Free Writing

A Writer’s Perspective


Daily, I find myself staring at a computer screen, writing queries to magazines,
following up with outstanding queries, composing notes from trips taken, and so
on. When I am not doing those chores, I am researching – unlike many writers,
not always on the Internet.

Once while on a trip with other travel writers, I heard a writer who was assigned to write a guidebook state, “all of my research is done on the Internet.”

That intrigued me. I was frantically working on a guidebook at that time. Noting the amount of time I had devoted to that project, the additional research trips,
interviews, phone conversations and e-mails invested, I was quickly seeing that
I was not even making minimum wage with the project. I listened more to the conversation and finally spoke up.

“How is it you do all the research for a guidebook via the Internet? You must live
in the area you’re writing about.”

She giggled. “Nope. Never been there, but the editor contacted me and the amount of time a research trip would take is not worth my time. And so, I just look online and when I find something, I write it.”

I was flabbergasted! “Straight from the Internet?”

“Yep.”

How do you confirm everything?”

Again, she laughed. “I don’t. And if you’re asking about stores, boutiques, and all
those things, I just make ‘em up.”

“Guidebooks aren’t fiction,” I reminded her.

She fluffed her shoulder length strawberry hair, turned and walked away.

Maybe I’m from the old school. I research everything, not just on the Internet.

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