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October 24 2010


Story ideas (from Oz) 10.24.10

I “friended” a random person on facebook recently…and since have been reading his postings with great interest. So this week’s story ideas are courtesy information garnered from him.

Peter Brown is a clinical psychologist in my hometown, Brisbane, Australia.

Today he posted a Courier Mail story on how fear of pedophiles is putting all men in the danger of being accused. This story has been done over here…but some good quotes nonetheless.

But moving on…

I LOVED this one. How long does it take to form a habit?

Story idea – everyone, but everyone, has bad habits they want to lose and good habits they want to start using. Want to loose weight? Stop smoking? Be a nicer person? Quit chewing your fingernails? In order to be successful, you have to get in the HABIT of doing what cha wanna do. And that takes time. How much time? According to Brown’s posting:

Ask Google and you’ll get a figure of somewhere between 21 and 28 days. In fact there’s no solid evidence for this number at all. The 21 day myth may well come from a book published in 1960 by a plastic surgeon. Dr Maxwell Maltz noticed that amputees took, on average, 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb and he argued that people take 21 days to adjust to any major life changes.

Good facts…interesting too because it explains why so many fail…they just don’t have a winning habit.

Here’s another one. Do you have a blankie? A bear or some over-loved worn-down object from your childhood that you just can’t let go of?

Psychologists call these items “transitional” objects…

objects that people feel a bond with, despite the fact that the relationship is, by definition, one-sided.

And these emotional attachments to objects is intense…the research Brown quotes shows that people become disturbed when they just cut up a photograph of the object they are attached to.

So the story idea here: are there folks in your community who (will admit to) have a “transitional” object they still hold on to. Who are they – why do they still have this lovey, blankie, bear? Do they hide it – are they ashamed of the child-like attachment? (what shape is it in?)

That’s it for now…but if you want to develop your own story ideas, never be afraid to listen to everyone you know. Last summer I was reading a reprint of a story from the LA times in my local paper…the story connected with me…and is now in my sights for shooting in the next month. Last night my husband and I were playing cards with his college roommate from 38 years ago and I found a story in his workplace – he owns a leather factory, making primarily belts but also fashion items with machinery more than a century old. Yes, we newsies are vultures…we eat our own young. But we provide great stories for our audiences!

Oh…and thank you Peter from some food for thought. I really do enjoy your blog and facebook postings.

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