A pleasant side effect to writing
Back in November, the IWSG writing question of the month was “What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?” I didn’t see the question until after I’d written my post, but it really got me thinking… So here’s my answer:
*drum roll, please* After much thought, I’d have to say my favorite thing about writing is the wonderful friendships it has brought me – first through Twitter, and later through this blog and the various books I’ve published. While making friends was not my main goal for writing, it has come as a very pleasant side effect to all the solitary hours spent researching and writing that we authors know all too well.
Last week, for instance, a Houston playwright named Donna Latham contacted me. Donna came across me while researching the 1897 UFO Crash in Aurora, Texas. Since I live close to the historic graveyard where this alleged space alien is buried, Donna invited me to meet up during her writing research trip in this area.
She even likes hats!
However, if I hadn’t started publishing books about the strange things I’ve found here in Texas, we never would have met! I can hardly wait to see what her play about the Aurora UFO incident is like. (For more about her check out Donna Latham.)
Donna and her husband, Nick, dropped by our house for espresso and pastries before heading to the historic graveyard in Aurora. It was so much fun hanging out with another writer, especially one who gets just as excited I do about quirky, offbeat and overlooked legends and lore. Not to mention that Donna’s a great conversationalist and, like me, she loves hats.
January’s Question: A Writing Rule Worth Breaking
Donna also loves to research and writes a lot of non-fiction. Another thing we agree on is how the old saying, “write what you know” often doesn’t apply to our non-fiction projects. We both derive so much pleasure from learning from our research that we think that (when it comes to non-fiction, at least) the saying should be, “write what you want to learn about.” I only wished she lived closer!
Speaking of graveyards…
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This month’s writing insecurity
As far as my writing insecurity this month, it’s a variation on my usual worry that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. In particular, I really feel like I need to get my field guide to cemetery symbols published this year. At the very latest, I want copies in hand when I speak at the Southern Monument Builders Association conference in June. It’s a little intimidating! That said, cemetery symbolism is a huge subject and I just keep learning new things about it. I’d rather put out the best book that I can than something hasty. (Of course, I’ve been working on this book for over two years now.) Sure, I can revise it over the years, but I want it to be a really helpful reference from the get go…
Carefully setting goals this time
Obviously I need to make some clear goals for 2017, but I find myself hesitating… Why? I think it’s because I tend to treat goals like an all-you-can-eat buffet and just heap them on my plate in January. This year, however, I want to be a little more restrained, like someone with a healthy food plan. I want to have fewer goals, so that I can really, really hone in on them. Is there a name for this approach? It’s a new thing for me! How do you go about goal setting? (I actually had a bit of a goal setting epiphany yesterday, if you’re interested!)
How’s your writing going?
So, that’s my IWSG post for January. In the meantime, how’s your writing going?
What is IWSG?
IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this:
“Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh
Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.