Stories Are All Around You

One characteristic that all writers seem to have, is tendency to be curious and notice details in their surroundings. Do you have a hobby? Are you involved in a sport? Do you attend a place of worship? You may be surprised do discover how may opportunities there are all around you. Here are some examples of how I found subjects to write about.

For several years I worked as an Airport Security Screening Guard. I offered to write an article for a local newspaper about how passengers could pass through the security screening section at the airport, with as little hassle as possible. “Have Gifts, Will Travel” was published in The Daily News (Halifax).

When I was attending a Baptist church in Nova Scotia there was a youth pastor who did some crazy stunts to encourage young people to attend their annual summer Vacation Bible Camp. A Canadian magazine, Faith Today, agreed the story was interesting and published it under the title, “Baptists Thrill Kids in Nova Scotia.”

After a karate class over ten years ago, I noticed the sensei cleaning up the dojo and asked him about what was involved in operating a martials arts club. That resulted in an article, “Black Belt and a Briefcase,” that was published in a local business magazine, Atlantic Progress.

My most recent article was “Writing Formats: The Keys to Unlocking Your Potential,” that was published in Opal: The Magazine for Canadian Authors and Writers. It helps if you’re writing about something you’re passionate about,  so readers don’t feel they are listening to someone forced to give a report about something they have absolutely no interest in.

Writing is about paying attention to the world around you and taking advantage of the opportunities you find. If you’re a student and you wonder what it takes to coach a high school soccer team,  that’s a great article for the school newspaper. If it sparks your imagination and you wander how it would feel to be the first human to coach the Urzlak team on planet Voxtax, that could be a great science fiction novel.

Never forget, it’s your voice, your passion. Keep writing.

If you’re curious, you can find a complete list of my published writing in the Members Directory on the Writers’ Guild of Alberta website:

J. Paul Cooper



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