I called a friend this morning and she ended the conversation with “Happy Boxing Day.” I’ve heard about Boxing Day for most of my life, but about the only sense I had of it is that it was something from the UK.
Turns out I was right about that. But there’s much more to be learned.
The tradition is that in the UK the wealthy would give their servants a box with a gift on the day after Christmas. Wikipedia has all sorts of additional information, like the holiday has been renamed Goodwill Day in South Africa and more.
Over in comments, Ron speaks of how I can turn almost any topic into an article and that’s the point. When I’m searching for things to write about all I have to do is zero in on something I only know a little about. A bit of research and I’m off and running, creating something not out of thin air, but almost.
Successful freelance writers have the ability to take a topic and find within it ideas that will interest readers.
Using Boxing Day as an example, this would have been, and will be next year, a great round up article for any number of magazines. My first thought is the many women’s magazines who love to publish ideas for holiday cooking, shopping and decorating. The fact that I’m in the U.S. and this is an English holiday wouldn’t stop me. Instead it lends, properly written, an exotic touch.
Travel and airline magazines are other suspects since the Boxing Day is celebrated in many places.
Do you see what I mean? It’s not the ideas that are the problem. As I say so often ideas are everywhere. The trick is pulling out the stuffing as it were to make a story or article out of it.
And it isn’t just articles.
For fun I plugged in the words, boxing day, in Amazon’s book search. There are over 8,000 results! When I put quotes around the phrase I got 81 results. (Is there often that relationship? If there is, there’s a whole new article or book or…) There are 30 results under music. In other words, an idea can lead in all kinds of directions.
Of course, the writing and rewriting and marketing still has to be done, but truly you never need to run out of ideas.
So what do you know only vaguely? Perhaps that will be fodder for your next piece of writing.
How do you find ideas?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu