1. List your 10 fave magazines.
2. List the top 3 fave sections of a bookstore for you.
3. List your top 10 favorite subjects that you can talk about for hours, research for days, weeks.
4. List the first 5 fave people who come to mind.
5. List the first 5 people you wish you had never met, or at least had confronted or said that witty comeback to.
6. List the top 3 adjectives that define your core.
7. List the top 3 things that tick you off. One of them is unsolicited solicitors for sure, IMO.
8. List 3 places you love or would love to visit for the first time.
9. List 3 people, living or dead, you wish you could spend time with. For me, I have a paternal great-grandmother that really made an impact on my dad and I would have loved to meet her in person.
10. List 5 of your fave memories.
That should do for now.
Then take your answers and circle at least one from each item that stands out the most.
You have your "top 10" list now but I want you to narrow it down to 5. Then study those 5 elements and see what kind of a story pops in your mind. Don't worry if it doesn't congeal right away. I know my brain needs marinating time for ideas, so don't despair. Two days from now, usually while unloading/loading the dishwasher, the beginnings of a wonderful story will hit me.
I hope the same for you.
Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor