Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Take Your Writing Too Seriously... In Miniature Style II

Don't get me wrong; I do take writing seriously. But one thing about writing: while there are those projects you have to do, writing should also involve the things you love to do.

Yes, I do the serious stuff via writing for newspapers and occasional magazine articles, but along the way I've learned that I can also get paid for my hobby. Talk about a dream!

As a longtime miniatures crafter and dollhouse collector, I enjoy not only sharing my interest in my hobby, but also writing about it. I combined both interests in my latest nonfiction book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II.

The book includes profiles of other collectors, photos of their and my work, plus an assortment of how-to projects. It is available in ebook/pdf, and other formats for the iPad, Nook, Kindle and in print. See photos at link above, or you can preview it at Smashwords.

Writing on Topic
As many fiction writers know, it's usually the nonfiction work that pays the bills, unless you're Stephen King or Danielle Steele, or have been fortunate to hit it big in ebooks and on the Kindle. And while many special interest magazines pay on the lower end of the scale, it's still a good way to get some published clips, make some extra money, and have fun doing it. What's better than writing about your own special interest and getting paid for it?

While not everyone wants to write a how-to book, the fun of doing that is being able to experiment and try out the projects. So right now I am working on a unique project by one of the book's contributors, the fun being my own experimenting to make it in a completely different size. I think it's turning out well!

The funny part is that when someone asks what I'm doing and I say working on a miniature project, I can let them know that I am not goofing off. It is research so I can have my own samples on hand to show off the book contents. Honest.

Buy: Amazon

* Anyone else have any special interests or hobbies they like to write about? Please share!


Morgan Mandel said...

Thanks for sharing, Christine.

My almost-done manuscript, Forever Young - Blessing or Curse, isn't about a hobby, but was inspired by my life stage. I'd like to be young again,but know what I do now, just like the character in my book.

I also have a manuscript started about my dog, Rascal. I love dogs and want to share her story with everyone, but I've decided to finish one thing at a time!

Morgan Mandel

Milton Trachtenburg said...

My publishing credits come mostly from writing professional books about what I do for a living -- I am a practicing psychotherapist/administrator in the mental health field, but my fun writing, as well as some of my publishing credits, have always come from editorializing. For several years I wrote a column on mental health for a local newspaper.

At present, although a considerable amount of my time and effort is spend on my next book, I also write a column for my condo association's monthly newsletter for which I probably get stronger reactions than I get from most of my book and professional article writing.

I take on issues of substance which readers of this formerly "fluff" publication are not used to seeing such as: isolation in the middle of a crowd and responsibility within a community. I also take on lighter issues such as developing a conspiracy to get our house restaurant to us white instead of yellow American cheese on sandwiches.

In the less than an hour a month I spend composing the column, I truly have more fun that in the fastidious labor of writing for publication in a commercial market where each word must be parsed for content, meaning and possible repercussions since the intended audience is people with specific needs.

As a "journalist," as opposed to a "serious" book writer, I am able to turn loose my sense of humor and parody that which needs a bit of nose tweaking. And as illustrious colleages have said before me, "Never allow the truth to stand in the way of a good story."

CA Verstraete said...

Now you guys are still being "too serious" talking about writing. ha! I know what you mean though... you can't stop writing no matter what, and yes, it is enjoyable. (Well, sometimes!)

Morgan, love your dog book idea!
Milton, that proves that as long as you are writing about something you are interested in, it can be fun!

CA Verstraete said...

I tried tweeting but I keep getting an error message. Does it work for anyone else?

Debra St. John said...

Hi Chris,

I haven't written exclusively about a hobby, but sometimes I give my characters things to do that I like. (It also helps to lend some authenticity as I have actual experience in these areas!)
Line dancing, yoga, ATVing, etc.

Fun is important to make writing fun...

Barbara Weitz said...

Christine, how fortunate you've found a niche for writing things that produce income. I'm somewhat like Milton. My career keeps me in a serious and intense mode during my working hours, so my novel writing takes a light comedic jump. I'm sure he'd have a field day inside my brain!

Mary...write that dog story next. We dog lovers love them.

John Klawitter said...

Hi Christine
I'm currently nearly finished with a "How To" book on do-it-yourself filmmaking for the modern e-age. It's such an interesting subject to me I haven't stopped to think how I might publish it or if anyone would want to buy it. The thing is, I'm realizing the classic approach to story and characterization, pacing and good direction are as valid as ever. Maybe the tools have changed a bit, but the storytelling is the same.
John K.

Fiona McGier said...

Since I work 2 p/t jobs, with 3 kids in college, I can't take my writing too seriously. It's my release. It's the only thing that I feel that only I can do, since both of my jobs are such that anyone could replace me in them. But no one else can tell the stories that are in my head.

But I really hate that comment, "Do what you love and the money will follow." I'm still waiting...

Rebecca said...

This sounds like a fun book.

CA Verstraete said...

Neat hearing what everyone is doing! Yeah I know Fiona, still waiting on that million dollar idea. (It's in one of the emails that never reached me. I know it.) haa!

Helen Ginger said...

Plus, you'll have something to show off and attract people to your book signing table!

CA Verstraete said...

Hi Ginger, If anything, my table is pretty interesting. ha!

Thanks, Rebecca.

Deb Larson said...

Great idea! Versatility keeps us interesting - or is that interested? :)
DL Larson

Margot Justes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margot Justes said...

I don't know enough about anything to write a 'how to' book, but love writing about travel and art.


CA Verstraete said...

Hi Margo, art sounds interesting.... Dl, great observation, either way!

Maggie Toussaint said...

I don't have hobbies, per se, as all the stuff that used to be hobbies is now stuff I do fulltime: singing, yoga, and writing. I seem to be very good at growing dust bunnies and killing plants. Not sure how to make money out of that, LOL!

Farrah from The Book Faery Reviews said...

I hadn't realized that non-fiction would sell more than fiction. Hmmm. I'd probably do well at writing technical how-to's. Maybe I should pursue that??

Carol Gordon Ekster said...

Well as an educator of 35 years, now retired, I still can't help thinking like a teacher. My stories seem to continue that need to communicate with and teach children. I have more than 30 stories that I've written that are probably too didactic to get published. But I did just sign a contract this week for my second picture book, Ruth The Sleuth and The Messy Room. So I'll just continue writing from my teaching heart. And as for pay? Thank goodness I get a pension!

CA Verstraete said...

Maggie, dust bunny plants? ha! Sorry my "minis" mind is picturing it!
Farrah, sounds like a good idea, don't know unless you try?
Carol, good for you! I love the title!

Enid Wilson said...

Love your miniature and book cover, Chris. I wish I'm as talented. At the moment, when I'm not taking my writing seriously, I'm working in the advertising industry. It pays the bills and stress out my brain.

Chemical Fusion