Coming up with ideas for a novel, magazine article, blog posts and something as simple as a Facebook post can be difficult at times. Here are a few suggestions on each.
Personal events (Hurricane Patricia and severe flooding)
Events you have witnessed (Your neighbor’s house burnt to the ground, they lost everything including a loved one. Now what?)
News articles (What’s been currently happening and drawing attention?)
Pictures (Pictures of ghostly figures from the past)
Historical events (Look at Historical book sales, wow)
Taking historical events and asking, “What if?” (What if America had lost WWII?)
Taking a book and asking, “What if?”(What if Jack in the Bean Stalk had been a girl?)
Family stories that have been passed down. (Everyone I know in the south has an Indian Princess in the family tree)
I start the process by looking at human triumph through an extreme situation or circumstance. The girl who overcame being molested. The boy who broke his leg during his last high school football game. Then I ask some questions. “What if she killed her molester and got away with it?” “What if she decided to dedicate herself to working in domestic abuse shelters, only to find herself in harm’s way again and again?” “What if the boy has lost his chances of going to college?” “What if he has to work at the mines or plants like everyone else?” But his leg never heals, and that girlfriend, well she decided his best friend was more her type.
Asking why, what if, where, and who provides the means for the birth of a story.
What do you know? (I’ve moved 23 times, I know a lot about moving.)
What do you like? (I like food, good food, different food, food I don’t cook and food that’s easy to cook)
What do you enjoy? (I enjoy traveling and seeing new places)
What are your hobbies? (My hobbies include kayaking & hiking)
What businesses do you think others should know about? (I think new restaurants that have stand out menus are great to share)
Because I manage several small business blogs, I have a schedule or editorial calendar. Each day of the week has a theme and each week or month can also have a theme.
October ~ Beginning of Fall, Decorating for Halloween, Football, Homecoming, Fall Festivals
These are a few topics or themes I know I will want to cover for October.
November ~ Thanksgiving, Family, Shopping, Food, Crafts, Gifts
December ~ Christmas, Holidays, Decorating, Sweets & Treats
Now under each theme I create daily posts.
Mondays ~ Organizing/Shopping Lists
Tuesdays ~ Meal Planning/Recipes/Food Blogs
Wednesdays ~ Fun Ideas/DYI/Decorating Tips
Thursdays ~ Healthy Living/Exercise/Tips for busy Families
Fridays ~ Restaurants to Try/Best Places to Pick up an Easy Meal
Saturdays ~ What’s Going On/Fun Family Day Trips & Activities
Sundays ~ Upcoming Events/Festivals
Themes should consider the type of audience you are wanting to reach. Since I manage a real estate blog, my themes tend to center around marketing, closing or title insurance facts, closing gifts, decorating tips or how to stage a home.
Knowing your audience is key in almost everything you write. You are writing for someone to read whatever it is you’re writing and you want someone to find it interesting, helpful, or entertaining.
How do you come up with your ideas?