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Finding New Article Ideas in Your Previous Articles

Updated on October 2, 2016
MsDora profile image

MsDora, five-year online writer, shares poetry, creative writing and reflections on how writing and writers influence our lives.

Write What's Worth Your Reading

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."  - Ben Franklin Portrait by David Martin
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." - Ben Franklin Portrait by David Martin | Source

Respect your previous articles enough to read them again, and new article ideas will literally be right under your nose. That’s right. Weeks or months after you first publish them, the ideas impact you with a new admiration for your genius, and it helps to say out loud, “There are more ideas where those old ones came from.”

Here are 5 ways that some of those ideas can be extracted from your previous articles and provide inspiration for new articles.


(1) Review Your Most Popular Articles

After you have written twenty or more articles, it becomes easy to differentiate between the most and least popular. Review the mental process by which ideas for the popular articles came to you; or find whatever is the common thread. Learn from the children who beg from the same uncle again and again, simply because that uncle always gives.

  • Does the content of your most popular articles belong to a certain niche? Create more titles in the same niche.
  • What is your objective in these articles? To give information, voice your opinion, offer entertainment or encouragement? If your readers seem satisfied, offer more of the same.
  • Are your most popular articles written with a specific person, or group of persons, in mind? Many people have the same needs, so that what you write for one may benefit hundreds. Pick on some other individuals you know, and write your personal counsel or opinion concerning their situations.
  • Are your articles event-oriented? Write about other road trips, home and garden shows, historic events or whatever your readers appreciate.

This is not an attempt to limit you to one style of writing or to one area of content. It suggests that the elements which worked for you in the past can keep on working for you. It beats looking for completely new ideas at the cost of neglecting ideas which are right for you. Your creativity can find ways to serve up related content in unusual new flavors.


Find New Ideas from Poll Results

Source

(2) Study Your Feedback

In their comments on your articles, readers ask questions, offer suggestions and introduce different viewpoints on your topic. Why not act on their responses?

Comments

Recently, a reader commented that instead of trying to jog my mother's memory toward the correct facts, it is better to journey back with her into period she remembers. It makes sense, but for my own satisfaction, I have to research the advantages. That sounds to me like an idea for a new article.

Your Reaction

Instead of answering a question or an objection with a two-hundred word explanation, why not suggest that they read your new article for further clarification?

The Polls

Please do not forget about the polls. What do the responses help you to discover about people or about the topic? Can you write an article on the response with the most votes? Will you like to know how other research findings compare with the findings from your small poll? Now you have some new information on which to build a new article.


(3) Consider Different Perspectives

"Montages of Cities in Puerto Rico" by RocketMan2013.
"Montages of Cities in Puerto Rico" by RocketMan2013. | Source

Expand your article ideas by writing on old themes from new perspectives. Although you may be more comfortable with your original viewpoint, you can only grow by attempting to view the same situation from another position.

  • You wrote about the cities and architectural upgrades in Puerto Rico; now write about the people and the culture.
  • You wrote for individuals obsessed with their physical appearance; now write for people who neglect their physical appearance.
  • You counseled married couples on how to protect their marriages with social boundaries; now counsel the intruders on how to respect those boundaries.
  • You offered cooking or craft instructions; now offer advice on how those suggestions can improve family togetherness or save them money.

Different people can benefit from your old article, if you convey its message to fit their personal needs. Imagine different individuals asking you questions about the same topic, and you will see the possibility of modifying your perspective.


(4) Write Follow-up Articles

Depending on how much has happened after your articles on dated events, you may want write a follow-up article.

  • After the tributes to late celebrities one year of more ago, what remarkable changes have there been in the lives of their remaining family or business?
  • Since the volcano eruption or the magnitude 7 earthquake, how have the residents adjusted, or has there been an extraordinary story of survival?
  • Since your last article on ideas for weight loss, what other programs have been introduced?

Follow-up articles may be the most popular ones surfacing from previous articles. There is always ongoing research in various fields. Instead of detailed updates appended to the old articles, give notice that there is follow-up information in a new article.


(5) Rewrite Your Least Popular Articles

Give your least popular articles some time while you compare the features which you think contribute to the success of the others. After you have edited them—changed the title, the photos, even the layout—and the readership does not increase, you may want to consider rewriting them.

You can create new and better articles by:

  • merging highpoints from two or more unpopular articles (with appropriate content) into one article offering more information;
  • applying new writing skills you learned since you first published the original articles;
  • making the content more relevant.

You get the opportunity to present a new article to your new followers, and if your earlier followers recognize the old content, they may be impressed by your commitment to self-improvement. You cannot lose by using previous articles as stepping stones to more successful writing.


What Do You Think?

Will you ever look at your previous articles for new ideas?

See results

Conclusion

"There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV).

“Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings" (Steven Johnson).

These two quotations endorse the concept that there can be new ideas hiding in your previous articles, waiting to be extracted.

  • What about the ideas you discarded because they took your article over the word limit?
  • What about those you did not follow through because it seemed they would take the article in a direction you did not want to go?

Do yourself a favor and look again at the articles you have already written. You may be surprised at how many new article ideas you will find.


© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent ideas and a great article,,,, I think I will go do it right now.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I will do it too. Thanks for your encouragement.

    • Karen Ray profile image

      Karen Ray 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Voted up and useful for great advice and an excellent hub. I've gone back to old articles I've written to sift for new ideas and it does work. I especially like your idea of using comments on one's hub to look at it from another viewpoint for another article idea.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have just been thinking of doing a hub that may seem like an old hub but kind of goes in a different direction and covers more. Was wondering if it was a good idea or not and you make me think it might be, thanks! If no one like it I will just say; "It was MsDora's idea!"

      just kidding...^+

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Karen thanks for your affirmation that it does work. I appreciate your kind comment and your vote.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, way to go! You can't lose with a different perspective on an old idea. All the best with your new article.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Looking over old articles is an excellent idea. Voted up and shared.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Ologsinquito. I do it quite often, sometimes not even sure why; but I've seen some benefits.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All fantastic ideas, Dora, and I'm going to try a couple of them next week. Thank you for great suggestions.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Ah Dora, you never disappoint. What great ideas. I go back and spruce up old hubs regularly, but I have never caught onto something that I can make another hub out of. It's not that they're not there, I'm just a little slow on the uptake. My issue is I have so many unfinished hubs (I am ashamed to say how many) and I need to finish them.

      Blessings sister. Very helpful hub.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. So happy to offer a suggestion you can use.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Lori. No need for shame. Take your time and do as much as you can. Thanks for your blessings, and blessings to you in return.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      MsDora, I loved this hub. I can hardly wait to try out some of these ideas. Hopefully, you'll recognize some of your influence in future hubs. Thanks for your sharing thoughts with us.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, glad to share something you like and can use. We'll see how they work. Thanks for your support.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Another good reason to take a second look at older hubs! Your tips are smart ideas to keep in mind. Actually, it would be good to refer to this post once in a while. I have a recent hub that I'm thinking of drawing from along these lines for future hubs. Thanks for enlarging the concept for us.

      By the way, Ecc. 1:9 came to mind when I read your opening sentence and I expected to find it referenced. Thanks for an interesting read.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      RTalloni, so glad I did not disappoint you concerning the Bible verse. Thanks for your very kind comment.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E. Franklin 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      Good ideas, MsDora. I do reread my articles, but I haven't been really intentional about mining them for new article ideas. I'll now start reading them with new eyes. Thanks for the nudge.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting one from you here. I did not think it would be a great idea for me. It may work for others, not sure if I would want to do that. It sounds helpful.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Msdora old hubs do make newer hubs easier to write.. and as for this hub.. what a good idea.. you never disappoint.. and this should be hub of the day...:)

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      You're welcome, Ron; and thanks for your feedback.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Devika, you're very kind. "Different strokes for different folks." It's great to know what works for you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, I appreciate your kind affirmation. You encourage em. Thanks!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a wonderfully helpful hub MsDora. Great idea to go back through old hubs. I agree there is often untapped material there to expand on and create new hubs. Voted up.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      MsDora, I think you read my mind. I have been thinking on the same lines. I think the same can be said for questions which receive a lot of attention.

      Sally

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great ideas. They work. Hope everyone reads this one carefully. Shared. ;-)

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This is a great idea! I have been doing something similar with my bank of articles. Each time I publish, I review one of the old ones. Especially those that are least popular. I choose one and either rework it, use the content for a fresh article, or discard it. I get a much needed break from writing fresh, and also am able to improve on what was written previously. It has been a great help to me in boosting my readership and the quality of my writing.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Excellent advice. I've done this (especially using point 2) but need to do it more. I appreciate the inspiration.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      Great tips! I have written newer articles based on information from older or more popular ones. I think one of the best area of inspiration for hub ideas comes from the comments left by the people reading them. The one thing I haven't done is to look more closely at my polls and write articles based on those results. Now that you've mentioned it, I'll get to it.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Jodah, for the affirmation and the vote. I appreciate you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sally, they say great minds think alike. Yes, I agree that there will also be inspiration in the answers to the question. Thanks for your input.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Bill, for reading, commenting and appealing for everyone to read carefully.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Denise, you're on the ball. Keep at it, especially since you're getting good results. Best to you, going forward.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Good for you, Susan. Thanks for your feedback.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sheila, glad you're getting inspiration, anyway. Thank you for sharing.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      A wonderful idea. I have actually done this whilst writing one. I found one sub topic was taking on a life of its own and published a separate hub along a similar theme.

      I agree, there are hidden gems waiting to be elaborated more fully or from another angle.

      Thanks for reminding me about this.

      Have a great weekend.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Blond Logic, hope you find more ideas in your old hubs. Thank you for sharing, and enjoy the weekend, too.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Such a good idea! Inspiration can come from all kinds of places--

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      I sometime check Google analytics to discover what keywords are bringing in the traffic and then write more articles with that keywords or similar keywords.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      MsDora, a very useful article with lots of good ideas. Coincidentally, with the massive drop in views I started to review my old hubs and decided to do exactly as you have so cleverly recommended. Most of my hubs were originally intended as part of a series, but I tend to get bored writing on the same subject. However, I think it's time to revisit the best performing hubs. Thanks for confirming that this is a good move. Take care and enjoy the weekend.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Very nicely done and lots of good ideas to keep in mind, I recommend keeping a list of ideas. Sometimes an idea is just a fragment, not enough for a hub, but when I let it incubate, when I come back, I have enough for a hub.

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      I've been at a standstill today. Your tips are useful, especially trying the opposite of a previous article. Utilizing the information gathered from polls is a great idea.

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 2 years ago

      Really good material on how to take a basic idea and expand or take an opposite point of view to create something entirely new.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Audrey. You're so right about that.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Rasta, thanks for the tip. We should all do that to see what keywords are best for the idea we found.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jo, thanks for your kind words. Must be the right time for this, since more than one person is thinking about it. Thanks for your input.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Catherine, I appreciate your recommendation. Thanks for sharing that very useful tip.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Collen, glad you find the suggestions useful. All the best putting them to use.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Mactavers, thanks for your positive feedback. I appreciate you.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      What great advice MsDora, I remember when I started writing on here five years ago we were advised to write an article, then write a few more around the same theme and join them together, of course over the years I had totally forgotten this! thanks for the great reminder and new ideas too!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Nell, glad that my article gave you a positive reminder. Thank you for sharing.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Great advice, MsDora! I have done this long ago and did come up with a new idea for a hub, so I need to do some revisiting of my older hubs. You are always so helpful with your great hubs.

      Up and more and pinning

      God bless you.

    • cpaldridge profile image

      Christy Aldridge 2 years ago from MS

      Great ideas as always MsDora! Thank you! Great hub!

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Faith, thanks for your kind words and affirming that it is worthwhile to revisit your old articles. Blessings on you, too.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Christy, you are very kind. I appreciate you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      This is a great idea, MsDora. I have done it in the past but I need to go back and update articles. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      I found this very informative. Sometimes I am at a loss for what to write next. I think I should take an inventory of my articles and what new ideas I might derive from them. Thanks for this excellent advice!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      You're welcome teaches. Glad to share an idea that you appreciate. Thanks for your feedback.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Mel, glad you find the article helpful. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Truly awesome article! I love how expansive your articles are-- the ideas just keep flowing-- and yet how elegant in their simplicity so that the ideas are clear and not overwhelming. I feel like this article says "why not try this?" Thank you!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Techygran, What a kind, encouraging comment. Thank you. Glad that you certainly got the right message.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      This is a great idea. I sometimes looked at my old hubs if I can update some things or find anything that sparks my mind for writing. Thanks MsDora for the tips.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      MsDora, you are absolutely correct. You can elaborate on ideas from past articles easily. A person with many hubs published should never get bored or have a hard time coming up with a writing idea. Thanks for sharing! Hope all is going very well!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I want to add that I loved the first picture you used. It's an unusual choice, but it works so well.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thelma, you're welcome. Hope you make some good finds of new articles in your old hubs.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Word, you must be very busy these days with stuff other than HP. Thanks for making the time to read and comment. All is well, and I hope the same for you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Catherine, your comment is so encouraging. I needed to hear that. Thanks!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Interesting and useful ideas. Thanks.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Poetryman, thanks for your kind comment. See you around.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      Ms Dora, you are so right about this. I don't think I am alone when I say that many articles often give birth to more while I am writing. It seems that every biography I write ends up taking me to another person I'd like to write about - either more family members or colleagues. I often get 4 or 5 articles as offshoots from the original. That's not bragging, just FYI. It is because my inquiring mind wants to know more about people and my other fault is I can't stop clicking links. I can spend hours reading and not write a word. Links take me to many places and that's where the 4 or 5 offshoot articles are born.

      To date, I have 64 articles published. But I also have another 50+ sitting in queue waiting for attention. While working on one article, I usually start a new article with a title and put links in so I remember what I wanted to write or where I wanted to start, add some photos, videos and, big surprise - I get sidetracked so that they end up sitting sometimes for months before I come back to them because I found other interesting people to write about. I wonder if that happens to anyone else ...

      Because my biographies are sooooooo lonnnnng, an HP team member suggested that I go over some of them to edit and streamline them, but it all comes down to "time." I've been away for 6 weeks and kept writing my articles in longhand bec of not having acess to a computer and have been transcribing them to HP. Even that is taking a long time because of checking my facts, locating pictures, videos, links, etc. Sorry to go on and on, but you hit a nerve! lol And it made me think about doing this to some of the shorter articles. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 24 months ago

      Sound advice, really good ideas, thanks for sharing your know how, voted up , Lee

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 24 months ago from The Caribbean

      Rachel, so sorry I missed your comment. You add important insights to my original. You give me more to think about. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 24 months ago from The Caribbean

      Lee, thank you very much for such a positive comment. You're an encourager.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 24 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Great article. Voted up.

    • MsDora profile image
      Author

      Dora Isaac Weithers 24 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your kind comment and your vote. I appreciate you.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 20 months ago from Essex, UK

      Coming up with ideas for new articles is often a problem, and even when one does come up with a new idea, deciding what perspective to take, or what style of writing to adopt, can be an even bigger problem.

      Your article gives a comprehensive breakdown of the many ways in which one can adapt or borrow from previous articles. That must be so much easier than starting from scratch - not only do you have the foundation of an original idea to build upon, but you also already have the experience or knowledge acquired whilst writing the previous article, which may save some time on research.

      I'm sure Dora that your advice will come in useful for any who find themselves short on new ideas for hubs.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 20 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Alun. This article was born out of my own frustration for a new idea, and you're right; what perspective to take is often a stopper for me. We learn as we go.

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