Something similar happened to me last year when I was working on a series for Google authorship. I had my dense whiteboard outline finished, but I needed a hook.
Some uncommon theme to tie all the articles together. That theme appeared in the character of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
He would become the mascot of the series. Our ideal. Our standard. The shadow that swept across every paragraph.
And I stumbled upon this idea by following a rabbit trail that terminated on his entry in Wikipedia. I had no reason to read the article. But I was curious and bored.
Besides, I had a hunch.
It was a long entry, but Thompson is enough of a wild card to even make a Wiki entry entertaining. Fortunately I landed on what I was looking for in no time, a quote about obscurity.
I leaned away from laptop, looked at the ceiling, and smiled. “I found it. I can’t believe I found it.”
“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says, ‘you are nothing,’ I will be a writer.” Hunter S. Thompson
It was an accidental insight, a discovery I couldn’t control, but nurtured by way of constant curation. As if that is what my entire life is all about. The sieve engaged every moment of my waking day.
In other words, nothing is sacred. Swallow the world around you like a renegade sink hole. You just never know where you might discover your next big idea.