I know, I know – we’re supposed to write what we know, first and foremost, and I’ve done my fair share of that, including a whole book on how small businesses can use the Internet, an article on meadmaking, and dozens of shorter pieces about topics that I knew a little something about.
But I enjoy taking things in a different direction with my writing, too.
As a person with very widely divergent interests, it’s easy for me to get sucked into studying up on a topic that grabs my attention. Now, I have an excuse to do so – it’s for my novel.
I’ve never seen a tobacco plant in person in my life – but after writing The Declaration, I’m willing to bet that I could raise one to maturity successfully. I’m also willing to bet that I could not make a wrought-iron fireplace poker or shear a sheep or build a birchbark canoe — but I have a deeper appreciation for those who can and do practice such arts.
I’ve picked up all sorts of interesting tidbits in the course of my writing, and they’ve enriched my own experience of the world. I hope that they do likewise for my readers, so that I have ample opportunity to go on learning more about the topics that grab my fancy.