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Developing Topics for Articles

By Edited Feb 1, 2016 0 9

Writing is hard work. It is also fun and rewarding. For many writers, developing topics is the big challenge. Initially, the ideas may flow fast and furious. After a while, coming up with topics is hard labor. You sit down at your key board or writing pad and nothing happens. It's frustrating. It is discouraging. You are tempted to quit. Don't quit. There are steps you can take to keep your supply of topics fresh and flowing.

Write Your Calendar. Your calendar is a natural planning guide for topics. Look at each month. Note special days and seasons. Think of topics that you can develop for these times and themes. One example is the beginning of summer. You can write on topics such as lawn care, skin care, and summer activities. Another example is late summer. Topics about children starting school would be especially helpful at this time. Holidays such as the Fourth of July, Christmas, Easter, and Memorial Day lend themselves to numerous possibilities. You can write your ideas on a paper calendar, use a calendar on your computer, or create a sheet for each month, listing your topics for that month. You can add points and ideas to topics throughout the year. Writing your calendar gives you a plan to follow throughout the year.

Reflect on Your Circumstances. Life is full of moments that, upon reflection, provide excellent opportunities for writing helpful, informative articles. A question from your child about life or a recent tragedy in the news can be fertile ground for an article on answering your child's tough questions. Obviously at that moment, your focus is on answering the question. Later, you can reflect on the experience. What did you learn? How did you feel? Consider a moment you were unprepared for something such as a power failure. What have done to be prepared is good topic material.

Write About Your Interests. You are the expert on your life. You know your skills and abilities. If you have a green thumb and love growing things, you can write about various aspects of gardening. A hobby such as quilting or model railroading lends itself to numerous topics. As you have pursued your interests, you have developed habits, skills, and learning that would be beneficial and interesting to others who share the same interests.

Write About Your Life Struggles. Painful life experiences can provide ideas for topics. Loss of a job, widowhood, divorce, and the death of a parent or child are examples of life experiences shared by many. Topics on issues such as these provide many opportunities for writing. Think about the feelings you experienced. Reflect on how you handled it. What did you learn? What was helpful? What wasn't helpful? What would you do over? Where are you stuck in working through it? Most people struggle with problems and look for support and encouragement from others who have had the same experiences. If you do not want self-disclosure, write in second and third person, using generalities that will convey your message while protecting your privacy. Writing on topics about your life struggles can be beneficial to you, as well as helping others.

Research New Topics. Expand your knowledge by researching topics that you know little or nothing about. Some online writing sites will suggest topics that you can claim and write about. You may find yourself intrigued about a topic in a news report and want to learn more. You can do research on line. Another good place is a local library. If the topic is history, you may find a local historical society. If you want to know more about a medical issue, you may be able find a local support group or agency that can provide you with information. Most resources will have links or additional references for you to research. You may also have the opportunity to meet and interview people connected with the topic. Researching new topics will increase your knowledge and learning. It may also introduce you to some new and interesting people.



Sep 5, 2010 5:44pm
You are so right, I have been rather busy getting my degree online but I need to get back into the mode of being a writer again online. Thank you for this well written article!
Sep 5, 2010 7:13pm
thank you for your encouragement
Sep 6, 2010 6:47pm
Thank you for sharing such great suggestions!
Sep 29, 2010 7:23pm
Hey lifelearner; Great article! I never thought about using my calendar for article ideas, thanks!
Sep 30, 2010 5:09am
Introspective, thanks for the kind words. I am glad my idea helped.
Feb 17, 2011 9:47am
Excellent article, I use the calendar idea all of the time. I use the newspaper many times too.
Nov 22, 2011 9:44am
Well, I have just submitted my first article and I feel lucky that I found this article which will definitely help me for submitting more articles.
Nov 22, 2011 10:01am
Tenraj, Thanks for your kind words. I hope it will be helpful.
Nov 22, 2011 10:02am
This comment has been deleted.
Nov 22, 2011 11:33am
Great suggestions. Now I just have to get in the habit of writing my ideas down.
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