Do you have a favorite TV show? The next time you watch it, look for possible article ideas. You may be able to take the featured topic and expand on it from your perspective. How could you use that topic in fiction? In a personal experience piece? In a how-to article? In poetry? In a meditation/devotional? In a piece for children?
Monthly Archives: January 2012
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19, NIV
When have you experienced anxiety? How did God’s consolation bring joy to your soul? Did He do it through His Word? Through other people? How did you overcome your anxiety? How can you use your experience in a personal experience piece? How can you use it in a meditational/devotional? In poetry?
Do you have a favorite family recipe? What are your memories associated with it? How can you use them in a personal experience piece? In fiction?
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5, NIV
How do you find rest in God? What has He taught you about being still? What do you learn about Him in those times of rest? What do you learn about yourself? How can you use these insights in a meditation/devotional? How can you use them in a personal experience piece? How can you use them in a how-to article? How can you use them in poetry?
My niece-in-law is a nurse. If we have a health question, we go to her first. She patiently answers our questions. I know nothing about gardening. Every spring, I head out to the garden center to buy more plants for my yard. I find an expert to guide me through the process. My life is filled with experts—people close to me and people I interact with occasionally—who can give me article ideas from their field of expertise.
Experts provide a wealth of information for your personal life. Who are the experts you know? Other parents, teachers, pastors, small group leaders, writers, doctors, vets, chefs, computer techs, repair professionals? Are they family members? Friends? Do you use their services?
What help do you need? Parenting help? Spiritual help? How to choose the right product? Help with a hobby or pet? Other people need that help, too. Use your own issues as a starting point for how-to article ideas and use the guidance from those experts to help others.
What Else Do They Know?
Now, think beyond your own needs to the needs of others. As you pepper the expert with questions for your situation, think ahead to other areas of interest for people.
Do you watch how family members and friends parent? Ask them questions on all areas of parenting, such as discipline and creative family activities, to discover article ideas. Ask the ministry leaders at your church about all aspects of ministry and issues of faith. Find out what spiritual trends they see. Read the brochures at your doctor’s office to learn about health issues that other people struggle with. If the doctor is a specialist, such as an OB/GYN, dermatologist or gastroenterologist, ask them about health issues they encounter.
When you shop at a specialty store, such as an electronics store, home improvement center or specialty grocery, walk around the store and ask questions. You may learn something about computer networking or home repair or food and cooking that you can share in an article.
To Interview or Not
The experts you know may or may not be able to provide a good interview. If they can’t, they will know others in their field you can interview. Ask them to suggest possible questions. No one knows their field better than they do. Take advantage of that knowledge.
If you do interview them, come prepared with questions. However, since you may not know all the right questions to ask, encourage them to give you additional information.
Stay alert. Watch and listen. The experts you know may spark an amazing article idea.
© Deborah Christensen
Think of a recent answer to prayer. Did you or someone else finally get a job? Was a relationship restored? Did you or someone else experience healing? Did God provide for you in a miraculous way? How did God answer your prayer? What did you learn about Him? About His provision? About His love? About being thankful? How can you use that in a personal experience piece? In a meditation/devotional? In a how-to piece? In fiction? In poetry?
“I carry a notebook with me everywhere. But that’s only the first step. Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.” (Sue Grafton)