Write In Season
|Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Story ideas are fresh 'in season.'|
But it also got me thinking.
Why do I need to think about Christmas in July when I can be thinking about Fourth of July or BBQ and picnics or my birthday (wait, it isn't a national holiday) in July?
And now that August is here, why can't I be thinking about back-to-school ideas and football games and...
You get the point.
If you don't, here it is: why not be gathering ideas when an event or holiday is 'in season'? The idea is fresh in your mind, waiting to be fleshed out. If you're organized, you've been snapping pictures and gathering additional research for the idea. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Here's an example.
Where I live - and most likely, it's the same where you reside - summertime means small-town festivals and community celebrations. One major trend I've noticed at all of these events is food. Some offer local, home-grown fare. A lot incorporate a cooking contest - rib-fests seem to be extremely popular here in the Beef State - and they draw a lot of people from outside the community.
I've been accumulating a list of the best food contests and have marketable piece, along with photos, ready to submit to local and regional publications when it's time to submit summer story pitches.
Okay, need another example? We take a lot of family pictures during the holidays. I mean A LOT. Last January, I was
Catching on? All right. One more idea. Back to school isn't a holiday, but it is an economic impact no matter where you live. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2011 (last year data is available), $7.7 million was spent at family clothing stores during August, the back-to-school boon. And that's just clothing! Don't forget about shoes and school supplies and computers.
While fashion may change, basic school supplies don't. Why not plan a back-to-school shopping trip and turn it into an article? I did! My pitch is different though. It's the b-2-s bonanza for teachers. That sets my article apart from others that may be pitched.
While it's generally true that a writer needs to pitch a story proposal in advance, it's never too early to generate story ideas.
Especially when a story is in season.
by LuAnn Schindler. To read more of LuAnn's work, visit her website. She'd like to thank her grandsons for always providing photo and story material, as seen above.