Have you ever thought of yourself as an investigative writer? Think about the countless hours of research that you do from your computer. Sifting through facts and opinions to compile an exciting and organic article on the very same subject others have written on. While, all topics will be written on by various authors, how do you give yourself the upper hand and edge to stand out apart from the rest? Let me tell you a little story about what I found to be very lucrative and provided more facts than any other form of research I had done before.
One day, I was out and about running errands in town and decided to get an oil change with some money I had left over from the bills. As I waited, I pondered on types of articles I could create just from my day in town. The longer I sat there the more I thought about writing about these automotive men; what they did, how much they were paid, type of degrees and experience it takes in their field, etc. Then, I thought about how much research it would take to figure all that out, as I have never really gotten into the automotive sector in my writing.
With my creativity flowing and the overwhelming urge to write, I decided to put that creativity to use. If I wanted to research, what better place to do it than right where I am; in the heart of where it’s all happening. There was no better place than this automotive garage to gather my facts to comprise a masterpiece, but how? Then it came to me, investigative writing. Act like a real life reporter. Question those who are actually doing the job. Here they are right in front of me.
So, this is what I did. They were actually open to the idea and some felt like superstars for being interviewed; a win/win situation all the way around. I interviewed 3 to 4 of the current employees who, were from all walks of life with a common denominator of an interest. I asked about their jobs, salary, work environment, education and home life. No more than about 10 minutes with each of them and I had a notebook full of powerful information. No website was going to give me this firsthand information. I headed home and wrote a great article that attracts endless amounts of traffic. I receive emails from countless people about my article and have landed some jobs from it as well.
Now, when I am out and about, I try to ask more questions and get a feel for people and their jobs. This assists me in my writing, regardless of the subject. You never know where your next great article or eBook will come from. The possibilities are endless.
All it takes is a little initiative on your part to become an investigative writer. Think of it like talking to a friend. Don’t overcrowd your head with thoughts of pulling of a masterpiece; simply look at it as putting together the facts for people. Facts from first hand experiences. Become your own PI and jump into a new realm of possibilities through your writing. It’s invigorating, energizing and good for the soul. Too often, many writers become less social while trying to earn their bucks. This will also give you that opportunity to get out and socialize with others, all the while working on your next article. After all, where do you think the newspapers learn about their subjects? Sure, some are researched on the web but, others are recorded from talking with those who have first hand experience in any given area.
Don’t rule out the possibility of using this method of research and it doesn’t have to take away from anything. If you are already out running errands, you can simply gather your info from the places that you are visiting. Try it and you might be surprised by the results.