If you’ve decided to make money online writing, you will likely get involved in interviews and discussions with others. There are certain problems that every writer faces at some point during their career. It’s worth being ready for them, because they will strike at the worst possible times. Here are five problems to prepare for as a journalist, blogger or writer.
The Tape Recorder Not Working
Before you go to any interview, meeting or discussion, check your tape recorder. There is nothing worse than relying on that and then finding that it didn’t work after all.
There are ways to turn your phone into a backup tape recorder, or you could take some notes anyway. Check the batteries before you go, and test the settings to make sure they’re perfect for your needs.
Your Pen Not Working (Or You Can’t Find One)
There is never anything wrong with being over prepared. Before you go, never rely on your trusty Parker fountain pen. It could run out of ink at any moment.
Make sure you take extra ink. In fact, to avoid the mess of switching cartridges, just take extra ballpoint pens for the sake of your note-taking. It will save time, mess and make you look extra professional.
Sources Getting the Interview Time Wrong
There is nothing worse than planning your day around your interview or source, only to find they got the wrong time.
In some cases, they can get the whole day wrong! It’s worth sending a complementary email the day or so before, with a gentle reminder. Try something like “I’m looking forward to our talk on…” If there is an issue, your source or interview should email back clarifying the date he/she thought it was on. You can then plan ahead and reschedule if you need to.
The Source Not Answering the Question
There are times that your source will not answer the question. They want to discuss other aspects of their work, or will want to go into more detail than your article needs.
This can work out to your advantage as you could get more articles out of the interview. If you have the time, let your source go on and be polite. If you don’t have the time, remind them of the slot you agreed on beforehand and explain you have a lot of questions to get through. It could push them to get on with the answer to the question.
The Questions Asking When a Story Is Published
It happens. Sources or the reps are so excited about the story that they want to know when it will be published.
They bug you so much that you just want to scream at them to stop. It’s important to be upfront and honest. Explain that it is not in your editor’s hands, and you will try to find out the timing. That doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to tell them. Once you do get a date, tell them and ask them to keep an eye out on that date.