I subscribe to my local paper not for the news, but for the article ideas it generates.
I also peruse newsletters from ministries and read blogs to glean article ideas. You can too. Just remember to use them to spark your own ideas—don’t be a copycat.
International and national news—Ideas abound here, if you know how to look.
What can you learn about the living conditions of people around the world? About the treatment of women? Human trafficking? Slavery? Natural disasters? Is someone in your area involved in these issues, someone you could interview?
Maybe you’ll read an interesting poll or learn something new about pending legislation. What are the important issues in an election—and what unique slant on them can you offer?
Other sections—Are local business owners engaged in a changing national industry you could profile? What safety information can you share with parents?
How about a list of travel tips? Financial advice? Ideas are limitless—and don’t forget the editorials, opinion pieces, and letters to the editor.
Newsletters from ministries can be great idea generators. What is unique about the ministry’s leaders? Where do they minister? What slant can you give to areas of need? What profiles could you write?
Other newsletters offer advice for parents, singles, retired people—just about any audience.
Blogs are often more personal. But, look deeper. What spiritual lessons can you learn and develop into an article? Does the post offer interesting statistics? What further research does it inspire?
Begin to read newspapers/newsletters/blogs through a different lens—one that sees unique article ideas.
React: What is one idea you found by reading a newspaper, newsletter, or blog? Where else do you look for article ideas?
Deborah Christensen served as the editor for Christian Service Brigade for 18 years. She now works for Lighthouse Christian Products as an editor and writer. She began freelancing in 1989 and is a mentor with the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.