Interviewing: Sometimes Less is More

I've over interviewed for an article I'm putting together on traveling with pets in an RV.  It's a 1200-word article which means 2-3 interviews would suffice.  I'm up to six.  My challenge now is to put all the information I've collected into a succinct article to the best of my ability without worrying about possibly having to injure the feelings of others if it turns out I can't use their information in the piece.

This is why I try not to over interview.  When people are kind enough to share their time and knowledge,  I don't like having to call and tell them that I couldn't fit them into my article. I think it's rude and shows poor planning on  my part. But I over interview sometimes out of a general panic (for lack of a better word). This is a new topic for me in a magazine I've never written for before.  So I want to make sure I nail the subject and therefore go into an information-collecting frenzy. This actually does a disservice to me as well.  I can't possibly insert all the information I've collected and if I try, I'll end up with a disjointed article with no flow or focus.  But I'm always loathe to leave out good information I possess.  It's better to have a focus, conduct the 2-3 interviews, write the piece and move on.

On the bright side, I'm interested in my topic and everyone I've talked to has been extremely helpful with some really funny stories.  I spoke to a woman yesterday who RV's with her 10, count 'em, 10 cats.  And I spoke to a woman who traveled for a year around the country with her two chihuahuas.  Great stories.

But sometimes less is more, and later today I will sit down and go through pages and pages of notes and try to figure out what stays and what must go.  It will all work out in the end.  It always does and I pull comfort from that.