11 Kinds of Magazine Articles You Can Write

little girl looking through paper towel roll

Are you looking for ideas?

Writing magazine articles is a good way to bring in steady extra income while you work on your book. But do you struggle to find ideas?

Let the following list of 11 types of articles you can write serve as a springboard. Each type has it own requirements and purposes.

If you are a regular subscriber of one or two specific periodicals, consider how their articles fit into the following categories. Then think about [Read more…]

Grocery Shopping for NaNoWriMo

yearly calander with months exed outNaNoWriMo may be three months away, but there’s more to prepare than just your outline.

July is nearly over, and August and September will be spent preparing the kiddos for school and getting back into the swing of things. Soon you’ll be staring at the calendar realizing November is bearing down.

Lucky the writer who can sit down at the keyboard and not worry about anyone else in the house. Even if you live alone, there’s more to think about than just your writing. After all, everybody has to eat.

If you’re the cook in the house, now is the perfect time to begin preparing nutritionally for the demands of NaNoWriMo. The less time spent cooking, the more time you have for pounding out those 50,000 words. And if you have a day job, every extra minute counts.

10 Ideas and a Recipe

1. Create a menu for the entire month, or as much of it as possible. Write down the meal for that day on the calendar. (For me, deciding on what to cook for dinner is half the battle.)

2. Over the next few months, prepare double of some of the family favorites you’re fixing for the night, and place the second one in the freezer.

3. Watch for sales on your favorite boxed meals and take advantage. Stash them under your bed if there’s no room in the cupboard (just make sure Fido and Fifi don’t get them).

4. If you own a deep freeze, take advantage of sales and stock up on the items you’ll need for your planned menu. You can do the same with canned/boxed/jarred items (clear a spot in the bedroom closet if need be).

5. Watch Pinterest for quick and easy recipes you can use.

6. Do you own a crock pot? Use it! Make sure your menu plan includes several crock pot meals. Toughest part about this is not drooling all day as the enticing aromas waft through the house all day.chocolate cookies

7. Pre-mix one or two of your favorite cookie recipes (or buy the pre-made), roll the dough in foil, and pop in the freezer. If the kids are old enough, allow them to cut and bake the cookies one evening or weekend during November. You’ll have treats to eat with no fuss and minimal supervision of the kids

8. Find some new recipes for turkey leftovers before that carcass invades your fridge.

9. Be sure to plan for lunch items.

10. Take a look at your planned menu for the month and choose several recipes you can easily double. The leftovers can make a second meal or you can use them for lunch.

Here’s the recipe to one of my favorite meals. Where my mom came up with the idea, I don’t know, but it was a kid favorite growing up. I consider it comfort food. While it won’t make the meat-and-potatoes lover happy, it will fill you up and satisfy the kids on a cold day.

Cream Tuna on Toast (if you like macaroni and tuna, you’ll like this)

1 6 oz. can tuna
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
milk (I use lactose free)

Combine tuna (be sure to drain) and soup into a medium saucepan. Add one soup can of milk. Mix well and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Serve over toast.

In today’s go, go, go society, many of us don’t give enough thought to meal planning. All of the above ideas can be used year round. You’ll have less stress over what to prepare; the family will have a healthy meal; and you’ll have more time to write. (I think I’ll go buy a deep freeze.)

How do you handle meal time during NaNoWriMo? Please share your tips in the comments.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2014

Let Your Imagination Play

It’s been a while since I provided a picture for your imagination to play with and thought today would be as good a time as any.

My favorite genre to read (and watch) is mystery, so I tend to look for a mystery behind every picture. But writing prompts are all about stretching yourself. Jump outside your comfort zone and [Read more…]

A Writing Prompt to Spur Your Creativity


We all know writing every day helps you improve as a writer. But maybe you aren’t working on any project in particular right now, so here’s a picture to prompt your creativity for today’s writing.

  • How can you apply this picture to a verse of Scripture for a devotional?
  • What opportunity or obstacle would this doorway present to a protagonist, to an antagonist in your next fiction book?
  • How could you use this doorway as a lead-in for a personal experience article?

Now set a timer for 15 minutes, put on some music if you like, and then sit down at your laptop or take up paper and pencil and just start writing. Don’t stop until that timer dings.

Whatever genre you write, let your imagination skip, leap, and frolic through this doorway.

When you’re done, share the first sentence or two (or three) of your blurb in the comments so we can give each other feedback. I’ll share my first line later on today.

Use Art to Spur Your Creativity

fire escapeTake a look at the picture above. What’s the first thing that comes into your mind? Danger? A bygone era? What ever your thought was, the fact is the picture triggered that thought. That is the creativity of your mind in action.

Now think about how you can use what’s in this photo in your work in progress.

  • Can the building serve as a location for one of my scenes? Where is this, what is this, what did it used to be?
  • Can your protagonist elude capture by climbing up the fire escape? Climbing down?
  • Was your antagonist once trapped here as child? If so, how? As a kidnap victim? Was the building on fire? Was she/he homeless?
  • What would your antagonist and protagonist think about this building? Spend 15 minutes writing in your voice journal for each character.
  • How can I use this building to bring conflict to a scene and my characters?

When you’re stuck on a plot point or feel your story is dragging, step away from your writing and visit a local art gallery or do some web surfing to galleries. Use the pictures to inspire you and spur your creativity.

As you meander through the exhibits, ask yourself the questions above and anything else that comes to mind. What is the potential conflict this setting can bring to my story? Even what appears to you as the most tranquil scene can spark conflict in your character if he/she associates that scene with bad experiences.

Be sure to take along a notebook or digital recorder so you can record your thoughts. Who knows, you might even find the gallery you visit to be a perfect scene location.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2013


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