Life is hectic and can sometimes dampen a writer’s creative juices.
Daily journaling can help a writer come up with and develop story ideas, ideas that can be turned into magazine articles, blog posts, and maybe even the next great American Novel.
Journaling to Make Money Writing
The simple act of writing about the things that happen during your day can provide you with a never-ending supply of ideas to build upon for your writing.
Here are a few things that can lead to great article ideas or stories…all because you took the time to journal your life:
1. Write about the night you walked the floor with your elderly parent who has early onset dementia and has his/her days and nights mixed up.
How about the difficulty you have in getting them to go to the doctor or take their medicine because they are paranoid?
How did you handle the situation?
What did you do that lead your family member to do what you asked?
Your insights could be turned into an article or blog post for a caregiving website or magazine.
2. Write about the co-worker who was fired.
How did she feel? How did you feel?
What will she do now? How will she go on?
Will she go on or do something drastic?
How will her absence affect the work team?
What is your plan ‘B’ in case the same thing happens to you?
How does the person who did the firing feel?
3 When you hear about an item in the news, jot down how that item made you feel?
But go a little further.
Get inside the head of someone affected by the incident.
For instance, what immediately went through a parent’s mind upon hearing that their child or spouse is missing?
What are their reactions?
Ok. That was an easy one.
But what about an aunt or uncle’s reaction?
People who know them?
Take it one step further.
Turn those reactions around and imagine those same people having very different reactions.
4. There was a recent fire in a major metropolitan city.
After sketching out the details of the story and your feelings, create your own version of the backstory.
Did someone set the fire?
Was there a sinister “reason” behind the fire being set?
Was it an accident?
Of the thousands of people affected by this incident, choose one and tell their story.
Describe exactly who they were and why they were in that place at that time?
How will their life change because of this incident?
Obviously, if you’re only creating information about all this, your story will be fiction.
But interview someone who actually went through this fire and you can have the resource materials for a great pitch for a marketable nonfiction article.
5. What about the human-interest story that gets little attention in the news?
Write about something good your child’s teacher did for his/her students?
What motivated him/her to do such a thing?
We hear about strangers doing nice things for each other every day.
Go into the minds of those people.
What makes them tick?
Interview a few of these people and you’ll have some good primary source material to use for a magazine article, etc.
To get your creative juices flowing again, your journal can be an invaluable source of potential ideas.
As you write down the details of your day and how they made you feel, turn these events into a story.
Yes. Life can be hectic and stressful and make you feel as if you don’t have an original thought in your head.
But, who said you need an original idea?
All you really need is a unique perspective on the most mundane of happenings.
After your initial journaling, do a little more research, if necessary, to turn your ideas into all sorts of materials you can sell!
About Patricia Bumpass
Patricia (Pat) Bumpass (www.patriciabumpass.com) is a North Carolina-based freelance writer.
She writes a weekly blog for her current employer while building her freelance writing business.
Pat enjoys writing and has journaled since she was a teenager. She lives with her 17-year-old son who is blessed with Autism.