Today we have a guest post by Julie Sanders.  Visit Julie’s blog “Come Have A Peace” and see what else she’s up to.  Julie says: “I hope you’ll be a regular visitor to my blog and share in the ordinary reminders of God’s extraordinary plan for us to experience His peace!”

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At first I didn’t know if the voice in the bathroom stall was talking to me, but it was asking for my help.  Before I knew it, I was shopping for stretch pants and explaining to customer service why I needed to take unpaid merchandise into the restroom.

In order to brainstorm new posts, you have to get out, watch, and listen. Instead of sitting in front of a computer and waiting for inspiration, writers find ideas and direction from discovering the felt needs of people in everyday life and in everyday places.  Simply getting out in a thoughtful way helps to overcome a writer’s season of drought.

Getting out, in itself, may be little more than a way to consume large quantities of caffeine and overstay your welcome during “high traffic” times in lunch spots with free Wi-Fi. However, when we get out with a plan to watch and listen, we gather fodder for writing and inspiration to fuel the words.  While it’s certainly comfortable to “get out” in a setting with pastries or a good view, writers find motivation and ideas may be gathered anywhere that a variety of life and people is encountered.

Great places to get out and gather ideas:

  • A park
  • A coffee shop
  • A market or grocery store
  • A hardware store
  • An entertainment venue
  • A museum
  • A post office
  • A place of worship
  • A sidewalk
  • An airport
  • A car dealership

Anywhere people do life generates ideas by watching and listening to what the needs are and how people respond to those around them.

I wasn’t actually “eavesdropping,” but the couple at the table beside me wasn’t worried about their volume or editing their content.  I soon realized they weren’t a “couple,” and the male was intent on convincing his female companion that he was not only highly qualified and sought after, but he would succeed in finding the answer to her problem. She was concerned about a pending job loss, and he was determined to ride in on his proverbial white horse. I had the urge to rush over and tell her this trial could be a turning point, help her identify her strengths, encourage her with options, and pay for her bagel. Instead, I scribbled notes about fear of unemployment and pressure from well meaning friends. It fueled the spark of a series of posts about job loss and its hardships.

“Getting out” might feel like procrastinating, but when we turn our settings to “watch and listen,” we find we learn what people feel, what they need, and how they attempt to meet their needs.  Humanity is a wealth of inspiration for the writer’s mind and hand.

Turning your settings to “watch and listen”:

  • Sitting at a restaurant? Watch how people talk to the waiter.
  • Visiting your child’s school? Listen to how children talk to adults.
  • Walking through the mall? Watch how teenagers shop together.
  • Waiting at the post office? Listen to how people respond to a slow line.
  • At the store on Senior Citizens day? Watch how people treat seniors?
  • Sitting at a soccer game? Listen to how people shout to their player.

Get out.  Watch.  Listen. People are out there living life and generating great ideas to blog about. When a writer is “stuck,” there’s value in taking time to get out, watch, and listen.

I never actually saw the face of the voice in the bathroom stall, but hearing her need inspired me to think, to act, to reflect, and to write.  And I could’ve just stayed home waiting for an idea …

What questions do you have for Brent about blogging, online business or whatever???

PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. Want to book me for training, speaking or business consulting? Go here. If you benefitted from this post, would you be so kind to share this post with others by clicking one of the SHARE buttons?

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