“How do you come up with things to write about week after week? Where do you go to find your ideas?”

Those are questions people often asked when I was writing my newspaper column, and my answer was always the same. It still is, even after the newspaper column morphed into a weekly blog: I never go looking for ideas. I just keep my radar turned on at all times, so I stay open to things I see and hear in the world around me. An interesting viewpoint or clever idea. An inspiring quote or stray comment. A thoughtful gesture or memorable moment. All of these have been a spark that generated a new column or blog post.

Lately, though, it’s been getting more and more challenging to catch and capture things I see and hear in the world around me, since the world around me pretty much consists of my house and yard. This may be one of the reasons I’m enjoying “traveling” via Zoom to different Toastmasters clubs around the world, as well as to visits with family and friends in other parts of the country. It’s not nearly as satisfying as getting together in person, of course, but right now it’s all we’ve got.

Still, sitting in front of my computer doesn’t provide me with many fresh, new topics to write about each week. Nor does the local or national news, unless I want to update statistics and reports on the pandemic, or the latest protests, riots, and political actions and outrage. Which I don’t.

So I hope you’ll forgive me if I write about some of the same things several weeks in a row, particularly if they involve some of the people and places I’m visiting virtually. I’ll try not to sound repetitious or redundant, even though many of the same subjects come up in conversation no matter what country or culture I’m in. One common topic is the pandemic, of course, and how people are dealing with it. Another is the fact that there are silver linings and blessings in disguise in much of what we’re all going through right now, such as the fact that the coronavirus has allowed many of us to reconnect with long-lost friends, and to meet new people in places we’ve never been before, or ever imagined visiting.

If you have any of those right now – meaning silver linings and blessings in disguise – I’d love to hear about them. Partly because it always feels good to hear “good news” stories from others. Partly, I admit freely, because it may give me ideas on new topics to write about in the future.

But mostly, because it’s a great reminder for all of us that there are still a lot of good things happening in the world.

July 18, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020

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