Since my problem tends to be at the other end of the spectrum, sometimes I stumble on the notion that people have trouble finding material. However I wanted to offer up one of my sources:
Medium comments. Honestly, not just people I want to meet because they are so extraordinary, but because what they have to say and how they live are exactly what Kris talks about. They’re stories.
Folks, stories are everywhere. So often I get inspiration from people who leave me comments like Deborah Coonts below:
I just love your kick-ass. Sixty-two years have come and gone in my life. I fly (I can actually teach people how to fly), I ride motorcycles, workout, love horses and dogs, and my son and DIL and new baby grandson. Languages intrigue me and I keep my passport in my purse and with me at all times…just in case. I’ve been a lawyer, and accountant, a business owner and I now make my living as a novelist. People are the weft and warp of the fabric of my life. I have a fabulous husband who I met two years ago (so never give up hope — good men are out there). So, with all of this, do I get lonely? Sure. Life is like that. Friends and family have their own lives to tend. Changing my scenery keeps me sane. But finding people, especially women, who attack life in the same way? A bit more difficult. Do I fear loneliness? Not really. I can always find people to talk with. And friends, real friends, as you said, are always there no matter how great the distance between you. And, even in the deepest silence, I have the comfort of my own thoughts and the warmth of memories. And, if the silence screams too loudly, I can always pick up the phone or get on a plane:) (author bolded)
Deborah is In Life. I love this comment because while one hand she does some pretty interesting things (as in fly regularly), but she also cops to being lonely, as we all experience.
How does this strike me? What else is her story like? What does it remind me of? What are the life lessons in her comments? Who else do I know like her, and of those people whose lives I admire most what are the common threads and why? How is it that people who seem to live such interesting lives can still feel lonely?
You see where there are so many off-shoots from this? They are frankly endless.
The only tool you really need is curiosity. Genuine curiosity about others, life around you, and what those observations bring up. Chances are there are things you will notice that we all share, but the way you notice them is what makes the article worth reading.
You do not have to be constantly writing about you you you you you all the time. Kindly, that does get a little old. And your story material is going to run dry unless you want to regale us about how your latest bowel movement looks just like
Ideas? You have to be hiding from them, in fact if you are bereft of them. If you shut yourself off or are so distracted by your devices that you can’t seem to come up with story ideas, the only thing I can offer is that it might be time to put the damned thing down and go walk around outside for a while.
Without your phone.
Go be In Life. Like Deborah. She’s a great inspiration to walk away from the keyboard. You aren’t always the story. Life is the story.
It’s going on all time, forever. Dip a spoon in it, and then write about how it tastes.
You might serve yourself up some kickass.