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Needless to say, we all have interests that we’d like to concentrate on, whether that’s football, quantum physics or the wheel configuration of classic steam locomotives. For me, it would be a mixture of history and literature, perhaps with some music thrown in for good measure.

For a copywriter, the ideal would be to make a living writing about those specialities, but that’s rarely a practical option. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to make a good living writing about my interests, but for the time being I write about whatever my clients need copy for. There would be limits, I suppose, if I were asked to promote something I considered seriously immoral (not to mention anything illegal, of course) but fortunately I haven’t needed to make that choice yet.

Unless you’re an expert on a subject (and usually even then) writing about anything needs research. Now, there are two kinds of people in the world. Well, actually there are probably billions of kinds of people, depending on your criteria, but for current purposes there are two kinds: those who regard research as a chore, and those who regard it as an opportunity.

It’s easy enough to enjoy research if you’re learning about something you love. I write articles for pleasure about local history, and I love trawling through books, archives and websites to learn about anything from mediaeval manors to who ran a local pub two hundred years ago. As well as, often enough, finding something completely unrelated that I didn’t know before.

That’s research into a subject I love, though. What about when I have to find out about something I’ve taken no interest into in the past, and don’t intend to in the future?

The answer is that I still enjoy it. Researching a topic like claiming compensation for injuries is knowledge, just as much as any other, and all knowledge adds to who I am. You never know, I might someday have a use for it.

So it really doesn’t matter what the topic is, I’ll gladly research and write about it, and I won’t need to grit my teeth and think of the money. All learning is good.

Though, if anyone wants to pay me to write something about Hertfordshire history – well, that would be doubly perfect.

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