One of the best ways to ensure steady income as a writer is to ensure that you never run out of material to write about. For the beginning and seasoned writer alike, the following seven strategies, will help ensure you never run out of material again.
1) Always keep an ongoing journal. The goal of your journal or journals is to be able to have a place to record your journal entries, while leaving you easy access for your ideas that will later make you money. I use the college ruled bound composition books from the grocery store. The page on the right side is used to record journal entries. The page on the left side is available for any article, column, poetry, or other snippets that might come to mind.
2) History is your friend. In one of my old journals, I reread about an argument I had with my mother in the seventh grade over whether or not I could shave my legs. On the left page of my journal, I jotted down “Having Better Communication with your Teenager,” “Treasures from Teenagers,” and “Things you Should Know Before Buying a Razor.” These different ideas came from me asking, “How could the situation happen differently? What would my mom have taught me if we went to pick out razors together?” With the variety of things that have happened over your lifetime there are many more article ideas and slants that can be formed on each one.
3) Be a Snoop Before writing the article on razors, I would need to research more information on razors in general. I would also need to purchase different types of razors and examine them before writing the article. While doing this research, I will also come up with even more article ideas. You can use this method with just about anything. How many uses can you think of for fallen leaves this year? What kind of things should drivers do to be prepared for roadside emergencies? The ideas are endless. Jot them down and write an article about it.
4) Literature of all kinds. When reading anything let your mind be open to different slants and other directions your mind may take you. Can you relate to the author’s experience? How would you have made the situation different? What do you really think about those fashions in the magazines? Make a list of ideas while you’re reading published articles.
5) New Experiences. Go out and try different things. Do you remember your first time doing _______? Fill in the blank. What tips and pointers would you give other beginners? Write down even the most insignificant idea. For example, how to give a cat medicine may be elementary stuff to most cat owners, but to the cat with a beginner owner, it is very important!
6) Brainstorming. Try sitting down and writing the first thoughts that come to you at random for five minutes. No editing allowed. Then take those random thoughts and see how many slants and angles can be made by tailoring the ideas to different types of audiences.
7) The Never Ending “How To” Article Look around your house for starters. “How to Make Housecleaning more Efficient.” “How to Communicate with your _______.” “How to change your ______.” Take a look at your hobbies or the hobbies of people you know. “How to choose _________.” You get the idea.
Remember, getting and keeping a steady supply of material doesn’t have to take money or a tremendous amount of time. And, it’s fun! You are not limited to just these methods and you can constantly repeat them whenever you need to. Now get writing!
Misty Mead lives in Scappoose, Oregon, with her four-month-old daughter Nevada. Over the past ten years, Misty has written and published a variety of features, from ad-libs to interviews, including weekly columns on spirituality and relationships, event coverage, investigative reporting, and poetry.
She has also worked in the publishing, finance, computer, travel, communications, and home improvement industries. Currently, she ghostwrites correspondence for people and does network marketing as well as freelance proofreading and editing. Misty can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org