2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006: Named one
of the 101 best Web sites for writers by Writers Digest Magazine.
Write What You Know (And What
You Want to Know!)
Thereís no doubt that being a writer has made me a better
parent. No, I havenít trained my two daughters to quietly occupy themselves
with coloring books and crayons the second I begin a phone interview, nor have I
taught them to do laundry, vacuum the living room rug and wash dishes while I
peck away at my keyboard, deadlines looming. I have learned to pitch articles
on events that are happening within my family. Whether itís a clingy preschool
phase or a premature crush on an older boy, I have contacted experts for
information that could also help me in my personal life kind of like spending
twenty minutes with a psychologist and not having to pay the bill.
Have you ever had a cosmetician apply makeup and then go home and follow the same steps the next day? Watched a mechanic change the oil in your car and did it the next time yourself? Itís called learning, and thatís just what writers do. In fact, itís our job to sponge up information and divulge it to the thousands in a magazineís readership.
One of my daughters
suffers from a rare form of psoriasis. As a parent, I want to know everything I
can about Erinís condition. What medicines are best? Am I feeding her certain
foods that will cause her condition to flare up? What new treatments are on the
horizon? My daughterís dermatologist is a busy woman and sees a lot of children
with complex conditions every week. Does she really have time to focus on my
daughterís case? She tries, but how can one human possibly keep up with every
medical news release that comes across her desk? So I take it upon myself to
ask detailed questions and become familiar with the types of medication the
doctor may prescribe. I might be the most inquisitive mother but Iím also very
informed, and while Iím learning about Erinís psoriasis, Iím also thinking about
query topics and contacting experts for information to flesh out my queries. And of course while Iím interviewing those experts, I slip in a few questions
about my daughterís condition. The end result is an article that I can quickly
and easily write because I am so familiar with the topic. I throw in a few
quotes from sources that Iíve interviewed and hopefully the published article
will have helpful information for those who read it and at the same time Iíve
learned some new facts that I can ask the dermatologist about at the next visit.
Heidi Hoff is a freelance writer residing in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. For more information about Heidi visit her site at www.heidihoff.com