Imagine this: You’ve finally scored a pre-interview call with a producer or editor. They liked your initial pitch enough to reach out, but they’re really interested in hearing what else you’ve got. Do your eyes go wide with panic, brain scrambling for something—anything—to say? Or do you say, “No problem! I’ve got seven ideas locked and loaded.”

The media, like opportunity, only knocks once: When you answer the door, will you be ready—or standing in your bathrobe?

The time to stock up on content is now. And the truth is, creating content is as much about habit as it is about talent—the more often you flex your creative muscle, the stronger it will be. This week, we’re throwing you three prompts to stretch and flex your old ideas into fresh content. Three prompts. Zero excuses. Let’s do this!


Mine pop culture.  Producers and editors are always looking for pieces that tap into what’s relevant right now—and using pop culture is a great way to make your topic resonate with audiences. Take something that’s buzzed about this week—a TV show, album release, Comeybowl—and use it as inspiration.  Look at how many op-eds you saw last week about how Comey’s experience with Trump mirrored what it’s like to be a woman in the workplace. Or how many experts have used mega-hits like Wonder Woman and Game of Thrones to shed light on their field of expertise.


What is everyone missing? Cassandra once famously yelled, “HEY! THAT HORSE IS FULL OF GREEKS, YOU IDIOTS!” (But, you know, in Homeric Greek). Be the Cassandra of your field:

  • What big problem are we ignoring?
  • What small problems do we dismiss that might have a huge impact down the line? What’s the one thing that—if we all just paid a little more attention—would change everything about X?
  • What does everyone assume is great, but is actually awful.

Write about that! For example, New York Times comedy critic Jason Zinoman recently wrote a brilliant counterintuitive take on Dear Evan Hansen, the most beloved Broadway musical of the season, called Dear Evan Hansen: You’re a Creep. Especially after Sunday’s TONY win for best musical, his article stands out.


Hack it. Write down five super simple, hyper-specific actions people can take right now that will change their life. In other words, give us five ways to hack (insert your field here).

Five things we can do right now to help us sleep better that aren’t “go to bed earlier.” Five easy, one-step things I can do right now to start a personal savings. Little life-hacks like this are a producer/editor’s dream. And look, while we both know you’ve got a brilliant thesis or book in you, segments and articles are all about small but potent bursts of information.

Now get out there and create some content!

1 reply
  1. says:

    Wonderful blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or
    go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any tips? Thank you!


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