The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thinking like a writer

Recently the Foundation for Blind Children had "Farm Day" where a bunch of their kids were taken out to meet the animals. My sister was planning to take her daughter there so I already knew about it. One day I saw an article about it in the paper and I slapped myself on the forehead. It had never occurred to me to write about it. Obviously the paper already had someone to do the story, but I should have at least considered the idea.

I could tell more stories like that. The new freelancer often has trouble coming up with ideas. Trust me -- the ideas are all around you. Some small story you come across might be of interest to the newspaper or a magazine. You need to develop a writer's eye and start seeing everything as something you could write about. I'm still not good at that, but I'm getting better.

Write about what's important to you because, if it's important to you, it's probably important to other people. For me, that's my niece. I want to write about her (and our) struggles with her disabilites. That doesn't mean I just need to look for magazines about disabilities. There are lots of parenting magazines out there and it is rare to see articles about special needs kids. Consider the revived article I mentioned a few days ago. That magazine is about the English language and its quirks.

See the ideas around you then decide how best to market them. That is the single key to any small business -- finding opportunities and using them to your advantage.


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