I have been detecting for almost forty years, and writing about it for almost thirty. The thrill of finding a coin, a treasure, no matter it’s worth, is what makes keeps me going. Researching sites, studying local history books, looking for clues are also treasures unto themselves. The entire process is fun, informative and time well spent, not just for me, but thousands of others too. Whether or not we become materially rich is really not that important. We become richer because of all that we’ve learned and all that we’ve experienced in the process. If you want to add even more enjoyment to your pastime, write about it! Yes, you heard me...why not put your in-the-field experiences into words? Whether you have been detecting one, two five or fifteen years, it doesn't matter. You have something to offer other treasure hunters. You may not think so but in fact you do. Let me explain...
Over the years I've been asked by the folks at Western & Eastern Treasures to consider writing articles for a particular issue (especially coinhunting issues and gold & silver), and my response has always been..."I've said about all I can. After twenty five years, what more can I say?" Their answer, and it's a good one .....newcomers are entering the pastime every day, and while you may have said it before, they have not read it. When I think of it that way, I acquiesce and write the article. So, let me now encourage you as well to become a treasure hunter/author, and no, the publishers have not asked me to write this....
Every time you go out with your detector it's an adventure. Whether or not you find anything of value is immaterial. It's still an adventure! The entire process of deciding where you are going, why you are going there, what you expect to find, and the end result is a story. Granted it may not be an exciting story, but it could still be useful and informative.
Let's assume you went to a site, and you found exciting things. Needless to say that alone is worth sharing. Everyone likes success stories. Write about your initial interest in the area, your research into it, and your effort to gain access, if it was private land. Share with the reader the layout of the site, what clues, remnants, still remained. Tell them about your detector settings and choice of searchcoils, why you chose them, and about your finds...what they were, how deep they were, and what sort of signals they may have offered. On the flip side, assume you found absolutely nothing at a site. That too could be informative IF you explain your lack of success. In other words, was the trip uneventful because your research was not accurate? Was it a failure because the site was loaded with trash or not even accessible. Was it uneventful because others had already detected the site? Was it perhaps you had the wrong equipment (you forgot to bring your larger coil, wrong detector for that site, etc.) Writing about your failures may not sound exciting to you, but it just might assure others reading your article that they are not alone, and you would be surprised at how many have been there and done that.
Another topic you might consider writing about....your equipment! Just perhaps you have a metal detector that you feel extremely comfortable with, and have learned a trick or two that enhances it's capability. I know over the years I have learned things from others that have helped be a better detectorist, and often it was just re-setting a control here or there, or utilizing a different search mode or coil. No matter the detector manufacturer or the model, there are those in the field who have found "new" ways to make it work better. If you are one of those, share it with the readers of the magazine.
Another way you might inform others is to share your research techniques. After all these years of detecting I feel certain that 75% of my success has been because of my initial research. Yes, I had sites that yielded a lot of coins happenstance, but the majority were because I took the time to research before venturing out. I know you have also found this to be true, but perhaps your initial process was different than mine. Well, guess what? I'd like to know about yours if you care to share it! Why not tell about it within the pages of a magazine? I would appreciate it, and I am sure many others would too.
Are you a coinshooter, a relic hunter, a bottle collecter or, a prospector? Whatever you call yourself you have something to offer. Each area I just mentioned dictates an entirely different approach, an entirely different technique, and that means you are talking to an audience that is also interested in that particular field. I cannot begin to relate to relic hunting. I have done a little, but not enough to feel comfortable writing about it. That doesn't mean I don't want to read about it, and that I don't want to get more into it at a later time. The same goes for prospecting. I am primarily a coin hunter, but I do enjoy reading about the other areas of this pastime, and each time I do it wets my appetite to participate.
Another topic? What you do with your finds AFTER you've found them. In other words, if your finds needed to be cleaned, what process did you use? How did you eventually display your finds, and what did you do to insure they were permanently free from long term storage damage? I have been to club meetings and treasure shows and was amazed at the various types of permanent displays. Here again I would love to know more, and I am sure others would too.
If I might have wetted your appetite to write about your pastime, do it. I found that writing about treasure hunting became another positive part of it, and one that I have enjoyed over the years. If you'd like to know more, write or email Western & Eastern Treasures and request their writer's guidelines. They are easy to understand, and very doable. Also remember that photos are always a plus. Visually seeing what you've found, or where you have hunted is a plus for the reader, and pretty much everyone has a digital camera today. Next if you have a computer and a word processor, start writing! Writing for a magazine is not going to make you rich, but it will make you a better communicator, a better speaker (should the occasion arise) and a treasure hunting teacher. Remember you don't have to be an expert. No matter your years in the pastime, your successes, your failures, you have something to share with all of us. I am looking forward to reading your story in a future Western & Eastern Treasures issue! Now, go do it.
To obtain a Freelancer’s Guideline sheet write to Western & Eastern Treasures, Peoples Publishing, Post Office Box 219, San Anselmo, California 94979, or contact them via their websie Western & Eastern Treasures.