Finding a topic

I have been occupied with some bureaucratic things and trying to find a job, something I find very challenging, which lead me to stop posting texts on the blog this week. I did have a few posts already written, but reading them for the second and third times made me chose to delete them. They are not blog-material and definitely not topics worth writing about.

I always had problems trying to find stories worth telling from the journalistic point of view, mainly because sometimes I still find myself trapped in the same old approaches. Yes, sometimes, I feel I lack in creativity. I see myself trying to write pieces about how an authors life is related to his work or about literature and society, which are themes wildly explored from the theoretical and the journalistic perspective.

Those times, something that really helps me is to read newspapers and see what not-to-write-about topics, read blogs and see what they are talking about, research sources, go out for a walk. My teachers used to say it is impossible to be speechless if you are out there with pen, paper and maybe a recorder. Their answer to lack of creativity was to go out and live. Talk to poor people occupying empty buildings in the center of São Paulo to understand their point of view on housing public policies, just to learn more about real state speculation. Nothing new, but maybe you will meet an architect in the middle of the occupiers, or a teacher, who are there for moral and ethical reasons, not financial problems, and that catches your eye.

My teachers told me the world presents itself for somebody who is willing to get their feet dirty, walk around and just talk to people. Someone interested to get to know things, like how is it to live your life, your struggles, your political beliefs. I never understood that properly until I started traveling abroad and being a tourist. The kind of tourist that prefers experiencing a local’s life, not seeing a chinese walk around the Louvre with a camera on his shoulders, busier filming than actually living the present, enjoying the paintings, learning from it. I started appreciating more and more the french cafes and the talks people were having on the next table, the cab driver complaints, the moments where we find ourselves lost and the maps were all useless.

All I know is that I have been trying to follow their advices ever since, but sometimes I forget… This time I decided to write about it, to remind me of the importance of maintaining that fresh eye, curiosity and humility only a true tourist has. Even if the tourist is traveling on his hometown or the town he lives in.

What about you? What works for you when you want to find a topic to write about? 


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