Look around at your surroundings for ideas

Look around at your surroundings for ideas (Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, N.M.)

 Find Your Writing Niche: Look around at your surroundings for ideas

Ideas for stories are all around us. People continue to achieve outstanding feats, survive overwhelming odds and make life happier for others. Think in terms of events and holidays.

1)  Memorial Day. It’s not too late to ask a newspaper editor to run a story about a veteran. Ask at the local American Legion or VFW if one of its members received an award recently. A local resident contacted The Sun News where I am a freelancer to inform the editor that a World War II veteran was holding a fundraiser with all proceeds going to veterans. I got the assignment.

2) 4th of July.  Parades abound. In my town, Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., the Property Owners Association sponsors a parade where people decorate floats, golf carts or bicycles or make their own costumes. A magazine or other publication may be interested in knowing the story behind the decorations. I’ve covered the parade several times and children play a major part. They often have provided the theme for the decorations and will tell where they got their ideas.

3)  Start of school. Some children are glum when the school year begins because they don’t have the resources to buy the items they need. In Brunswick County where I live a group of retirees with computer backgrounds started a program called Computers for Kids.  How do they get the computers? Who gets them? There are a dozen stories within this one. Look around you and the ideas will multiple.

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Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

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