If you’re a Baby Boomer, you’re likely to say that you remember just what you were doing when you heard that President Kennedy was assassinated. Millennials would likely remember what happened when the events of 911 killed thousands as the world watched.
You could write about these major events, as they are cultural and generational touchstones and an instant reference point. With a really interesting perspective – or if you’re Stephen King (11/22/63) – you might even have a bestseller on your hands.
However, there are fertile fields to write about for events that all of us could relate to, but are not the generational centerpieces.
A new baby, an engagement, a wedding, graduation, first driving lesson, first date, hang gliding or any major accomplishment could be the event that sparks your writing.
Maybe you moved into a new house and found ghosts. Perhaps your new baby was far ahead of the learning curve – or far behind – and you found out in a dramatic way. Any of the above ideas has been seen in films or books, but your take could be original. You own a unique perspective.
How many people have seen a war between a wily whale and an overwrought captain, told by a shipmate (Moby Dick)? Who has a not-so-kindly benefactor who came to the rescue of an ill child (A Christmas Carol, As Good As It Gets)?
None of the above may be common in the average person’s life, but if you write about it, you work might be read or performed on stage and screen and seen by millions.
Live dangerously! Write about something real and imagine it in a refreshing, poignant, delightful, funny, heart-wrenching, and memorable way. (And, as I’ve said before, non-fiction writers can also improve their writing by offering stories to illustrate their points.)
Start with an event and continue from there.