Last week, I wrote about keeping your story going even with external distractions. I used the Royal Wedding as an example with a follow up comment on the death of Osama bin Laden. I used that posting and comment to point out that such interruptions provide plenty of opportunities hone your writing skills, even if the events are not associated with your current project.

In review of the happenings of last week, we had enormous opportunities. We had a royal wedding, the president of the United States released his birth certificate, and the notorious terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was killed. The only negative to these events is that they tend to push other great stories into the back ground.

How many of us remember the marksmanship of a Navy SEAL taking out a Somali Pirate to save the captured crewmen of a ship? What about those minors who were trapped in Chile? Has anyone thought about Representative Giffords recently? For a while raising the national debt limit was the only thing worth reporting in the United States. Where are the reports on the final space shuttle flight (temporarily brought back into the lime light because the commander is married to Representative Giffords).

There are many more events that can be the basis of stories and they keep coming every day. What if the NFL doesn’t figure out a labor agreement? What if baseball players have been having electrodes installed in their major muscles to improve reaction time and strength? No such thing has been suggested, nor do I have any idea how it would work, but fifty years ago, no one even knew what Human Growth Hormone was much less that it could be take as a performance enhancement for baseball.

One of the great advantages of writing is that you can make it all up. There have been plenty of alternate history stories; Hitler won, the south won, Julius Caesar was not assassinated. Make up your own; bin Laden escaped and successful targeted a dozen world leaders making him the de-facto world dictator, the President turned out to have been born on Mars or a scientist figures out how to make unlimited power by mixing used water bottles and cow manure.

If you have been concentrating on a serious subject and come to a dead end, write something silly. If you have been trying humor and just can’t get it write, comment on something in current affairs that just pushes your buttons. If you are constantly making political commentary, step back and actually think about what the world would be like if all of your ideas were implanted just as you wanted (be realistic, there are always consequences). There are always opportunities to write, not all of them planned. Take was is provided and let you imagination thrive.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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