We’ve all heard it: Write what you know. Your everyday, ordinary life is full of writing ideas. You know more than you think you know. Take all that knowledge and write. But then, take a risk and move into areas where you’re less familiar.
Your Life 24/7
From the moment you get up to the moment your eyes close at night, writing ideas surround you: your journey with God, marriage, parenting, pets, caretaking elderly parents, illness, financial issues, singleness, dealing with loss, decorating ideas, forgiveness, gardening, and on and on.
Share your insights on what you’ve learned. Bring your readers with you on your journey. What is God teaching you today? What’s do you handle a disagreement in your marriage? How do you discipline your child? What works and what doesn’t? How did you discover that your pet had a health issue? How did you help your elderly parents transition to a more dependent living situation? How did you know the warning signs of a serious illness?
Do you get the idea? You know more things than you may realize.
Now Expand Your Vision
Look for ideas where you least expect them: a commercial on TV or radio, a TV show, a conversation you overhear at the grocery store, current events, the newspaper, a website, ideas from friends, your child’s homework, a song you hear. The ideas are there. You just need to recognize them as ideas.
Look for ideas in every experience, everything you read or hear, everything that comes into your life. You never know where you’ll find the next nugget of inspiration. But if you don’t look for it, you won’t see it.
Research, Research, Research
You may never know the pain of divorce or the trauma of a crime victim, but someone else does. Research expands your writing so you can then offer comfort, information or point them to where they can get help.
Research every idea. Do interviews, search the web, go to the library. Even your research can spark ideas. For example, you may be writing an article on breast cancer and discover information on how diet affects your health. It doesn’t fit into your current piece but you can use it in something else.
Step Into 2013 Full of Ideas
Start 2013 with a notebook in hand – or Notes on your smartphone, or some other way to capture your ideas. Then, write. Ideas birth more ideas.
Figure out how to use your idea in nonfiction (personal experience, how-to, personality profile, devotional), fiction (short stories, novel, character traits, plot lines), poetry, and writing for children. Take one idea and use it several ways and in every genre. You’ll increase your output.
Now, go. Write what you know – and more.
© Deborah Christensen
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net