by Sean D'Souza
If you're trying to write articles, the chances are that you'll be
up early in the morning trying to get your brain cells churning,
right? Not really. Most people actually do quite the opposite.
They'll sit down to write an article when all the rest of the work
is done. And that's when they're most tired. Try thinking up
something when you're tired, and you run into a wall of concrete.
You can't even think up a topic, let alone any sub-topics.
So how do you break through this wall to find your topics?
You do what all of us do. You fire up your computer, and go online.
And now you're on a five-minute treasure hunt to find topics. In
fact if you follow the instructions below, this treasure hunt will
be over and done with, in five minutes. And ten-fifteen minutes
later, you'll have a wealth of topics and sub-topics.
So let's take it step by step.
Step 1: Go to a site like Amazon.com or Dummies.com
Step 2: Find the topic you're interested in.
Step 3: Find the contents page of the book.
Step 4: Copy two or three sub-topics.
So let's say I wanted to write on some random topic that I know
nothing about: Like gardening.
Instantly I find several books (and each book becomes a sort of
1) Composting For Dummies
2) Container Gardening
3) Feng Shui for Gardens
Yay, now all I have to do is look inside the contents pages of one
Note: In this case the gardening led me to Feng Shui.
And instantly I get 25 sub-topics
Part I: Getting Started: Feng Shui Basics.
Chapter 1: Discovering the Benefits of Feng Shui.
Chapter 2: Key Feng Shui Principles.
Chapter 3: Reading the Vibes and Using the Feng Shui Octagon.
Chapter 4: Exploring Your Feng Shui Cure Toolbox.
Changing the spirit of the place: Using ceremony to create a new
Chapter 5: Tapping the Power of the Five Elements.
Chapter 6: The Magic of Intention and Reinforcement.
Part II: Outdoor Feng Shui: Energizing Your Home's Exterior.
Chapter 7: Improving the Energy of Your Lot, Landscape, and House
Chapter 8: Making the Most of Your Lot and House Shape.
Chapter 9: Open Sesame! Your Entryway and Entrance.
Part III: Indoor Feng Shui: Boosting the Energy of Your Home and
Chapter 10: Making Sense of Your Home's Layout.
Chapter 11: Jazzing Up Your Bedroom for Increased Health, Energy,
Chapter 12: Nourishing Health and Wealth in the Kitchen.
Chapter 13: Applying Feng Shui to the Main Areas of Your Home.
Chapter 14: Parts Is Parts: Other Important Areas of the House.
Chapter 15: Powerful Ways to Boost Your Home's Energy.
Chapter 16: Using Feng Shui to Enhance Your Career.
Part IV: Special Feng Shui: Performing Ceremonies and Personal
Chapter 17: Invisible Factors and Feng Shui Blessing Ceremonies.
Chapter 18: Exploring Personal Feng Shui Adjustment Methods.
Part V: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 19: Ten Principles for Success with Your Feng Shui.
Chapter 20: Ten (+1) Ways to Increase Wealth and Stimulate Cash
Flow: Show Me the Money!
Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Create Harmony in Your Marriage (Or Find
That Perfect Partner).
Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Enjoy Better Health with Feng Shui.
Chapter 23: Ten Tips for Selling, Finding, and Buying a House.
Chapter 24: Ten Tips for Apartment, Condo, and Townhouse Living.
Chapter 25: Ten Unique Calligraphies to Bless Your Life.
Whoa, that's about 23 more sub-topics than I needed.
But hey, I'm well on my way. Now I have my topics and sub-topics.
And I can now take any sub-topic and then create sub-sub-topic or
angles. And even as I'm doing this, the thought does cross my mind:
Is this cheating?
So are you cheating when you copy the topics?
You would be cheating if you copied the content, but topics
themselves are just topics. It starts to get serious when you copy
word for word, sequence by sequence.
If you just get your inspiration by choosing topics, there's no
problem at all. If you feel uncomfortable using the exact title of
the topic, you can also tweak it to suit yourself. e.g. Ten Unique
Calligraphies to Bless Your Life can become Ten Calligraphies to
Create Happiness At Dinner.
Whatever you do, stick to the online book stores (or offline
stores, if you choose).
Don't go rambling through Google or some other search engine.
Online book stores have order as part of their system. It's easy to
find a book, easy to find a table of contents, and easy to then get
what you need.
If you land up on Google and search random sites, you'll waste
container loads of time because you'll need to re-focus on every
new website you land on. You'll need to work out how the content is
placed, where it's located, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah,
Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.
And that's just a big headache you don't need. A bookstore is the
And one book will keep you busy for a while...
You get dozens of topics from just one book. And guess what? There
will be at least fifty (if not fifteen hundred books) on your
specific subject. So you'll be going a long time before you run out
of topics and sub-topics. However, there's a danger of doing too
Which is why you should avoid working on more than two-three topics
at a time
If you have too many topics you're working on, you'll be confused.
You'll have way too much choice and then struggle (remember you're
tired when you're doing this assignment).
And the factor of having to choose whether you're going to tackle
Topic 14 or Topic 25 is just too hard to resist. You'll go round in
circles and then crash when you run out of energy.
So let's summarise:
1) Topics are easy to find. Any online bookstore will provide at
least a few thousand topics.
2) Stick to the online bookstores. It's easy to get lost on the
3) Avoid more than two-three topics at a time.
The next time you're ready to write your topic, try doing it the
first thing in the morning, when your brain is rested. However
should you find that the midnight oil is the only recourse for you,
make sure you jump online.
15 minutes later, you should be raring to go.
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What has helped you find topics to write about?
Monday March 10th, 2014
14 hours ago