Monday, February 3, 2014

The Blank Page

Nothing is ever so daunting to a writer than a blank page. First you need an idea. Some writers are overcome with ideas. Other writers grasp for ideas like a child catching wayward butterflies. I remember when I was manic with Bipolar Disorder. The ideas came so fast and furious I couldn’t keep up with them all. I built four 4-inch binders crammed with ideas. It really helped during the stable and down side of my illness when the ideas were drier than tumbleweeds blowing in a desert wind.

Once you have the idea, what are you going to do with it? You have to figure out a way to expand upon it and then decide what direction you want to take it in.

Fish is an idea.

Okay, saltwater or freshwater?

We’ll decide saltwater.  Now, are we going to talk about saltwater aquariums or saltwater fishing?

How much do you know about either? How much research are you planning on doing? Who or what are going to be your expert references?

Oh, wait. My husband had saltwater aquariums for almost fifteen years. I could go to him and ask him information about saltwater fish.

His advice, “Start small. Small aquarium and small fish.”

Sounds like solid reputable information. As I turn around to ask a follow up question, my husband is ahead of me. Hands me the business card of the our friend’s local aquarium store down the street and strolls into the garage to work on his RC airplanes and helicopters.

He’ll be useless to get any answers for the next few hours so I gather notebook and pen and head to our friend’s aquarium store. Eager to get my information about how to put together a saltwater aquarium and what fish to use, I drive with ease to the store.

The familiar bell tinkles as I make my entrance into the store. I look all around at abundance of underwater sea life. There are fish, invertebrates, rock, eels, (yuck), and shrimp.

My friend recognizes me and nods hello as customers surround him.  It’s always the same in his store. He works long hours and rarely has any time to himself. Whenever I’ve been in here with my husband, there’s three to four people deep around him, all shooting questions at him. Saltwater aquariums are a popular hobby.

So, do you know where I’m going with this information about how to get ideas instead of staring at a blank page? Start with an idea. Decide where to take the idea. Look for reputable resources to help you with it and voila you’re on your way to a great blog post or article.

Now, what do I do with his darn aquarium my friend talked me into buying? My husband is going to throw a fit when I bring it into the house. But, I couldn’t resist those cute little orange clown fish as they dart in and out of their homey anemone.

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