Friday, October 22, 2021

Repurposing One Idea to Create More Content

Occasionally the stars align and everything falls on the same day, which is TODAY. Now, we can boohoo and say poor, pitiful me. I'm so stressed and can't do everything I need to do today, or we can take one BIG IDEA and repurpose it to fit all the niches we're trying to fill at the same time.

For me, my BIG IDEA for this week is that Castaway with the Cowboy goes on sale for .99cents today!! Shameless plug? Not at all! The sale, my Seekerville blog post, getting a newsletter out to my subscribers, sharing the deets on SM, all dovetailing on TODAY is what prompted today's blog.

Many years ago, I attended a workshop where the speaker showed us how to take one idea and write many articles on the same topic. For instance, if I remember correctly, he was an outdoorsman, and wrote about hunting and fishing. An example might have been that he'd go on a hunting/fishing trip. While he loved the idea of just taking off and enjoying his trip, by planning his work (his writing life) ahead of time, he could gear one article toward a fishing magazine, and maybe another to a foodie mag on how to prepare a delicious fresh-caught meal in the field, and even another article on packing for a relaxing trip into the wild. 

Another example for the cooks among us might be to cook a pack of boneless, skinless chicken in the crockpot, then make several meals out of the chicken: Chicken salad, Chicken and noodles, Chicken fajitas, etc. See what I mean?

It's truly an art to use this strategy to our advantage no matter what we're doing, and honestly, while I know how to do this in my head, I don't do it as often as I should, either in cooking, writing, or just day-to-day living and working.

So, how does it work?

First, either draw off a grid on a piece of paper or use a spreadsheet, which is what I did for these examples. Plan your strategy for whatever project you're working on. For me, this week's target date is/was TODAY and the one topic hinged on Castaway going on sale today.

Unlike the example of creating 5 meals from our cooked chicken, my chart for this week has been a work-in-progress. It started out with a few boxes, then as new things popped up, I added them in.

Once a project was completed, I highlighted it green. As you can see at the writing of this, there are some yellow boxes that need to be completed. Hopefully, they'll be done by the time this blog post goes life. We can hope! :) But, the most important got marked off. Scheduling a newsletter to go out, and finishing up this Seekerville blog which had a hard deadline of today. Actually, Seekerville is still orange on the chart, or whatever color that is. So, it gets changed to green now. Yay!

No, I'm not usually this organized or detailed. Most of the time, I'd just pencil this stuff on a piece of paper, but when I remembered the workshop where we planned out how to use one topic to query periodicals in different areas with varied subscriber bases (not that I wrote much for magazines), I felt it was a good lesson for us to revisit.

It goes without saying that this is a simple grid that would have been quicker and easier to just pencil on a piece of paper, but knowing I was going to blog about it made the spreadsheet (and screenshots) a better choice. And, we won't even talk about using flowcharts for this. Let's not get TOO crazy. Simple is better.

What are you currently working on where this strategy could help you? This week's meal planning? Promoting your latest novel? Or maybe even just starting a new project? Cleaning house? Decorating for fall? Or maybe just running errands this week, yes? Grab a piece of paper, draw a 6-8 block grid, and get to work.

And just in case you MISSED it, Castaway with the Cowboy

is on sale for .99cents!! Whoot!

>>>>   BUY HERE!   <<<<

CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn't afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn't mind raking. Raking hay doesn't take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that's the kind of life every girl should dream of.


  1. Great Post, Pam! Whew! You are one busy lady! I'm a wanna-be writer. I thought the writing part was hard, but it looks like the after writing part might be even harder.

    I first ran across this concept a while ago in a book from my local library called "How to Write Fast (While Writing Well)" by David A. Fryxell. It was published 30 years ago, but obviously, the information is still applicable.

    The principle is one that I don't really use in my writing itself. I have a hard enough time finishing one project, let alone 4 or 5 on the same topic. But it does work well in organizing my writing time. One way I use it is to group all my shopping and errands on one day - payday. This happens twice a month. The idea is to get the most bang for my buck (sheduling-wise) from my out of the house time. Of course, that requires that I'm organized with menus, shopping lists, and scheduling appointments (can you tell I'm a plotter, not a pantser?), but it's worth it. I spend two stressful days out and the rest of the month stress free and working toward making my writing dreams come true.

    Thanks for another peek into the lives of real writers, Pam. I'm so glad you ladies are here to show me the way.

    1. Good morning, Terri! Well, the after-writing part can be pretty hard, but it's not that way all the time. As is most things in life, the hard parts seem to hit all at once, which is pretty normal with most things in life I suppose. And, while release weeks/months and sale dates might sound busy, they are exciting times and what authors have worked long and hard for, so that makes it all worth the effort.

      Goodness, I'm not sure I could write multiple projects (a book, articles, how-tos, blog posts, etc.) at the same time on the same topic, but I have jotted notes for future use while researching and writing a novel. That way, I've got some good ideas in my folder for when the novel is published. I remember when Castaway first published that I wrote some blog posts about some of my research.... OOOOOHHHH.... I need to include links to those posts in my newsletter that goes out later today!!! Thanks, Terri! :)

      Girl, I hear you about organizing my shopping trips. I go as little as possible, and even (mostly) try to write my list in the order it's on the shelves at my local store, making the trip through the store go faster, at least most of the time. And, occasionally, I do the pickup order at Walmart. But since I have to drive 1/2 hour to get to the nearest Walmart, I can shop local for most things and it takes about the same amount of time. But, as long as we have the bare necessities, I will put it off as long as I can. Thankfully, there's a grocery store about 4 miles away, so I can make a quick trip for a couple of items and be back home in 20-30 minutes, but even then I dread it. lol Shopping is high on my list of being organized and getting the most out of my TIME spent!

  2. That cover! Had to buy it. Great post today.

  3. Where could this strategy help me right now? All of the above! Thanks, Pam!

    1. Hey, the night before I have grandkids, I put everything in my coffee cup (creamer, sweetener, etc.), put it in the fridge, prep the Keurig, and all I have to do is remember to put the cup under the spout and hit a button.

      Priorities, you know!

      And, some days that's about all the planning and strategic thinking I can manage! lol

  4. Every post you write gets my brain churning with ideas!

    Organizing is ongoing. Things change, new things pop up, new commitments present themselves...

    I stay organized with my bullet journal. I think I'm on my sixth year of using one now, and it has changed my life. This year, I started a separate bullet journal just for writing, and got a BIG one! 9" x 12" means I have huge pages to do my planning and scheduling.

    But back to the post - your chicken illustration spoke to me. I buy a whole chicken when it's on sale (97 cents a pound at our local grocery store!!!) It gives us several meals - I get at least four meals from one chicken for the two of us, more if you count three or four batches of soup made from the bone broth.

    And I can see how I can use the same concept for making the most of my writing. I've recently discovered a local magazine, and one of my goals is to start writing articles for them. What will that gain me? Hopefully a local readership for my books set in the Black Hills! I know other outlets are available, so I'll be seeking out what I can do here in my own backyard to promote my writing.

    Thanks, Pam!

    1. Ugh, Jan, you shouldn't have mentioned writing for local papers. Makes me think I should try to get a column in our local paper. Like I have time for that! lol

  5. Pam, your tips are always great! Every day I say I need to be more organized and LOL it never happens. Maybe some day I'll actually put your tips to good use :)

    1. Glynis, we'll both work toward being better organized, yes? ;)


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