Monthly Archives: October 2011

Gleaning How-to Article Ideas from Your Family Relationships

When my niece and nephews were young, I took them out on “dates.” It was our special time together. We began when each of them turned 3. These outings continued until each of them turned 16. We still talk about the fun times we had together.

At the time, I didn’t know any other aunts who spent time with their nieces and nephews in a purposeful way. They babysat but they never scheduled time together outside of family functions. I decided to write an article about my experiences, offering advice on how to cultivate these relationships. My first published article, entitled “Their Children/My Children” looked at how everyone in a family can impact the children in their lives. Apparently, it struck a chord because it’s my most reprinted article.

What Makes Family Relationships Unique?

A family relationship is usually the first place we learn a lesson. It’s the first place we must find a workable solution to a relationship problem or where we learn relationship skills. It’s also the first place where we discover lessons about ourselves.

What is unique about your family relationships?

Sharing Lessons You Learned

Have you learned lessons from your family relationships? How will your readers benefit from those lessons? How can they apply those lessons to their unique life situations?

What did you learn as you began to care for your elderly parents? How do you maintain your relationship with your siblings? Your spouse? Your children? Your extended family? How do you solve parenting problems? How do you plan unique family activities? What special things do you do at holidays? How have you helped your children adjust to a move? A job loss? Mom going back to work? How do you teach your children about chores? About God?

A How-To Goldmine

These ideas are just the beginning. You constantly solve problems and learn lessons through your family relationships. As you work through them, journal about the process. Then, write articles that offer step-by-step guidelines to solve a problem or enhance your readers’ family lives.

© Deborah Christensen

Gardening Tools – Livescribe Pen

Whenever I go to church or a conference, or sit in a meeting, I take notes. I journal my quiet time, including my prayers. Notebooks filled with nuggets of wisdom from teachers, insights from God’s Word and assignments from bosses fill my home office. Anything important is buried in that pile of notebooks.

A couple of years ago, I discovered a tool that makes it easier for me to use my notes in a productive way. It’s the Livescribe pen. You also need to purchase special paper to write on.

You write with the pen and can, then, upload your notes to your computer. You can save them as a PDF or save them to optional software (MyScript for Livescribe) which converts your notes to text. This is the perfect way to keep your notes organized so you can refer to them later.

Livescribe also gives you the option to upload your notes to Facebook and to EverNote.

In addition, the pen records as you write. You can tap your notes and it will play back the recording at that point.

The most recent upgrade is a little confusing but the tech support is very helpful and will get you through the process quickly and easily.

I highly recommend the Livescribe pen. It’s one of those tools you’ll want to keep with you all the time to help you plow the fields for writing ideas.

You can find out more about the Livescribe pen here: http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/smartpen/

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