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#IWSG How My Travel Book Took Me on an Unexpected Journey!

My travel book is taking me on a journey of its own!

I’m so dang excited: Three years ago, nearly to the day, I published my very first book. Unexpected Texas came out on March 2nd, 2014. Up until then, aside from a few small exceptions, I had only had my work published in magazines. So this was a great big step into the unknown!

Publishing my first book led to me teaching a class! (photo by Tui Snider)
Publishing my first book led to me teaching a class! (photo by Tui Snider)

Friendships, opportunities…

Long story short: my book hit #1 for Dallas – Fort Worth Travel on Amazon two days after its release and has pretty much camped out on that list ever since. It’s done quite well for me, not just in sales but also via opportunities and friendships that I would not have otherwise had.

For one thing, shortly after it came out, a librarian emailed out of the blue and asked me to give a talk about Unexpected Texas at her library.

I said yes, but I was terrified!

… and a surprising discovery!

Much to my surprise, I discovered that I truly enjoy speaking to audiences. I’m passionate about my writing and research, so it’s fun to share the stuff I’ve found. Even so, for someone who blushes easily and deals with anxiety and panic attacks, I never thought that public speaking was something I could do or enjoy. But there you go! (In fact, I’ve got so many tips now, I’m considering writing a little booklet to help other self-conscious authors get into speaking.)

My first book came out 3 years ago. (photo by Tui Snider)
My first book came out on March 2nd, 2014. (photo by Tui Snider)

Excited for the next stop on this unexpected journey!

Anyway, my point is that I might never have learned that about myself if I hadn’t started writing books. Sure, I wrote a travel guide, but I didn’t expect that book to take me on a journey, as well.

And today, three years after that book came out, I’m actually giving a lecture called “Exploring Unexpected Texas” over at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. (Although the word “lecture” sounds way more stuffy than what I hope to do!) Today’s class is actually the first one of seven “lectures” I’ll be giving at TCU in the next two months. Add to that the trio of speaking engagements I’m booked at during that time as well and that makes 10 speaking engagements for me this spring. Phew!

And, obviously, this month’s IWSG insecurity is all about the classes I’m giving! Wish me luck!

Has your writing taken you unexpected places?

I’ve been working like mad on today’s presentation, but my belly’s full of butterflies right now! I’ll let you all know how it went and what I learned from the experience when I write April’s IWSG post. And I promise to make the rounds and visit IWSG blogs as soon as I can! Until then, happy writing!

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

1-Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

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Tui Snider
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  1. Good luck with your lectures. I so want to call your Prof Tui now. ;)

    • Lol! The first class went great. I’m so relieved! Phew! As for being Prof Tui, Larry’s been teasing me like that, too! :)

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