Spring is a great time to write articles. It’s no longer cold and wet, and it’s not so hot that you’d rather die than write.
Really, though, every season is a great time to write articles.
One of the problems with seasonal articles is planning ahead a few months and knowing what to pitch. If you have a tough time thinking ahead several months, I have a suggestion: think ahead one year from now.
I hear you saying, “If I have a hard time thinking ahead 3-4 months, how am I going to plan ahead 12 months in advance?”
Easy: look around you right now!
There are probably festivals going on that you wouldn’t have thought about 3-4 months ago. You’re probably getting out and enjoying the weather — maybe you’re running in a race, hopping in a canoe, or doing something else worthy of writing about. Making a list of ways to make spring cleaning easier won’t only help you next year — it may help readers.
Every season is a great reminder of all the things going on around us that can easily be turned into articles.
Here are 5 things you can do now so you’re ready to pitch seasonal articles next year.
Make a List
As you do things this spring, make a list of the things worthy of writing about.
Festivals, trips, seasonal tips — all the things we do when a new season rolls around can usually be turned into an article.
By making a list of things you do and discover each season, you have a list of ideas you can pitch in 8-9 months.
Take Photos Now
If you pitch an article about spring next winter, when the article is accepted, all the spring scenery will be buried beneath snow or dead leaves. Depending on timing, you may not be able to take photos in time for the article next spring, or you may end up rushing around at the last minute.
If you know you’re going to pitch an article about Texas wildflowers next year, why not take the photos this year?
Even if you take photos this year, you may have to return someplace the following year for a few last-minute shots, but it’s much better taking photos when you’re already familiar with that place.
If you need additional ideas for your list, listen to the people around you.
Listen to the things they’re doing — would it make a good article?
When they talk about something as simple as spring cleaning, ask them what one or two things they did made it easier…or what they wouldn’t do again.
It’s amazing how many article ideas a person encounters each day if only they listen and think about writing.
Rough it Out
When you do something this spring that you plan to pitch as an article for next year, rough it out if you have time.
Figure out how you will structure the article and what main points you’ll make.
If it’s a travel piece, it’s always best to write down your initial feelings right away, while things are still fresh in your mind.
With a roughed-out article, it will be easier to work the tone of the piece into your pitch when the time comes.
The good thing about working on an article now is you have a whole year to research things to make it better.
If you’re rushing to complete an article, it’s easy to miss things: photos you meant to take, people you meant to interview, or points you meant to make.
By roughing out next year’s articles this year, you have more than enough time to research all the things necessary to make your article shine.
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There’s another benefit to roughing out next year’s articles in advance: Now when you think, “I don’t have anything to do,” that’s not true.
When you’re thinking ahead a year, you always have plenty to keep you busy!