Monday, April 11, 2011

Interests are Ideal Idea Generators

Ideas are a writer's bread and butter, or rather the ability to convey those ideas to others. However, it can sometimes feel like the idea well is tapped out. One of the easiest ways I use to find a topic to write on is to look at my own interests and pick those apart for angles. This also works for assigned subjects.


For fresh news angles, I look at how the event or subject affects a group or topic I am interested in. For example: I find advertising trends interesting. So when the Taco Bell meat lawsuit surfaced, I looked at how other fast food chains were already engaging in ad wars over meat quality.

Entertainment and sports topics often have me wondering one of two things: "Who else has done it?" and "What is the person's history with it?" Those are things that are interesting to me.
So when a White House intern appeared on "American Idol," I looked into other staffers who have been famous.

When just searching for a topic to write about, I look at my hobbies, interests and consider seasonal activities I will be doing a month or two from now. Depending on the time of year, this can be anything from traveling, spring cleaning, container planting, Black Friday shopping, carving pumpkins or holiday decorating. Then I ask questions about these topics.
  • Is there anything unique or better in the way I do these things? 
  • Can I explain how to do that? 
  • Tips I can give? 
  • Does the activity need to be approached uniquely for different groups of people?
  • Is there a history behind it?
  • Can anything be grouped with similar items and presented?
  • What is interesting about this?
It goes on and on until I have lists of writing topics to choose from. I choose the most compelling answers and write to that idea. Using this method keeps boredom away, because I am always tackling a subject I find interesting.

How do you generate your writing ideas?

1 comment:

  1. Good strategy to get those creative juices flowing. I like to deconstruct an idea too and see where it takes me sometimes.

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