Yes, it’s hard to come up with a new way to write about any seasonal topic. Believe me, I know. I wrote for newspapers for 18 years and certain things had to be covered annually: the state fair, fishing season, the upcoming school year, “The Nutcracker,” the Iditarod, and on and on and on.
Pretty sure that I’d have been slapped if I’d turned in an article that began with “It’s that time again.”
If you want to be read, be different. Anybody can – and does! – write stuff like, “It’s that time of year again: The kids are getting out of school and you’re wondering what to do about child care.”
Look for another entry point. Here’s how I addressed that particular topic for MSN Money:
“Planning to pay a local kid or neighbor woman to watch your kids this summer? Make sure you’re doing it legally. If you pay more than $1,800 in cash per calendar year, you’re required to pay federal (and maybe state) wage taxes.
“The bad news: You’ll need to do an actual payroll, and the tax payments will add about 10% to your weekly child care costs.
“The good news: Tax breaks may cover that amount, and if you don’t want to do the paperwork you can hire it out.”
And the headline:
Nanny taxes – are you breaking the law?
Pretty hard for a parent to ignore, huh?
It can be tough to come up with new ways of telling the same stories. Yet if you don’t do this, people won’t be very interested in reading you.
So don’t cop out with “It’s that time again!” Just tell us what time it is – and do it creatively.