Mining for Market Gems

By Claudette Young

Rabbit Holes Can Be Your Best Friend

Down amidst the realm of earthly writers lives a large White Rabbit. His sole purpose seems to be enticing unwary wordsmiths to join him in underground, pointless sojourns where distraction and wasted time abound and fruitful futures can be lost.

A well-trained and disciplined writer can ignore this rake of an adventurer and remain on point. Such discipline is applauded by fellow panderers of firmly grounded participles.

Yet, could such firm determination cost more than any small bit of temporary distraction?

Finding Gems in Underground tunnels

For anyone seeking subjects for articles, essays, short stories, or for added interest in novels, a gem here or there could solve problems and stoke the fires of potential. Rabbit holes can hold gems of all sizes—some polished and ready for mounting in a shiny new piece of written jewelry.

If a subject holds interest for the writer, allow the time to pursue jewels. Others will be interested in the same subject.

A question about sleeping accommodations on a yacht, for instance, affords many possible articles, comparative essays or even stories.

  1. How many and what types of cabins are possible on a forty-foot yacht?
  2. How luxurious are those cabins?
  3. Do they each have a private head/bathroom?
  4. How many people can the cabins host?
  5. How does the use of the yacht affect the number of cabins needed on such a boat and why does it matter?

Okay, so here are five legitimate subject questions. They can create the basis for work, either long or short, according to the depth of interest and the potential market desired.

But what else could you garner from available information?

Here are a few thoughts:

  1. What are the criteria for classification as a yacht—length, tonnage, accommodations, power plant, captaincy, etc.?
  2. What is the current largest yacht sailing today?
  3. What types of people own and sail on yachts?
  4. Where are most yachts built and why?
  5. Are many yachts used for commercial purposes (i.e., deep-sea fishing excursions, scuba exploration on reefs, etc.)?

The five possibilities above take a deeper look into the subject of these private boats. They also each have different possible markets.

The first could be used for a boating magazine aimed at the average lakeside weekend warrior who’s always wanted/dreamed of piloting such a craft across the open water. Sort of like the car enthusiast who fantasizes about dune buggies and adequate sand hills.

The second, third, and fourth could easily fit into a filler piece for children. A longer geography story also has possibilities for social studies education.

Number four also lends itself to the world traveler. On a trip to Taiwan, for instance, the traveler could call or stop in at one of several ship yards and perhaps get a tour of the facility. Something different in an otherwise uninspired stop-over.

The last inquiry holds little surprise for anyone really. Think of Magnum’s friend, Rick. While he managed a resort bar and restaurant, Rick also took guests out for deep-sea fishing jaunts as part of the resort service. That boat was a yacht, btw—trawler style. Many are used for this purpose. The service helps pay for both boat and upkeep, which aren’t cheap.

Taking Away a Bonus

One question can bring about an avalanche of future work. It’s up to the writer to pick and choose among the gems. Some will never find a new home on the page. Others will sparkle and cast their charm through the printed word.

The bonus received by the writer lasts a lifetime. The gems gathered and sprinkled through pages will have inspired others who don’t forget the source. The gems also reflect on the flexibility and creativity of their miner. With that reflection comes admiration and professional recognition.

Not a bad benefit for a bit of adventure in that White Rabbit’s warren.

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