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Your interests can be launching pads for writing books

February 21, 2013

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Dale Carnegie once wrote a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. The basic premise of the book centered around individual success which could be achieved by being nice to others. Above all, a person should show an interest in other people. And one of the best means of doing that was to allow, even encourage people to talk about themselves. After all, everyone’s favorite subject is his or herself.

Hey, it’s true.

Think about the people you know who talk endlessly about themselves, their lives, their triumphs, their frustrations, their love lives, and of course, their kids. If you’re like me, you sometimes feel like hitting these people over the head. Okay. That’s mean, I know. But consider this, even if you’re not one to talk about yourself, I have a sneaking suspicion you think a lot about yourself.

Some authors use themselves as subjects for their books all the time. Just take a look at the memoirs, the autobiographies, the novels that get written that barely conceal some real life. Why not dip into your own life to write a book?

I’m not saying sit down and bang out a tell-all, memoir, although that certainly is one route to take. What I’m saying is, your background, your interests, your experiences can be starting points for a book.

I love baseball. I’ve played, watched and read about the game for more years than I care to recall. Beyond that, I have a real passion for baseball. Naturally, I’ve written books, blogs and articles that have had something to do with the national pastime.

What are your interests? Have they been a big part of your life? Are you passionate about those interests? Write about them. Use them for stories.

Maybe you like to garden. Perhaps those tomatoes you plant and grow and nurture every year in your backyard are what excite you more than anything. Build a story around these tomatoes. Maybe the neighbor kids vandalize your garden. Your prized plants are destroyed. You are beside yourself. You call the police and have the miscreants arrested. Later, you learn about these kids. They come from broken homes and have all sorts of grief and pain to share with you. You see? Who knows where those tomato plants can take you?

As I often say, writing is a journey. Take a trip today with your writing. You may not know where it sends you. But who cares. That’s part of the fun of writing.

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5 Comments
  1. I definitely have to agree. Not only is it easier for me to write about things that I have some sense of knowledge in, but it makes for richer texture within the writing. Very nice blog.

    • I think a lot writers try to write about stuff they think others will find interesting. Be true to yourself and it will come out in the writing.

  2. love the expression ‘hitting the people over the head’. Just imaging this made my day…
    Your posts are so inspiring, glad I am following you

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  1. Your interests can be launching pads for writing books | mreuther

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