I’ve been writing for newspapers, magazines and for radio on outdoor topics for over two decades now. Sometimes the words and ideas flow rather easy. At other times, trying to generate a thought and put it on paper is like sticking a pocket knife in my thigh and twisting it wildly. Writers can be fickle that way. Sometimes it’s easy and downright fun. Other times, well…you might as well step away from the computer and go hunting or fishing…or even take out the garbage.
A few years ago I developed sort of a silly strategy for breaking free of the writer’s block so many of us occasionally face. Okay, are you going to promise not to laugh? Seriously, when all else fails I pick up my wife’s magazines and browse the front cover (and/or table of contents pages). I’ve discovered that reading the titles only of the articles contained in those publications is a great exercise in generating ideas for outdoors writing.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Take this magazine:
Look at the great possibilities here for outdoor story ideas. Imagine a story explaining 15 projects for the sportsman that can be accomplished in 15 minutes. Or how about organizing that tacklebox to reduce the clutter. You get the idea? Of course, not all woman’s magazine titles translate quite so well…but with just a little thought playing with the words or the clever ideas ever so slightly, it can help break you from the chains of writer’s block. Hey, it sometimes works for me, anyway.
Now, the next time you’re sitting on the couch and you see one of your significant other’s magazines just laying there…pick it up and play this little game. Just be careful who might see you…we don’t want to give any false impressions to the fairer sex that we’re actually interested in some of those relationship articles.
2008 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.