Mining Your Life for Writing Ideas

Today over on my blog for jewelry artisans, I posted about different types of vendors you might encounter at a craft show. I’m also working on a home blog that I should be launching in September. Aside from jewelry, I also work in other areas of crafting regarding home decor and will be offering tips on home organization, decor, and DIY projects. 

This got me thinking about writing – because, of course, writing supports my craft habit. 

So many times, writers, including myself, struggle to find ideas to write about when a wealth of ideas are right in front of them. Take for instance my studio, which currently looks like it could appear on an episode of Hoarders. I’m undergoing a project soon which will require that I transform that mess into a bedroom, studio, and writing area in one. 

Impossible? Not at all. And it’s not a very large room, either. 

It never dawned on me until today that this would be an amazing idea for writing – why not write about a massive organization project, share before and afters, and share tips? 

Almost everything I write about comes directly from my life now. But when I first started writing, I was trying to read and learn about every subject known to man trying to figure out what to write about when the answer was so obvious. 

The obvious, though, tends to be what we do every day, so we don’t notice it. So I thought of a little exercise that might help spark some ideas if anyone out there is currently experiencing a little writer’s block. 

Ask Yourself

  • What do I do every day? 
  • Who do I talk to and what do they know?
  • What are my hobbies?
  • If I could do one thing all day what would it be?
  • What projects have I currently done? 
  • What are some funny/sad/inspiring experiences I’ve had in my life and what did I learn?
  • Have I made any changes in my life that benefited me and could it help others? 

Exercises to Do

  • Take a day and write down everything you do. 
  • Review it and ask yourself why you do these things, or if any of them reveal an expertise you can use to write an article. 
  • Pull keywords from your day’s log of activities and research them on Google – are any news articles related to them that inspire you to write? 

Things to Never Do

  • Assume nobody will be interested in your topic. 
  • Assume you’re the only person in the world that has your unique hobby. 
  • Assume you have nothing to offer or that anything you write about has already been done. 
  • Assume anything. 

For the longest time I thought that nobody would want to read about jewelry making. Then I started researching the market and realized that the reason it had been so hard for me to really get a grounding in jewelry making is because there really was no information. 

Suddenly, it all fell together. I’m a writer and a jewelry artisan and I have a lot of tips and advice, projects and information, that fill a gap in the market. Voila! 

If you are having a hard time, ask a close friend to describe you or tell you what they think you’re really knowledgeable about. My best friend knows me better than I know myself half the time, and she’s always making things obvious to me that weren’t so clear before. 

The great inventor and innovator Steve Jobs once said “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” 

I think this is incredibly true, and it inspired me to take the leap into working for myself, writing, and jewelry making/crafting, and it also helped me to realize what I was really passionate about. 

Your life is uniquely yours and what is commonplace to you is really interesting to someone else, so use it to your advantage. You never know when simply living and writing about it can pay your mortgage. 

Have you ever written something you were really proud of that was inspired by your own life? Tell about it in the comments! 

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