That Sellable Idea

Pink Think: “I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.” – Pablo Picasso

photo from Freephoto by winnond

The other day, I visited a Renaissance man. He is a number-cruncher by trade but also does fine art photography.

The day I stop in, his office/studio faces out into the cold light of a chilly autumn afternoon, classical music playing softly in the background. He exudes energy, constant motion. I want to visit longer, but I can tell he has things to do, places to be. So I don’t impose. I visit only for as long as I need to. As I always have in the past, I am impressed by his glamorous-seeming life, captured in his photos. We are picking out a photo he could donate to a silent auction I am helping with. France. Scotland. Virgin Islands. I ask him what sells traditionally.

He laughs. “I’ve been doing this now for years,” he says, “and I still don’t know.”

We pick out a familiar European landmark. If I can recognize it, then I am sure others will, too.

Lately, I write two or three op-eds before deciding on one to submit. Sometimes I can’t get to what I am trying to say unless I draft it first. When I feel strongly about something, and am clear on where I stand, the op-ed writes itself. I could labor over an op-ed for a day, toss it aside, and then write a piece in ten minutes flat. The latter usually gets sent to my editor.

My freelance workload has been steadily increasing. I have two stories due by month’s end, and of course my op-ed columns. Trying to balance all that with a fundraiser in early November. One of the stories is a “mini-memoir” for a magazine. Although the amount of work is daunting, I am excited to have a bigger canvas on which to draw an interesting life.

Funny how, as a journalist, my job is not just to write the story, but to find story angles which resonate with me and which hopefully will resonate with others, too.

That sellable idea.

How do YOU come up with your sellable ideas?

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