Writing About the Unknown and Unfamiliar
When I first started freelance writing I did what most writers do and focused on the topics I knew something about. In fact, that’s about all I wrote about, passing up a lot of potentially lucrative opportunities because I was too afraid of looking like a knucklehead, writing about something I had no experience or knowledge in. Over time this problem weakened and disappeared because I broadened my writing scope and realized new material was often invigorating. I also learned over time that much of the challenge was really just in my mindset towards the work and not the topic itself. Here’s how I did it:
Paradigm Shift – Get Paid to be Trained – Almost all of us have gone through some kind of training, whether it be in school or the workplace. You sit in a class, learn a new concept, and then you practice trying to apply it. Then, you leave the class and hope some day it will be useful. With new topic writing, you get a chance to train and be paid for it while applying what you’ve learned in a real-time situation. Not only does this build fast learning skills, it also teaches a writer how to manipulate new information quickly.
There Is an Art to Content Rewriting – It’s one thing just to take someone else’s information and repeat it. It’s quite another to rewrite the material with meaning and new application. When you take on a new topic, there may be lots of research information available, but a good writer figures out how to apply the concept in a way that makes sense for the client. The more a writer does this, the easier new areas of work will be in terms of adjusting and delivering product timely.
Failure Happens, Learn From It – Few people are so perfect that they can try something new and it works just the right way the first time out. Most people stumble, goof up, and need to try again. This is normal; the trick is not to make the same mistake again and again. If an article doesn’t hit the mark the first time its submitted, the writer should pay close attention to why and not repeat those issues again. Almost always, the second attempt is good enough to be accepted as a result.
Find and Use Good Research Sources – No matter how new a topic might be, if a writer has a set of good research sources, the article can be produced. Don’t rely on a given search engine for all the answers. There are plenty of library connections and free information databases that have a treasure trove of information on any subject. Good writers have a number of such resources to fall back on and research through quickly.
New, unknown topics or areas of writing don’t have to be avoided. Most writers have what it takes to tackle these challenges and produce great content very quickly. You just need to have a basic strategy that breaks down an unknown into manageable steps and have the right attitude towards the work.
Tom L has written over 4,000 articles for various content users in the last five years, a good number of which he knew nothing about until doing the research prior to writing.