Feeding your specialism: finding enough to write

The problem: you’re writing about a particular topic so much that you become known as an expert. Perhaps you’re not, but you’re more expert than most people so you get asked more, so you get the chance to write more. Since this is hopefully a topic you’re interested in and especially if you are also being paid, this is all very good news.

Except it means you have to keep coming up with the goods. Finding new material, finding new things to write about. I was trained as a journalist when the job required you go out and find things and I lament that now it’s more a job of finding other people’s articles online.

But here’s someone else’s article online. It’s about how to find other people’s articles online. Before this gets too meta, it’s also about feeding your interest so that you can find these and your favourite subject doesn’t become a chore to you.

[Once] your career is up and running, suddenly you face a new challenge: finding the enough stories for your specific beat. Becoming a science writer seems like a great idea until you realize you have to come up with, say, 52 unique science-related stories a year. How do you keep it up?

…How do I find the best stories for these beats? In my case, it comes down to a three-pronged strategy: reading news, following my interests, and asking questions.

Every weekday, Monday through Friday, I publish two stories on The Billfold. How do I come up with 10 new personal finance stories every week? I read a lot of news. Every morning, I get up and start reading sites like Slate, The Atlantic, and The New York Times to look for topics I can turn into stories.

Ask a Freelancer: How Do I Find Enough Stories for My Particular Beat? – Nicole Dieker, Contently (24 February 2015)

Do read the full piece.

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