Knowledge is power. Not quite true. Knowledge + action is power. As creatives, many of us are working on projects—novels, stories, or plays—in which some of what happens lies outside our experience or know-how. We need help to ensure that what we write is believable and accurate.
So sometimes, we need to take action and reach out for guidance and information from authorities on topics we need to know more about. We may need to go beyond Google or our own networks.
Just recently, in “The Miracle Morning for Writers”—a great how-to guide, I came across a list of services that can be helpful on the research front. Any or all of these can help spark your fiction or nonfiction. You can reach out to the experts available via email or better yet, pick up the phone:
• LinkedIn (LinkedIn.com) is the largest social network of professionals in a variety of fields and can serve as a reputable research source. Enter a phrase or word in the search bar and you’ll find a wealth of people with a background in a chosen topic.
• Help a Reporter Out or HARO (helpareporter.com) is a source widely used by journalists to find quotable sources for stories. It’s also generally available. You can describe a topic and use the site to solicit opinions from top authorities in an industry.
•. Just Answer (justanswer.com) is a source for experts who will answer specific questions for a fee. You can talk to a range of professionals, from lawyers and medical experts to military pros.
• Quora (Quora.com) is a platform that allows you to ask questions and receive answers from people with expertise in various fields. The site is free, but it does seem to attract accepted experts you can reach out to.
How wonderful that the world is full of answers to the questions we have! And that they’re just a click or a call away. Let’s take action to find them as we all write on!
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