Thursday, July 30, 2015


Expand your posts into articles, share the article link on social pages

Your writing muse is rapping at your Facebook door!  Every time you see a post or comment thread that spurs you to respond, it's your muse zapping you with a spark to ignite an article idea. 

Everything is story fodder.  You sister posts a comment about the food fight at Cousin Mary's birthday party last Saturday.  Aside from laughing at the image of straight-laced Aunt Sophie with cole slaw dripping from her nose, consider the article headline possibilities: The Rising Cost of Food Fights in Today's Economy or In Light of World Hunger, Are Food Fights Socially Irresponsible? Jot the thoughts down and drop them into your Writing Prompt Cookie Jar for later. 

Expand your best commentary into articles.  Say something profound last night on Facebook?  Something you're proud of?  Something you're passionate about?  Use it.  Expand it into a full-blown article.  I took the essence of a comment I wrote about writers being responsible for checking into information they share on social pages and turned it into a "Write Now" article for Yahoo. 

Causes and charities you back on social pages can inspire passionate articles.  Reasons why you back certain charities or causes are usually deeply personal, and can result in intense articles that connect you to your readers at gut level.  Anyone can write a story about suicide, for instance, but writing a story about supporting the Death With Dignity Organization because your dad asked you to help him end the agony of his brain tumor-induced pain will connect you to your readers in a profound way. 

Write stories challenging conspiracy theories or unfounded rumors.  Do you look at some of the posts on social pages and shake your head in disbelief?  Articles dispelling inaccuracy and out-and-out falsehoods provide a public service.  When published with links to factual information, they can be promoted on social pages where the false information appeared and clue readers in that they are being bamboozled. 

Write articles that set the record straight. A lot of content that gets posted on social pages is only the partial story, or an incredibly slanted version of a story that could be presented from a more objective point of view or an opposing point of view in a journalistic article. 

Interviews via Social Pages.  Have you befriended someone with an interesting profession, or a story to tell?  Use messaging on your social page or emails to interview them.  Compile a list of specific questions.  Ask them if they're willing to be interviewed, and when the most convenient time for them would be, and message back and forth.  This is actually a good method of interviewing because you can paste the whole thing onto a Word doc, use direct quotes written by the interviewee, and have a dated, documented source for future reference as long as you don't erase the messaging history. 

Social pages are invaluable sources of article and story ideas.  For writers who are creative and willing to put a shine on crude information, social pages can become a place to build credentials and reputation, as well as provide a happy home for their muses.  


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