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Do You Have Great Story Ideas Hiding in Your Own Life?

Carol Tice

By Eric Summers

Coming up with ideas for a story or an article can be a struggle. Fortunately, there is a great font of story ideas that you can always tap. It’s called “your life.”

A good deal of non-fiction writing deals with solving problems. This is why niches like weight loss and getting out of debt are so lucrative for many writers – they deal with solving problems most people face at least once in their life.

Unfortunately, weight loss and money may not be the only problems that we face in our own lives. Although our problems can make life stressful, they also give writers plenty of material.

If you are struggling to come up with something to write about, then focus inward and look at the problems you are personally facing. See if there are any story ideas lurking in there. For instance, I recently realized there are three pretty good story ideas in my own life just waiting to be written:

  1. I had a close friend get sued by a debt collector. I spent weeks helping her handle this situation before I realized it was a great story idea. Debt collectors are an unfortunate part of many people’s lives, and those people need help knowing what their rights are and how to prevent unscrupulous collectors from taking advantage of them.
  2. I have been struggling for months trying to figure out how to buy a new home when I already own one. This is a critical problem for me because I need to buy a new house before I can get married. With the economy as it is and the housing market still in a slump, this turned out to be another great story idea. I hit the folks up at HARO for insight and got expert advice to use in both my article and my own life.
  3. I have a daughter who is 11, and I am always worried about whether or not she is ready to be left alone at home and if so, for how long. This is a big concern for a single parent and chronic worrier like myself. By talking to other parents, teachers, and safety experts, I have enough material for another story.

As a freelance writer, you spend a lot of time writing. You can make that freedom work for you — use your reporting skills to not only help others solve their problems, but solve a few in your own life as well.

Have you written a story that came from your own life recently? Tell us how you turned your life experience into a salable story.

Eric Summers is a freelance writer from Southern Indiana. He can be found over at Professional Writing Services.