Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sowing Seeds of Hope

News of the tragic death of Amy Winehouse came out on Saturday. She chased after some kind of happiness but she never found it. She looked in all the wrong places, including alcohol, drugs and relationships. This topic is full of possible writing ideas.

Hope to a Hopeless World

Where did you look for hope before you came to Christ? How did you discover the hope of Jesus? What stories of hope can you tell to help someone on their journey to hope?

Overcoming Hopeless Behavior

What addictions have you overcome? What help  can you offer to people struggling with addictions? What about other destructive behaviors? Your personal experience stories of struggle and victory can help others and offer them hope.

You can also write how-to pieces to help people take the first steps they need to take toward hope. What brought you to the end of your rope? How did you know that you needed to turn away from your hopeless behaviors and change your life? How did you know that your hope would only come through Christ?

The Amy Winehouse story is one of tragedy and hopelessness. But you can use that story to help point others to the hope of Christ.

Look for ways to connect to current events in your writing to keep it current. Use current events as a place to harvest writing ideas.

Our Furry Friends

Pets have shared my life for as long as I can remember. They gave, and continue to give, joy and unconditional love.

We can glean writing ideas from our pets, from their care to the lessons we learn about ourselves.

Spiritual Lessons

What have you learned about unconditional love from your pets? About total dependence on God? About joy? What other spiritual/character lessons have you learned? Share these stories and the lessons you learned in inspirational or personal experience pieces.

How-To Pieces

When I adopted my own pets, I had so many questions. I relied on the advice of others to help me maneuver through this new adventure.

How did you choose your pet? How did you choose your vet? What did you learn about various health issues? How do you recognize a health issue? How do you avoid preventable health issues? What did you discover about the proper diet for your pet? What did you learn about grooming? How did you introduce a new pet to other pets in the house? How do you travel with your pet? How do you take care of a pet when you’re away?

You learned these things and you can share this information with new pet owners.

Parenting Pieces

Many parents don’t know how to involve their children in the care of a pet. You can help them navigate this area of parenting by offering helpful guidance.

How did you involve your children in the care of the pet? How did you handle a pet pregnancy with your children? How did you guide your children through the loss of a pet?

Fiction

Many children’s publications and books feature stories with and about pets. Use your experiences as a starting point for fun and endearing stories.

The next time your dog takes you for a walk or a purring alarm clock wakes you up, tuck the memory away in your idea file. Your furry friends can give you dozens of writing ideas.

The Fruit of Our Labor

Every Monday, you journey to work. Unless you freelance full-time, you leave your writing behind. In my case, I go off to work and—write. But, it’s very different writing from my freelance writing.

Look around you. The seeds of ideas lurk in the office, on the job site, in the break room and on the road. All you need to do is tuck them away and plant them in your writing field.

Personal Experience Articles
How do you grow through your relationships at work? What do you learn from them? What do you learn through celebrating the successes of others? What do you discover about yourself through your reaction to their failures? If you’re a boss, what does God teach you as you deal with disciplinary issues?

How does God teach you about His sovereignty? About honoring Him through your work?

Think through your work experiences and use them as a basis for personal experience articles. Use what God teaches you to take your readers on your journey so they can grow, too.

How-To Articles
How do you build meaningful relationships at work? How do you work through relationship issues? How do you share your faith in your work setting? How do you compassionately lead the people who work for you?

What about the practical issues of the workplace? How do you successfully negotiate a contract? How do you find the right person for a job? How do you become a more effective nurse? Lawyer? Administrative assistant? Teacher?

You can offer information to your readers that will help them in a variety of ways: spiritually, personally and professionally.

A Fruitful Harvest
View your work through new eyes—a writer’s eyes. When you do, you’ll glean baskets full of fruitful article ideas.

Become an Idea Harvester

Ideas are living things. They grow everywhere. Sometimes, you nurture them to maturity, like a farmer cultivates his crops. Sometimes, you can pick them as they grow wild, like wildflowers in a mountain valley. Sometimes, you discover them in the most unlikely places, like moss growing on a rock.

You may look around you and not see any potential ideas. I can’t give you the ideas. But, I can tickle your imagination to help you search for them on your own.

First Things First
Before those ideas wither and die in your garden of inspiration, you need to collect them. Many smartphones have Notes apps. I don’t own a smartphone but I keep my iPod Touch with me at all times. It, too, has a Notes app and I constantly use it.

If you don’t use apps or gadgets, don’t worry. Paper and a pen work just fine. Simply make sure you keep them with you at all times.

Look Around You
You can start gleaning ideas today. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  1. What spiritual lesson have you learned lately?
  2. What lesson did you learn from your children? Spouse? Parents? Friends? Pastor? Small group leader? Co-worker?

Use your answers as the basis for a personal experience article and begin.

Community of Writers
I envision a community of writers who inspire and challenge each other—who share their own idea sources. We can support each other. And, we can begin right now. Please share how you gleaned a past writing idea.

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