The Writing Life III: March Madness

by — March 1, 2001 (Comments)

It is time to get out from behind the dark clouds of winter and begin to feel the warmth and see the beautiful buds of spring. This month opens up a lot of possibilities. The retail business is looking at the world with sales. They want to rid their stores of winter blues and scatter the scenery with light fabrics and colors. Put a positive face on your work. Make it lighter and refreshing. People are ready to do things again, go places, and come out of their winter cocoons. Let’s help them do it. Keep in mind that this article will be written and submitted during the holidays. This presents somewhat of a dilemma, but you can do it.

Some of the areas to consider writing about for March:

  • Sports:
    • Spring training – baseball
    • Auto racing
  • St. Patrick’s day
    • Look for other little known celebration days
  • Flea markets
    • There is a holiday coming up next month, people will begin crafting, sewing and planning for it
  • Extravaganza’s the cities are putting on to attract people begin this month
    • There are also, in the south, Green Markets, food events, book sales at libraries
  • Women’s History month
    • There are any number of ideas that you can find to write about. Consider small bios for your newspaper (fillers). These are good for young adult magazines also.
  • Home improvement, people are beginning to want changes in their décor.
  • Games and fun that can be enjoyed outdoors
  • Consider the events of the past month, engagements in February and the subsequent planning of the event.
  • What is playing at the museum?
  • Don’t forget your pet charity
  • Or your pet
  • Volunteer work gives a sense of balance to you, a network of people, and an abundance of articles
    • For example, volunteering for the hospital, animal pound, nursing home, events (antique shows, concerts, city extravaganzas) and your experiences through these avenues. Look around, as there are opportunities to volunteer in places you didn’t realize.

Don’t forget the regularly celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. You need to be in the moment. There are many history books, timelines and other materials that will date relate for a timely article. Approach the monthly writings from a different angle to obtain a new look. Step outside of yourself and see the world through new eyes. Give yourself a different attitude: Be bad, what do you see? Be something else, what do you see? Read a different type of book than you usually read, maybe you won’t get all the way through it, but you will see a different angle, a different viewpoint. Writers need to be always open to the world around them.

These ideas, interviews, pictures, and articles will go in your March section of your notebook for future reference. Remember we are also building up a cache of work that can be utilized when there is just no time to write yet you need to continue to be published. Depending on how many areas you delve into, the folders can be broken up into more sub folders. For example, make a photo notebook and cross-reference (on the computer, these indexes slip into the inside cover of the notebook) with the article, however, these photos can be used with other articles and you need your index, your release form, and a short synopsis handy.

Time is a big factor in that you will need to be very organized to attend different city functions around the state, volunteer at certain times (weekends, nights, or 1 week at a time for Special Olympics for several different months), and set appointments for interviews. A full time job does get in the way at times, but maybe you are working to make your writing full time. Carry a mini-recorder with you at all times. You never know when and where your next interview will be presented to you. Also, when an idea pops into your head while you are driving (my commute time is an hour each way), you don’t have forfeit the idea because it is impossible to write it down at the time. Carry a camera at all times, that special picture won’t wait. Opportunities abound, you have to be prepared to accept them. Would you go to your regular job unprepared? Would you sew without a sewing machine? You could, but would the stitches be professional enough that you could sell it to a potential customer? Maybe, probably not. You need to consider writing and any other part of that (photography, interviewing, ideas) a permanent and professional part of what you do at all times.