Stuck for writing topics? Visit Quora.

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay 

Okay, so here I sit and there is a dog on the floor beside me who is morally (possibly even biologically) opposed to humans using technology when he’s nearby. In other words, he’s smarter than most humans, including me.

Despite the canine objections…seeing as how I’m well into retirement, I was struck with this thought: At what age does a man become a codger?

So I clicked over to Quora. Lots of ideas and discussion [and ads, but I’m sure you’re as adept as I am at looking past that stuff.]

Then, in the right column ‘Are you a geezer, codger, or coot? caught my eye.

Seemed like a fun little etymology exercise.

And it set off my idea machine [ten ideas ideally on a single topic] exercise for the day:

Find ten writing topics from this page on Quora.

1. When did I become a codger?

2. Does my dog think I’m a codger? [An interview]

And I came across, this guy on Quora, who fed me all kinds of topics—

He says he still believes in ‘silly little things like:

3, “Life is simply a never ending series of decisions.”

4. “We are in control of our destiny, although politicians think they are.”

And my favorite…

5. “Worry is the most egregious mistreatment of imagination that there is.”

This person is also shooting to live to 112 1/2—a source of multiple topics…

6. “What if I knew I’d live that long? How would I live my life right now?”

7. “Do I want to live that long?”

8. “If I knew the exact date, or even month, of my passing, how would I treat those last few months?”

And circling back to the original ‘When did I become a codger?’…

9. Would there be a new classification/label for someone who’s hanging around at 112? 

10. Where would I be warehoused at that age?

11. Would I still have a dog at that age?

12. When should we decide to NOT have a dog? [i.e. don’t want to leave him ownerless/homeless if I should pass—or— don’t want to be so feeble that I can’t take good care of him]

So these are thoughts that might have entered my mind as I celebrated World Baking Day yesterday. Instead, I focused on chocolate chip-peanut butter-cranberry cookies and a fresh loaf of Italian cheese bear bread.

Other stuff I’m doing:

retiredguys.net

and more Goodwill Words Project letters.

Curation Corner: Make your writing fit and trim.

Photo by Patrick Kool on Unsplash

I ran across this post from vappingo.com (a valuable new find) that’s all about ridding your work of ‘flabby words and expressions’.

Exact Title: 164 PHRASES AND WORDS YOU SHOULD NEVER USE IN AN ESSAY—AND THE POWERFUL ALTERNATIVES YOU SHOULD

I like the ‘powerful alternatives’ part…

A few examples:

— Use ‘will differ’ instead of ‘will be different’.

— Use ’emphasize’ instead of ‘point out’.

–Use ‘Start by’ instead of ‘The first step is to…’

While I don’t write essays, a quick scan of the list awakened me to lazy expressions I’ve used in my posts and letters.

Note: After reviewing the post, I’m now paranoid about every word I’m writing. Probably a good idea to NOT check out this post…

Photo by Anderson Rian on Unsplash

before your first drafts.

There are 17 more pages of Vappingo posts here.

Curation Corner: Are you a writer who’s stuck? Try freewalking.

Photo by Jamie Street (Unsplash)

Hey, it works for Jessica Lourey!

I’ve enjoyed seven of her Mira James Mysteries (set in Battle Lake, Minnesota–population 927) books, so I looked up Jessica Lourey on Amazon and voilà!

Check out her May 2, 2021 Freewalking post.

Some excerpts:

“Every time I finish these emotionally honest books, I free a piece of Little Jessie…” (herself)

The Pretender will be my twenty-first novel, so you’d think I’d have things figured out by now, and I do when it comes to the mechanics of it. My experience, though, has been that writing’s always hard, and my fears grow to fit the space I give them.”

“So when I say I have something that works despite, know that I’m not just blowing smoke. I’m coming at you from the trenches.
Here it is, my miracle cure for don’t-writis: freewalking.”

Here also is Jess’s TedX Rapid City talk: Use Fiction to Rewrite Your Life

Hope you enjoy and learn a little something!

Curation for Writers: Become an Idea Machine

Photo by CJ Dayrit on Unsplash

I ran across this photo and it immediately revived my appreciation for Become An Idea Machine by Claudia Azula Altucher and James Altucher.

A few quotes from the book’s foreword by James:

“…idea generation, of the good kind, the kind that helps you AND OTHERS, which is the type you will exercise in this book, is worth ten times that, or more.”

“You can’t trust the old style of thinking anymore…You have to come up with a new way of thinking, a new way of having ideas…we can train it (the mind) to work for us, and to move us in the direction of a life of fulfillment. One day at a time.”

“The way is this: Come up with ten ideas a day.
That’s it.”

“Coming up with ten ideas a day is like exercise. And exercise makes the idea muscle grow stronger.”

***

NOTE: The Kindle version is 99 cents. Yes, 99 cents! For a 251-page ebook with lots of…you guessed it, IDEAS!
The link to the book is an affiliate link. If you happen to buy the book through that link, it doesn’t NOT affect the price, but it does give me a small commission, which I’ll be using to buy my small island in the Caribbean…or the yacht I’ll need to get to that island…or my therapist who’s exhausted himself trying to dispel my daily delusions.

An all-over-the-map potpourri of topics

Yep, the more ideas I follow, the more things I start, well, it’s obvious I’m dodging the ultimate challenge of ‘finishing’.

Weak rationalization: But it’s so fun to start stuff.

And ‘continuing’ ain’t half bad either.

New stuff I’m doing:

1. https://retiredguys.net/

2. https://sidehustlecurator.com/ (I’ve just always been interested in what other folks are doing to make a little, or a lot of, side money. I’m actually 250+ posts into this.)

3. The goodwill words project is continuing and, after a more concerted visit to Operation We Are Here, I’ve written my first three letters to folks in the military.

4. Still curating resources for writers, such as:
19 Different Types of Blog Posts That Work For Any Niche

5. A self-paced How to Publish a Book course. See below.

Goodwill words: Today’s theme–Seek humor.

Had fun with this one…that poor Love for Our Elders recipient. Hoping they take it in the vein in which it was intended. (Whatever that means.)

So, yes, I really do hope the recipient has a sense of either humor (or at least compassion), as here is a portion of the stationery’s flip side…

Time to get going on my letters for the MLL folks.


Click here if you’re interested in contributing your words to Love For Our Elders. And possibly undoing my literary misadventures…

Here’s a link to their video letters project.

Goodwill Words: April’s More Love Letter requests

Click the graphic above for a quick tour of the four April 2021 letter requests at moreloveletters.com.

It’s interesting…sometimes I dive right into these letters and other times I need the requests’ words and details to seep in. This has been a ‘let seep in’ month.

I do make a point of finishing letters for out-of-country requests first. And over time, I’ve wended my way through the USPS website to figure out the required postage and I have those stamps at the ready.

In James Clear’s words (Atomic Habits)…

“If you want to maximize your odds of success, then you need to operate in an environment that accelerates your results rather than hinders them.”

Goodwill words: Today’s theme–Educated vs. Intelligent

This is the first in a series of three notes I wrote late last week.

The other two are in the ‘queue’. That is the weirdest word to type, I swear. It never feels right.

I’ll also be posting a ‘video-tour’ of this month’s letter requests from More Love Letters.


Click here if you’re interested in contributing your words to Love For Our Elders. And possibly undoing my literary misadventures…

Here’s a link to their video letters project.

Curation Corner: Writing freebies from Scribe Media

Welcome to BooskSchool, with links to:

** four self-directed courses covering the topics highlighted in the word cloud above

** a download link to Scribe Media co-founder Tucker Max’s book, The Scribe Method

** a link to Scribe Media’s YouTube Channel

** a link to their podcast

Other Scribe Media resources can be found here.

Enjoy!