Some people have asked where I get my material from for Sunnyside articles. Do I sit down in front of a blank computer screen and wonder what would be a good choice for the next Sunnyside article? No, leaving that to deadline pressure is unwise. I am not without choices, but I also do not consider myself to have made the right decision every time. Here is the plan I use with reliance on the Lord for wisdom.
The Sunrise folder in my computer currently contains 23 items in the idea or rough copy stage. These ideas come from experiences I encounter, things I notice while on walks, thoughts that I believe the Lord grants me, news items, magazine articles or clippings I have collected over many years plus ideas from books I read. Each one of the items in the Sunrise folder will need a fair bit of work to even be a possibility. Some are discarded in the process as being unsuitable.
Once an article has been developed to the “possibility” stage it is moved into the Sunset folder. Currently that has 14 possible choices in it, but they all need a little more work to become suitable for publication, or at least sort of suitable. The aim is to make them just right for the time of year and effective in the way they are written.
I want them to be smart: Short, Meaningful. Appealing, Relevant and True. That is a tall order, seldom fully achieved. (I have read many long articles and books with up to 900 pages but in an on-line newspaper I wonder if the longer my article is the fewer will read it.) After submission the article joins the Sunnyside folder of currently more than 200 that have already been used. So that is the process.
For this I need help and wisdom. It’s a good thing that James 1:5 promises: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.