One Writer’s Journey

December 5, 2014

Getting enthusiastic over an assigned topic

I just turned in my second book to Red Line Editorial.  When they contacted me about the first book, I was walking on air because the series was Ancient Civilizations and I got the Ancient Maya.  How cool is that?  My degrees are in anthropology and history so it was like they came up with this with me in mind.

When they contacted me about the second series, I took a deep breath and said yes.  The topic was World War II.  Yes, I’m a historian but this is not my favorite period.  Still I said yes and sent them my top three choices.  I got my #1 choice, Pearl Harbor, and got to work.  Soon I was following my family around telling them about the brilliant thing I had just read about the Japanese strategy, or why their code was so hard to break, or, seriously, how hopeless could we be?

It didn’t take all that long before I was finding something to love about my topic.  That’s what you need to do when you write something that’s assigned.  Find something to love.

For me, it generally isn’t all that hard.  I’m interested in a lot and am deeply curious – my husband would call it nosy.  How curious am I?  I saw a blog post about “What is a thaumatrope?” and clicked on it.  Yep.  A thaumatrope.  It could have been just about anything but it’s an awesome little spining optical illusion toy thing.

If you have a curious mind, getting interested in a topic is generally do-able.  Toss me anything history, geography, cultures, animals or early man and I’ll find an inroad.  If, on the other hand, you try to get me going on cars or finance, I’m going to have some problems.  Unless I can find a way to relate history.  Or geography.  Or cultures.

Those inroads don’t have to work for you because they’re mine.  What are yours?




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