How to Find Column Ideas

When friends read my column in Modern Senior Living Magazine, they will invariably say the same thing. First, it’s “You’re making that up.” And second, they’ll say, “It’s a good thing you’ve still got your parents/husband/kids around.”
And I always say the same thing. First, “I wish I could say I made that up.” And second, “Yeah, those folks come in pretty handy in the column-fodder department.”
Now, I know the old writing adage, “write what you know.” But I think it should really be “write who you know.” Trust me. If you want to come up with a column idea, week after week or month after month, you’d do well to hook up with a big, somewhat colorful family. Of course, it works out great if it’s your own family.
Because family might get a tad annoyed when you write about them, but at the end of the day, they keep coming back, providing more columns.
(A special thank you to my mom who has NO idea that the May column (page 8) sort of spotlights her colorful behavior. And let’s keep it that way, okay?)

10 thoughts on “How to Find Column Ideas

  1. I just love your posts. =) I'm gonna share this on my Author's page. <

  2. I like how your mom decides which people or activities are worthy of her time. I have used my family for blog fodder for years. Anonymously, of course. And I have two blogs. My son likes the notoriety, my husband doesn't read blogs, and my mom has no idea. Which is just as well, since I called Mom out on trying to feed me four-year-old ranch dressing one Thanksgiving, and accused her of buying groceries at Ye Olde Expired Food Shoppe.

  3. Thanks, Melissa! Five years! That's a lot of care–I know your parents appreciated you!And Val, hahaha! I think everybody has at least one relative who shops at that store! (P.S. My mom always threatens to read my stuff, but refuses to have anything to do with computers. So I'm pretty safe.)

  4. Oh, I'm sure you use more than just family members for fodder. :)And you're pretty colorful yourself. I wonder if some day they might turn the tables on you?! Now, off to read your article!

  5. Are you saying that I'd use innocent friends and acquaintances for ideas, character traits and plot lines? That perhaps I'd take notes, inserting little foibles, or funny sayings and such into my stories, columns and essays?Um…maybe. But of course, not YOU, Deb.

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