Idea Catcher Notebook for Magazine Article Ideas
Okay, knowing your niche market. getting paid for freelance magazine article work, all that's left to grow is to keep those article ideas green and growing. Certainly the clippings files of interesting ideas are growing fatter and staying organized. What's left to do? What's next is to start your ever-present notebook idea catcher, or if there already is one, to expand on how its used and keep it going. They don't get carried around day-in and night-out for only the most profound thoughts and headiest quotes. Those kind of journals end up under the bed covered in dust. They are for musings, intriguing comments and questions heard or stumbled upon, reactions to news, relationship updates, reading responses and questions; descriptions and solutions to problems--you could even draw mini mind-maps. There is so much to write about that will jar loose so much more. Perhaps you're on a bus or a train and it's going to be a moderately long ride. Get out your notebook and write about what your life's mission is. Take the position of a soul searcher, a seeker after truth and justice, an adventurer or a wanderer and write what you think, feel and observe from one of those identities. Go to a movie and if it affects you, write a mini-review. Record dreams and fantasies. What do they suggest about your waking life? Put yourself into the life of an intriguing stranger you noticed. What is their life like? What do they do? What do they dream about? What do they believe? Do they love? Get into it. Get into objects. Arrange them into still lifes and try to understand them from an artistic perspective. What do you do to them and why? Which do you prefer? Write about the experience. What did you learn? Describe your pets. Write characterizations about them. You didn't know them as well as you do now when you named them. Do they suit their names? What would you name them now, if not. What one word would you use to describe your pet? What do you think your pet thinks about, if you think your pet thinks? List major changes in your past life, present life, those coming up and those you would like to make in your future life. Remember as you write to be as specific as you can. Use plenty of sensory words that also can jar the memory and bring forth ideas. Create the sights, sounds, smells and textures for the reader even if the reader is only going to be you. At times go back over earlier entries and rewrite something that grabs you or fashion it into something else--perhaps an article? Take yourself on field trips just for the sake of your idea catcher: a walk in the woods, a trip to the park, a walk along the beach, a trip downtown--all enjoyed in detailed description in your notebook. Sit at a coffee shop and collect bits of overheard conversation. Some people make entire blogs out of these bits and some imagination. The part of the conversation you're not privy to is as engaging as what you do hear. Soon these snippets will grow and flower and become living, breathing articles. Each notation is like a dandelion after the flower has faded and only the skeleton is left. Blow on this feathers and watch what they can become.