>How ideas occur to me

>I don’t want to write articles for magazines any more, not really. But I do seem to be a natural magazine article writer. And when needs must, sometimes you just have to do what you do well to make ends meet. And let’s face it, I’d rather force myself to write articles to help pay the mortgage than force myself to clean toilets – but I’ve done the latter before now as well.

For example, I can’t go for a simple walk without thinking: this would make a great article for a walking magazine … or a fitness magazine … or a retirement magazine; the flora and fauna would make a great wildlife article … or a botanical article; there are so many birds on this walk, I wonder if a bird watching magazine might be interested; this walk along that canal towpath would be perfect for a waterways magazine; look at all the history on this route, how many history magazines could I sell this to, or family history magazines?; this is part of the xyz long distance path, a travel magazine might be interested in it; the abc cycle trail runs parallel to this, how about some of the cycling magazines?; how many counties this path crosses – surely one of the county mags would be interested, or the new town/city mags, or a local newspaper; there are some great photography opportunities here, wonder if a camera mag would be interested; I bet such-and-such a woman’s-weekly magazine would be interested in the people that are running this walk; running – do people run this path?; or the people that live and work on the route, I could interview them. And so on.

It happened again this morning. I was minding my own business, browsing the status updates on Facebook when one of my friends asked for help and advice for dealing with a certain infant ailment her child was experiencing. She had about a dozen replies, many suggesting different creams and methods and ointments, many saying why this cream didn’t work for them but others saying that’s funny because they’d swear by it. And I started to think, what a splendid idea for a parenting magazine, and me not even a parent.

This happens to me all the time. All. The. Time. I get ideas from all over the place, write them down, think of markets, and then something grinds me to a halt. Either I can’t find a market interested, or I think STOP, I don’t want to write articles for magazines, or my confidence fails and I don’t get as far as the query, or interviewees pull out at the last minute, or I can’t get decent pictures, or I have trouble applying bum to seat (usually the crunch one).

And so I’m going to run with this one, and so are you. I’m going to see how far I get before grinding to a halt, and if it’s the final hurdle, all of you lot are going to press me down into that seat and make me type. Okay? Okay.

I have the basic idea, step one complete. I seem to have one interviewee lined up already, step two. I have 3 parenting magazines to study, step three. Time to start studying.