I'm on the idea trail this week. I've got my next two assignment briefs for the journalism course I'm doing which involves researching markets I haven't considered before and coming up with ideas for articles that would suit these markets. As I love reading magazines this is no hardship for me! So I have been sitting down, pen and paper in hand, noting down the subjects I know stuff about and could write, relatively easily about. I highly recommend that you do this as it can save a lot of trouble, work and heartache later. Why make coming up with ideas, pitching, and article writing any harder than it already is when you can write about what you know and then move on to the other stuff you have to research later.
I did it by making a chart and writing down the subjects I know I can write about as I either have first hand experience in it and/or am qualified in it, or I know someone else with first hand experience and/or qualifications in it. Here's what I came up with:
Nursing (I was a nurse for 15 years and although not currently practicing I know lots of nurses that are).
Parenting ( I am a mother and I know lots of other mums and dads.)
Gardening (I run a school gardening club and grow fruit and veg at home myself (my potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, leeks, peas, sweetpeas, beans and peppers are coming along nicely, thank you.)
School governing (I am a school governor and know lots of other school governors.)
Baking (I make a mean sponge! They only explode in the oven occasionally.)
Writing (I write and know a lot of people who also write.)
Lobbying councils/councillors I recently led a campaign to get the council to implement road changes to make a safer route to school (nearly turned me grey that one! It's not for the feint hearted I can tell you - residents, drivers and some other parents will hate you and the council/councillors and police will avoid you!) I think they learned that the only way to shut me up was to change the flippin' road system! But that's another story.
Schools/education I volunteer in schools and have a teaching assistant qualification.
Once I'd got my list I then brainstormed each heading on a separate sheet of paper so I ended up with several different ideas for each heading - all of which I shall turn into pitches and aim at the most appropriate magazines. What I intend to do for the rest of the week is go on-line and search for magazines that might be interested in my articles and look at my local newsagent shelves for potential contenders too.
Have a go at making your own list and see where it takes you.
Happy list making!