The Notebook and Story Ideas

If you are a published writer you’ve surely been asked where you get your story ideas. What non-writers don’t understand is that coming up with story ideas is the easy part of being a writer. The more challenging part is finding the time to write. Crafting a compelling story using an angle that will grab an editor or publisher is also a challenge. Let’s face it, story ideas have been the same for centuries – love, hate, money, women, men and sex—but what has changed is the way in which stories are told.

It’s been noted that 95 percent of the ideas writers jot down in their notebooks do not end up into publishable work and only a mere five percent are what we call literary gems. Figuring out the ideal time out  to launch your idea to the literary community is also crucial. Often times if you think about what is interesting to you, your friends or loved ones, then chances are those are the subjects which will be interesting to your readers as well.

This reminds me of a comment made by an editor I visited at a New York publishing house some weeks ago. I asked her what was selling, and she turned to me while looking for a book on the shelf and said, “We have a saying in the publishing world that anything about Lincoln and everything about dogs, sells.”

So there you have it – just in case you were wondering what to write about!

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Quote of the Week


"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me


I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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