As a writer or blogger, you enjoy what you do.
That said, there are times when you feel that you do not have any more content to share. Where are you going to get your next idea?
If you are news reporter or even a blogger who covers news, maybe the key issue is to pay attention to what is going on in the world and to try to catch it before everyone else does.
However, what do you do when there is nothing new happening? Or what if there is so much happening that your hard work as a writer is lost in all of the noise?
Ask yourself: what inspires you? What is supposed to inspire you? Or are you supposed to be inspired at all?
Observations from Those Around Us (Innovative Technology)
I used a process to search for news for this article. Specifically, I was looking for innovations in technology. After all, if I want to be inspired, I should pick a topic first, eh? And it is helpful if I pick a topic that interests me, such as technology.
What I found were some interesting results. There were not quite as many as I thought I would find, but they were interesting nonetheless.
While the U.S. political scene still seems to intrigue members of the press around the globe, innovative technology is still able to be a compelling story.
Maybe The Guardian’s report on the environment seems a bit like old news, but there are other topics of interest in the area of innovative technology.
Innovations for the Ultra Lazy or Super Brilliant
One example is that of the car that drives itself.
No, I am not watching too much science fiction on Netflix. I am serious.
There is testing for self-driving cars, and the testing is occurring in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Those who expect tech breakthroughs to come out of Silicon Valley, California might find this news surprising, but rumor has it that there is a connection.
Either way, the state of Arizona is providing support for the development of self-driving cars and the encouragement to move forward in this innovative technology.
In this case, Arizona took the steps to make the public roads available to pioneer this new technology.
Is this news surprising? Well, if you were not expecting it, it probably was surprising.
Was it unexpected? Again, that is very likely.
What does that have to do with writing? We will come back to this question.
The Jon Morrow Course on Guest Blogging
No, this is not meant to be an advertisement for the Jon Morrow Guest Blogging Course, but I am givingthe course an unpaid testimonial because I think it is that incredible.
The real reason I am bringing it up is that there is something Jon Morrow mentions that is inspiring in and of itself. Yes, instructions can inspire!
Granted, I can’t share the content of the course with you, as that would be inappropriate and unfair to Jon Morrow. So instead, let me give you a sort of synopsis of a real life experience that I had, which hints at what Jon Morrow teaches.
In other words, I could claim this insight as my own, but I am giving credit where credit is due. The experience is my own. The application of it is inspired by the teaching of Jon Morrow.
The Surprising Experience
As most of you who know me are already aware, I served as a Chief Technology Officer in the Los Angeles financial industry.
If any of you have been there and done that, you know how the market can get busy and hectic (to a crazy level!). It can get too busy to take a break for lunch and sometimes too busy to do other needed things, if you know what I mean.
This is not an attempt at an excuse. If anything, it is a confession.
Here is that confession… ready?
There were days when I didn’t eat “people food.” Instead, I lived off of red licorice (we had a “candy drawer” that happened to be across from my office) and cups of tea or Diet Coke.
After a while, I lost ten pounds, even though I was already underweight. Granted, it was probably from the lack of healthy living and the lack of nutritious yet calorie-containing food.
It was also probably from the exercise of running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
However, at the end of the day, I could say, “I Lost Ten Pounds with a Red Licorice Diet.”
That is surprising, isn’t it? How about unexpected? (Well, it probably wasn’t what you expected in reading this article, was it?)
It is not an untrue statement, but it could be misleading, although that is probably content for another article.
Needless to say, that headline is an unexpected and/or surprising way to look at a weight loss story.
Relating It Back to What We Know About Writing
So how does my example relate to Jon Morrow and writing?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Writing is about bringing surprising content to the forefront.” quote=”Writing is about bringing surprising content to the forefront.”] Rather than saying that you are writing an article about dieting, look at what is surprising.
If the article starts with how enjoyable rice cakes are, you might lose your audience. But if people hear about eating licorice and losing weight, they might be more interested.
The key is that you still need to be truthful, assuming truthfulness is one of your ethical principles. So if I were to write the article about red licorice, I would also include the part about the exercise that happens naturally during the workload in that environment.
I would also, in all good conscience, include something like a disclaimer that says I cannot honestly recommend that eating only red licorice is a healthy way to live.
Bringing It Full Circle
So to write about innovative technology, we would find that interesting and inspiring story or event. In this case, it is the self-driving cars that are being tested in Scottsdale, AZ.
The earlier political story I referred to about politics and environmental technology (that complains about Trump) simply is not as interesting as that of the self-driving car.
From the latter story, we find that we are inspired (are you inspired by stories of self-driving cars?).
Once we have 1) searched for our topic, 2) found our story or stories and 3) been inspired, we are ready to 4) extract our surprising tips or notes and finally 5) develop our story.
Now it is your turn to try this process for yourself. Go ahead and find your own story of self-driving cars and see where it leads you. Don’t forget to come back and share it with us.
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