When you are writing, especially fiction but with non-fiction as well, you often find yourself stuck in the facts. What I mean by that is you aren't quite sure what something is called, or what some place looks like. You sit there trying to move past it, but all you can do is wonder about that thing.
So, what are you supposed to do? Research can help. Look stuff up on the internet, go to the library and read a book. All of these things can help, and work well. But, sometimes I think there is an even better solution. Call an expert. Or better yet, go and visit them in person.
The thing about writing is it is quite a lonely life. You sit at your computer alone. You search through your mind and try to convey your experiences through words. You sit and re-read and re-read your book, or article, or post, until you feel like you captured something. Then you send your work to your editor from your computer and then you start again.
Hopefully, you are in a writing group, but for the most part you don't have a lot of human interaction as an author. This is why calling experts or meeting with them in person is a good option when you need some facts.
Another good reason to go about research this way is that hearing information from another person can be a lot better than just reading it. Being able to hear the way someone talks about something can really inspire you to write about it. Hearing the terminology and the passion with which an expert explains something can really help you to convey it in your writing.
Now, you may be thinking, “No one wants to be bothered by some writer wanting to pick their brain. They have better things to do.” Yes, this may happen, but for the most part people love to talk about things they are experts in. The fact is that we all so rarely get to share our expert knowledge, especially with people who really want to hear what we have to say. Most of the time whoever you call will be delighted to get to share their knowledge with you.
There are many different kinds of writer’s block. Some types you can move past with exercises. Some types you have to ride out. But, when confronted with this type, where all you need is some expert information, the best way to get past it is to call an expert. You will get the information that you need, you will get some much needed human interaction, and you may just be inspired by your conversation to write an even better description than you would have had you simply read the information in a book.
So go ahead. Make the call. The worst thing that can happen is they say “no.” The best thing that happen is you will make your writing better.
Have you ever called an expert or met them in person? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.