Most writers stick to writing what they know. It’s simply an easier, faster route to take. No wonder it’s a basic principle of writing. Writing articles on subjects you have personally experienced goes quickly and easily. There are times, however, when the publication you work for wants something outside your writing box. How do you write about things you don’t have experience with? More importantly, how do you do so with prowess?
Leave your mud stick at the doorstep.
Lose the attitude. Don’t be a “stick in the mud.” The more you grimace and groan, the harder your day becomes. Rather than getting in touch with your inner curmudgeon, why not nix the negativity? By shedding that nasty attitude, you open your mind to the possibility that you may be good at writing other things too.
Have a willingness to learn.
One of the best things about writing outside the box is learning new things. Research becomes more about discovery than drudgery when you look at it as a learning experience. Welcome the free education you get when verifying facts and linking to evidence. You won’t get a degree for your trouble. That’s OK. Your brain won’t know the difference.
Get excited about taking a fresh approach.
New experiences can help make you a more well rounded writer. It’s more than just OK to work outside your little cozy box of thoughts. Who knows? You might find you have an interest in a surprising subject. If not, at least you’ll have something else to talk about at parties. Plus, diversity always looks good on a writing resume.
Are you hesitant about writing on a subject you have little experience with? Afraid you’re over your head? It’s alright to ask for help. Consult with an expert in the field. Or, just consult with a writer who often writes on the subject. Then, simply make sure you double check all your sources, just like you do with any article. Stop worrying. You’ll be fine!
Research first, then write.
When you have personal experience on a topic, you might write before looking for sources. I do sometimes. When writing outside your realm, take the opposite approach. Do extensive research that addresses multiple views before you write a single word. Verify all your facts using trusted sources. Otherwise, you’ll have written an entire article before finding out your assumptions were dead wrong.
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