Living and Giving

Dear Pamela: How Do You Come Up With Ideas For Blog Posts?

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On Thu, Feb 22, 2018 at 11:29 PM, Laine Caruzca wrote:

Dear Pamela,

How do you come up with your ideas for blog posts?

Best,
Laine

Dear Laine,

Thank you for your question! Writing actually takes a lot of listening. If you want to be relevant, you need to be very observant, and watch people and situations. Then you will understand what people need to hear.  There are three areas that help me.

First, I read a lot, and from many different sources. When I was speaking at Duke\’s Business-Oriented Women last week, one woman asked me what I read. I do mix it up: I read The Economist for global insights; Brad Stone\’s The Everything Store about Jeff Bezos startup mode at Amazon; The Tough Minded Optimist by Norman Vincent Peale.  I read from different sources online such as financial year-end reports of Warren Buffett, venture capitalist blogs, The Information, Chinese, India and growth economies news.  I also read about Y Gen, leadership, new inventions, heartfelt stories, inspirational stories and tragedies that must be overcome.

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What this does is allows me to put together a better view of different aspects of our world, and what the needs are.  Then, I can write about news that isn\’t well represented; I hope to inform people of what they need to know about challenges. Then, I try to share what they can do about it.

Second, I \”listen\” in the workplace. What am I seeing on my own team at UniversalGiving? Where do they need to grow, and what lessons in management are we teaching them? Where am I growing as a leader? I write to these lessons so I can help other leaders who are leading. I always want to be helping the next generation of leaders in social enterprise, or in any sector of business, nonprofit, or philanthropy.

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Third, I listen inside. When I am quiet and reflecting, I let thoughts come to me. My mind might range over a video on the web, a conversation with someone at the community center, what I am working on, a comment from my nephew about his soccer team… All of this builds into: What am I learning in my own life and observations? What deeply moves my heart? What can help the world?

I then write to help encourage others. Sometimes it might be to help someone overcome a challenge, see a topic in a new way, let go of a grudge, take a new approach, make a career change, get out of a cul-de-sac.

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The point is to make some type of thoughtful, positive, forward-thinking change.  My purpose is to uncover who needs help, and where in the world — and to hopefully provide some inspiration and insights.

Keep up your great work, Laine — a great question and I always love hearing from you.

Pamela

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If you have a question on leadership, philanthropy, social enterprise or CSR, email Dear Pamela at dearpamela@duke.edu! We look forward to hearing from you.

Laine Caruzca is an intern at UniversalGiving helping lead our NGO efforts.