So you’ve shaped out that you would like to write for magazines, newspapers, and internet. Regrettably, so have about eight gazillion other people on this planet. Therefore, you have to be prominent from the crowd. You have to shine. How do you do this? It all starts with a giant Idea. The first secret you must learn in this tremendous business is that you don’t actually have to write the entire article to get a job. In fact, only bright green novices attempt to write the whole thing before selling it. You will use this great idea to convince editors to pay you exorbitant amounts of money via a plan letter.

So, where will you find this great Idea? Well, you’ve heard that intelligent adage write what you know. That’s a magnificent mantra for finding your jumping-off point. You don’t need to attach to what you know for the exact focus of your story, but valve into your already huge vat of knowledge to find the story’s basis. This is how you will become a specialist. Experts are in demand. What you have to do is steal your stories into your areas of skill. Example: lets say your hobbies and interests include fishing, watching talk shows, and traveling. Good! You are a latent expert in those areas. Jot these things down. Now comes the fun part: brainstorming.

Freelance WriterThe biggest mistake you can make in plunging your story is being too common. Never, ever send a letter to the editor signifying an article about fishing. Not even an article about fishing in Florida. This imprecision is not suitable for short writing. Generally, you will be estimated to write somewhere between 800 and 2000 words on your topic. You couldn’t perhaps tell us all about fishing in 2000 words. What you could do, however, is give us a assessment of twelve different lures used to catch sailfish or the pros and cons of joining a fishing club.

So here is your first task. Get out your trusty notebook. On the first page, write down a list of any and all topics that interest you. It’s okay to be universal here. Need some thoughts to get you started?

Think through your whole day. Don’t overlook anything. What do you do from the second you wake up until the moment you fall asleep? You turn off your alarm clock. You brush your teeth. You take a shower. You go to work. This is the most understandable area of know-how. Let’s say you’re a secretary. How ergonomic office equipment can save you from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, an achy back, and a stiff neck. How to avoid screaming at your boss? Five couples share their wisdom about dating in the office. Think about what cover story would attract you to pay three dollars for a magazine. You don’t have to have the information to in fact write the article yet. You just have to recognize you can get this information soon.

Next, you come home. What happens? Do you have kids? Great! You could write about childcare agencies, decoding teenage slang, teaching table manners you’re getting the idea now, right? Run with it!

Write at least one page of common topics that interest you, and then pick over out the most appealing ones. Narrow it down to three or four. Then write those three or four topics on top of new pages. Now fill up those pages with exact article angles. Just write. Don’t edit yourself. Don’t judge. Just write anything pops into your head. If you need inspiration, play it like a game of Categories. Set a timer for ten minutes. See how many thoughts you can jot down before the timer sounds.

Keep in mind that there are markets for almost any possible topic. Don’t limit yourself to the headlines you’d read in Vogue and Good Housekeeping. Between newspapers, consumer magazines, trade magazines, tabloids, fictional journals, and more, you’re bound to find a suitable publication for your Big Idea.

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