The Fertile Fields of Old Friendships

hibiscusSeveral weeks ago, I attended my 35th college reunion. I hadn’t seen some of the people in 35 years. As we reconnected, it was as if the 35-year gap never existed.

We talked about the joys of grandparenthood, the healing after losing a spouse, the difficulties and blessings of remarriage, and the pain of watching our parents decline. Teachers talked about the state of education today. Runners talked about bodies that are 35 years older.

It was a joy to spend time with these old friends. And when I thought about our time together later, I realized that many of the things we talked about would make great topics for articles, devotions and fiction.

Share the Stories

I’ve never experienced the loss of a spouse. But, one of my old friends did. Look for stories that you can share.

What did they learn from their experience? How did God help them through it? How did they come out on the other side? If they’re still in the middle of the struggle, how do they keep going?

Write personal experience articles, how-to articles, poetry and devotions, all using your friend’s story as the foundation. Let the story inspire your fiction. Create a character who faces those obstacles and show how the character struggles and grows through it.

Address the Topics

I’m not a teacher but one of my old friends is. My parents are fairly healthy. But, one of my old friends is dealing with caretaking her parents. I’ve never had cancer but several of my old friends are survivors. Your old friends can become your “experts.”

Your old friends have a perspective that you may have never thought of before. Or, they may have experience with an issue that you don’t. Tap into their expertise. Get their insights.

If you’re writing something that requires research, contact one of your old friends who knows about that issue. Their information will help you with your research, but it may also spark new writing ideas.

Relish old friendships. But, also look for writing ideas that may be hiding in those relationships.

© Deborah Christensen

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Posted on November 19, 2013, in education, family relationships, fiction, grandparents, grief, health, illness, inspiration, interview, nonfiction, poetry, seniors, writer's life, writing, writing ideas, writing prompt and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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