"Where can I find article ideas?" This is a common question of the beginning writer. It isn't difficult, really. Simply look around you.
I know, you've heard that before and it doesn't help. Well, here are a few tips to get your creative juices flowing:
1. Tabloid newspapers
No, these papers are not the top of the journalism heap, but they can definitely get you thinking about the world around you in a different way.
Pick up a couple of the local tabloids. The more fantastic their stories, the better. Read through each one and note anything that comes to mind. Maybe a medical breakthrough story gets you thinking about the new hospital wing they are building in your town. Could that be a story in hiding? Yes.
2. Your workplace
No matter what you currently do to pay the bills, there is probably a story or two there. Is there someone who stands out at work? Would an interview with them be a good topic idea? Talk to them. Find out what makes them tick.
Perhaps you see a side of your town that few others do in your work. This is true whether you wait tables or work in a law firm. Each profession has its stories. What are yours?
3. Your neighborhood
If you live in an older neighborhood, is there a house with a colorful history? Maybe you know the person who started the local neighborhood watch. Or a special person in your neighborhood reaches out to keep kids off the streets. Explore your neighborhood. Mine its stories.
4. Your family
Writing directly about your family might not sit well with them. Even so, you can talk to them. Ask them questions about what is going on in their lives. You will find more article topics than you think.
While publishers want Christmas stories in June to meet their publishing deadlines, you can still start today writing down the stories of the holiday. Did someone impress you with their giving spirit at Thanksgiving? Maybe a family was treated to a special Christmas by a local group.
Christmas and Thanksgiving are not the only holidays, of course. Go beyond the well-known and explore other special days on the calendar. Why are they special? When did they become official? What is their story?
You see, the world around you is teeming with stories. You can find article ideas, if you just take the time to look around, listen and write what you observe.
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