Dear American Girl,

I love to write and make art, but as soon as I sit down, I don’t know what to create or write about. What should I do?
-Artsy

Here's your advice:

My advice is to look around. What do you see every day? A neighbor’s dog? Or an interesting shop in your town? Try writing a story or creating an art piece based on something you see each day.
-Mikayla, age 12, Indiana

You could make an art journal. Whenever you get an idea, write it down. Then go back to the idea and write about it or draw it when you have free time.
-Zoe, age 9, Texas

Write about your favorite animal or create a new one. If you still can’t think of anything, go outside and play with friends. That’s usually what gives me inspiration.
-Dani, age 12, Indiana

Write about your life, or draw a person and make her the main character in your story. If you need writing inspiration, read a good book.
-Kaylee, age 10, Montana

I like to make up magical lands in my head and then write about them. You could try doing this, too.
-Sierra, age 9, Idaho

You could try drawing something with your eyes closed. It’s funny and it might give you a new idea.
-Adah, age 10, Wyoming

Keep a sketchbook with you. That way when you see something pretty, such as a flower, you can draw it.
-Lauren, age 10, Wisconsin

Do a huge brainstorm when you’re feeling creative. Make a long list of possible ideas for writing or drawing. You can look at this list later when you need an idea.
-Sara, age 11, Washington

Doodle. Sometime drawing lines, shapes, and squiggles can give you new ideas.
-Lydia, age 9, North Dakota

The nice thing about art is that there aren’t any rules—just imagination. Draw or write whatever pops into your head first. Don’t question it!
-Della, age 11, New Jersey

Before you start to create something, close your eyes and think of the things that you love. This will get your creative juices flowing.
-Sarah, age 12, Maryland

There are beautiful images and stories waiting to be captured all around us. Take pictures of different things and sit down and write about them.
-An American Girl fan

Don’t push yourself to think of something—that might only stress you out more. Sometimes the best ideas come naturally when you’re least expecting them.
-Lily, age 10, Maryland

HELP! from You