Sunny's Topics: How to Pick Them!
Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Mia amica dolce asked this question: How do you like to pick YOUR next topic? It's funny she should ask. To me, the best way to discover a topic is to ask questions. If there were no questions, there would be no answers. If there were no answers, there would be none of the seeking thrill that comes with questioning to find them. This can turn up great topics in mind or bring to you great writing fodder.
You can even answer questions other people ask, if it is something that you know or can research further on to back up what you already know. One of the ways to find your next topic is to answer other people's questions and to ask your own.
Of course, sometimes answers to questions bring more questions. It can get tangled up and you get sidetracked in other topics that interests you.
So, what are you going to do? What topic are you going to write? How are you going to pick them? Everyone has their own methods. In here, there are some ideas to help you develop a concentration of topics. This can be for anything; essays, articles, a hub, a letter, etc.
At a Glance
What I do, first and foremost, is to have something in which I write easily accessible. Google Docs is my best friend for this one. My physical notebook, however, is my first love. What I expect out of this is to start off writing something that I can glance back over for a refresher. This calls for a list! A list is one of the simplest things you can do to bring out ideas and give yourself a reminder.
I will sit and think of all the things I like thinking about. Sometimes, what I think about can really be hard to put into words. This gives me a challenge to work with. I want to write things that genuinely interests me. I will give it certain key words. Here's my example of really random things I'm thinking about right now.
Sunny's Example List of Topics
- Death of a loved one.
- Doing the dishes.
- Turning coke glass bottles into retro vases.
- How to make websites look uninviting. (like this: A Horror Movie Survival Guide)
- Cool little storage box out of cigarette packs.
- 101 things you can do with ramen noodles.
- Grammar Don'ts. (Ending a sentence with in. Look! I just did it!)
- Making lists rock.
Sunny's NotebooksClick thumbnail to view full-size
Foraging is Fun
In an age of information overload, one has to go foraging for the actual edible tidbits that provides the truly usable, necessary nutrients. Sometimes, things that appear trivial can really be good for the mind. Google just provides all the available websites for easy, super-fast access. However, things like Digg and StumbleUpon are tailored for foraging and bringing to you relevant sites to suit YOUR interests. That really narrows things down for you.
So, right now, I'm clicking on the Stumble! button on my toolbar. Here are some of my first stumbles and my thoughts.
- Bernadette Mayer's List of Journal Ideas. Hey! Not a bad topic at all. List of ideas, huh? Journaling is one of life's greatest pleasures for a writer or anyone who wants to document their experiences. So, topic ideas: How to journal, what journaling does for you, and other related topics.
- America Is Retarded. This is hilarious. But really, if you want to get super controversial or write a commentary, choose a topic that you know you can write a lot of content on. For example, I can imagine a serious rant coming out of this.
- If You See Someone Drowning. An epic picture. You can pick a topic where you compile a ton of photos and write about them. (Content is really key, here). Topic ideas: Pictures guaranteed to crack your grandkids up, some lols for your coworkers, etc.
- BeerAdvocate. Gah, wealth of topic ideas right here! Okay, here are some of my ideas just glancing at the site: The history of homebrew, most popular brands of beer and why, most known beer in each country.
"Wow, I Could Totally Hub About This!"
Well, perhaps, this section right here might solely be for the true hubbing addicts. Or any writing addicts. I mean, I've definitely heard, "OMG, I need to tweet this!" or "OMG, this is my next facebook status". You see where I'm going with this?
So, when I encounter that thought, I run for my notebook or a nearest piece of paper. I write down that idea in my topic list. One of the things I've wrote down in my list came from a random idea from a facebook post. It was an article on an issue that I knew I wanted to write about. I disagreed with everything in that article and I knew I wanted to write my point of view on it. It has yet to be written, though. So many topics, so little time.
Another example: After I discovered my sailor-inspired outfit from thrifting and Sogno prompted me to purchase it, I looked at her and said, "You should totally hub about this". Her reply? "I don't know enough about thrifting to write about it!" But it stewed away in her brain until she sat down one day and wrote her hub on it. She did well, I must say. (Thrifty Shopper-New Dress A Day - psst, a picture of me is in it!)
Okay, So I Have A Bunch of Topics.
How in the crap am I going to PICK one?
Well, first of all, those topics aren't going anywhere once you have them. However, their level of popularity or potential income can fluctuate depending on the hottest trends. Picking one can be difficult if you have many topics to pick from.
So, here are several considerations.
1) Making money. If you're really more interested in making the best dollar off of your hub, google the various keywords relevant to any topics or the topic itself to see how much it is trending. Well, to be more specific, try using the various trending sites that pinpoints the popularity or potential ad clicks on it. Google Adword's Keyword Tool is a great one; I use this to see how much traffic I can make on a given topic. I also use Google's hottest trends to see what topics will jump out at me and help me make more money. There are also a lot of other tools to help you make those decisions.
2) Just Want to Write. There's several ways to go about this one. You can pick a topic randomly from your list or whatever you had in mind, then go with that! Or, you can decide what your mood is for writing by taking a look at pictures or website relevant to any topics you are interested in. Then, you go with that, too!
Don't Forget IdeaBank
For the hubbers, Hubpages provide great ideas as well. IdeaBank has 36 pages of ideas. On each page, that's roughly 12 ideas. So, there are nearly 432 ideas sitting on Hubpages for you to write.You can't fail there!
Run, Sunny! Run Like the Wind!
There you have it. That's how Sunny picks a topic and runs like the wind with it.
There is no topic too small or too big for you to handle. Really, do not be afraid to try anything! Take any topic that you are interested in, do some research, find some super nifty pictures, and you suddenly have the makings of a hub.
I just want to make one last interjection here. Make your topic awesome. That's your challenge. Do not add to the hundreds of really stinky, hot crap (or even the old, nasty, rotting crap) floating around on the internet. Write like you know you will add relevance and quality to the internet world. When that is accomplished, you know picking a topic is small beans compared to the achievement of having written something you can be proud of.