I’ve been getting closer and closer to the end of my degree, so I’ve been trying to do things that will help me to be more employable for writing jobs come June. After attending a few career talks, a piece of advice which has repeatedly cropped up is ‘stay up to date with current events!’
Initially, I was reluctant.
More often than not, news headlines are doom and gloom. I didn’t really like the idea of waking up fresh and early to read about the latest terror attack. But I went to an interview late last year, and I was asked whether I kept up with current affairs, so I figured it was a pretty important thing to start doing. Also, one of my professors this year is super pro-learn. She’s always telling us to read broadly. So, reading non-fiction was starting to feel like a good challenge to pick up.
So, I downloaded the apps for BBC News and The Guardian. I changed my morning routine. Instead of waking up and wiling away the hours on social media, I took a few minutes to browse through the day’s headlines and read anything that caught my interest. Then I resumed my usual social media scrolling afterwards.
After doing this for a month, it’s became a habit, and I found I was getting a lot of writing inspiration. Here are a few stories that got my creative thoughts bubbling:
Almost all of my ideas for short stories and novels stem from my own imagination, which I think has been holding me back. It’s hard to think something up in its entirety. It’s not as often as I like that I get inspiration this way. So keeping up with the news feels like a writing hack. I could definitely seeing myself writing a story based off a headline if I’m stuck for ideas.
Do you get inspiration from the news? Have you used headlines as writing prompts? I want to hear from you!
Screenshots from BBC News and The Guardian