Tuesday, May 12, 2020

How do you get ideas for things to write about every day?

The Old Preacher (Behind the Broken Mirror)
This is a question I've been asked more times than I can count. How do you get ideas? And the answer is somewhat straightforward. There are ideas everywhere. Everything you read, everything you see, everyone you meet, everything you've ever experienced--these are all seeds for potential stories. The challenges are these.

First, which ideas can be turned around quickly into a blog post, if you are writing daily? And which ones require further nurturing for a longer, more developed treatment? (See, for example, my post about Not Dead Yet.)

Second, is this something anyone else besides me would care about?

Actually, though, many times I write about a topic because I want to learn more about it, to research it more deeply, to probe it with questions and wring some new insight out of it. And when I've done so, I assume that there must be others like me who were curious about this or that, and so I've done the work so as to answer their questions as well.

Thus far, I have "published" 4744 blog posts here at Ennyman's Territory. What's interesting to me is that I've started 991 blog posts which are still in various stages of development. Some are ideas that were abandoned because I saw them requiring more time to nurture than I had time for. Some were just prompts that I could return to if I lacked an idea one day.

Here's a list of some of these blog post ideas and partially developed pieces:

There's a Dylan Song for Everything: I Need a Shot of Love

Astonishing and Creative Ways of Marking Time, Keeping Time

How the Mighty Fall (Book review)

Two Short Movie Reviews: Yesterday and Searching

Hospitals Hemorrhaging Money

The First Principle of the Georgia Guidelstones

Become a Better Writer by Studying Dylan's Song Writing Technique (as detailed in Daryl Sanders' That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound)

The Special Challenges for the Mentally Ill in America

A Century of Spin: Living in the Modern World

How Did "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Become the #1 Song of the Twentieth Century

Nina Simone Tells It Like It Is

Pete Seger's Turn, Turn, Turn: The Beauty of Ancient Truths, Revisited

Suffering and Meaning

German Mystic and Philosopher Jakob Böhme

Thornton Wilder: The Man from Our Town

Kierkegaard's Beef Against Christendom

The CIA's World Factbook: Consummate Trivia Resource

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States

Criminal Justice: Another System That's Broken

Gaugin the Lech?

Minnesota Labor Laws Are More Confusing Than Ever

A Tale of Two Ships: USS Maddox and USS Liberty
 (One President, Two Ships and Lots of Questions)

Trivial Pursuit: What Do All These Songs Have In Common?

The Big Short: Proof Once Again That Things Aren't What They Seem

Amazing People: Creativity Guru Ernie Breton

Why Self-Understanding Takes A Lifetime

Tall, Dark and Awesome: A Roy Orbison Tribute

Hobos in the Roundhouse: A Bill Isles Gem

* * * *

Those are just a few of the 991 unfinished ideas that are in the queue. If you see something you'd like me to finish, leave a comment here or send me a personal note via Facebook, Twitter or email.

* * * *

In 2018 I began writing on Medium. Sometimes I share the same stories both here and there, but here's one you might enjoy that is only found on Medium.

Two Somewhat Scary Cat Stories from My Childhood

Meantime, keep on the sunny side. The best is yet to come.

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