayings for fortune cookies

  1. If you’re reading this…please turn over for the antidote.
  2. Don’t do that.
  3. Happiness follows a big tip left behind.
  4. Small pieces of paper cannot predict happiness…but they can buy food.
  5. Dollars and cents should make you have sense. [This is a saying in our family!]
  6. Ignorant is the person who thinks they know it all.
  7. Tread lightly for you stand on the dreams of your ancestors.
  8. Reality checks are cashed by the Bank of Knowledge and Experience.
  9. Lead by example and follow your bliss.
  10. It’s better if you don’t know…



The very last suggestion in the book is thought provoking, to say the least. Want to know what it is?

“Write your obituary.”


But like I said above, you may find yourself coming up with your own ideas. Here’s a suggestion from me.

“Write a paean for a pagan.”







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