To all those who commented in my last post regarding field research, or sent me a personal email in response, THANK YOU so much for all your encouraging words and guidance. I am seriously blessed by having friends like you guys. Overwhelmed with gratitude, really! You are awesome examples of generosity of knowledge and encouragement.
For those who struggle like I do with field research, the general consensus is that people are happy to talk about what matters to them, so just ask. This surprised me with how busy people seem to be in our generation. But perhaps that's the very reason why they like to share information about their jobs or experiences--it's a break away from the rat race of their normal life.
So, when Google and Library searches fall short with the information you seek, having clear questions, and a desire to truly listen to the expert is all you really need. Seek and ye shall find. Sound familiar?
Once again I need to take the me out of the equation and trust God to open the paths I need. Since it appears I'm not alone in the shyness factor in this big blogosphere, I want to share a portion of an email I received that sums it all up. Shirley Atchison sent my post over to a friend, Michelle Flippin, who in turn responded with a wonderful example of how to do field research as well as the following words of direction and encouragement:
"I would not stress the fact that you are an unpublished writer. If you are a writer, you are a writer. Tell the interviewee about what you have written, are writing or like to write. If possible, offer to give them a copy of the book once published or manuscript once copywritten. Offer to acknowledge their contribution. Most people will gladly answer your questions to see their name or something they said in writing.
My final word of encouragement is this: Your confidence is in Christ. He enables you to do anything related to your calling, including research when writing a book. Trust in Him to guide your questions, your words and your interaction with the interviewee."
Those wonderful words, and the way they came to me, blessed my socks off. I hope it does the same for all who have struggled like me!
Thanks again for all your input and sharing! As soon as I'm done this first draft (in less than two weeks with NaNoWriMo), I'm definitely contacting the Inn keeper in our nearby town to gather those tiny details that I need to bring my manuscript to life with a whole lot of God-confidence inspired by you all!
Surrendering to Him,