Okay, it is time to get this thing going. I have been spending too much time thinking about this blog and not enough time writing on it. You gotta start somewhere, so here goes.
How do you start to write? Do you have an idea in your head and make mental notes? do you jot things down with pen/pencil and paper or do you write notes on your computer? I always find it interesting to see what gets a person to start writing.
In my former role as an editor of a small monthly community news, my writers would often ask me what do you think about this, or that. My answer to them was usually this: write about what excites you, what you have an interest in. I find that usually a person’s best writing evolves out of what they are passionate about. So if you like to cook – write about that. If you get frustrated with local politics – do some research and write about that. If you have a favorite non-profit group in your community, then make a contact, try to get an interview and write an article about that interview. And, this is important, don’t worry about what you will do with the finished product. Just do it for yourself and keep it in a folder on your computer because you never know when an opportunity will surface for you to use that piece. Keep everything you write and develop a portfolio of your writing projects. I promise you some day the opportunity to use that portfolio will come so be prepared.
Personal story. A city newspaper was looking for people to write stories about the 4th of July. I did research on sparklers because they hold some of my fondest childhood memories of past 4th of July celebrations. I did the research, wrote the article and submitted it. The reply I got was, well we were really looking for something else. I thought, “all that work and thought process, so I’m going to save this. Maybe someday….” Two years later I found myself needing a 4th of July piece for my local monthly newspaper project – so I dusted off that article, polished it up a bit, and voila it was published!
Moral of the story – you never know what’s around the corner. You did the work because it interested you – so store it and someday you will have it when you need it!