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Which Came First? The Interest or the Research?

June 23, 2010

Today’s guest on Wicked is George Allwynn! We met on a terrific site called savvyauthors.com. I was immediately captivated by his witty forum posts and eloquent conversational style in his comments. His mastery of the English language leaves me sputtering to pen an equally well thought-out response, but I’m usually left just hoping I didn’t offend anyone. Please welcome this talented writer as he graciously shares his take on our topic this week.

In a world of tough choice psychological questions, people often ponder:

What is good/what is evil?

Who’s on first/what’s on second?

Or the all time, gut wrenching decision: paper or plastic?

On the corner of the carpet I claim as my ‘writeful’ domain, the current issue boggling my brain has been: When it comes to hobbies, which came first, the interest or the research?

In all seriousness, this subject was of no consequence a week ago. Never had I given the matter a second thought. Until I was asked about hobbies and their general influence upon my craft.

After much reflection, I came to a startling conclusion.

Most, if not all, of my hobbies began as a result of intense research done out of the necessity of getting an accurate account for a story idea.

Writing has, and will always be, the testosterone that pumps through my body, compelling me beyond what I ever dreamed I’d achieve. Even when I strangled my basic urges in pursuit of religious training, the ravenous drive to put pen on paper hovered in the background, sneaking out disguised as Sunday School lessons or creative biblical sermons.

Taking into account I belong to the house of ‘methodical writers’, it is hard to separate the writer from the story. The discovery of ‘new thought’ or the perusal of a ‘new idea’ works like an addictive drug. I latch onto my interest, riding the adrenaline high for all it’s worth, with an almost orgasmic satisfaction cresting when I feel I’ve gleaned enough to put the theory into practice, working out all the kinks before I add it to my arsenal of story ideas.

Therefore, I believe it is safe for me to assume my story research is a hobby in and of itself.

Beyond that, hobbies wax and wane in my life, like Grandmother Moon. Interests such as drawing, community theater, quilting, survival skills and gardening have taken a backseat for a few years, yet the internal feelings and knowledge I carry with me has, on an occasion, bled through into a story or two.

There are my current hobbies, such as tattoos (I have two and want more), quotes from writers (instant motivation), old photographs of gay or lesbian couples (a treasure trove of inspiration), anything about the Kokopelli, and things related to Ernest Hemingway which have wormed a niche for themselves as a result of story investigation.

Mrs. Jones, George's current writing companion

And then there are the hobbies that, no matter how hard I try to remember, seem to have always been a part of me. Those time-honored, prized friends include reading, cats, collecting magnets and inspiring (to me) photos, green living, classic comedy/horror movies and church rummage sales.

After obtaining enlightenment on the current subject, when I look over my story portfolio it’s rather strange I never noticed what is now so blatantly obvious.  Whether finished, incomplete, in letters or posts, I notice the influx of my hobbies influencing my writing.  My writing, of course, has affected the way I live life. And the beat goes on. Effect and cause. Cause and effect.

In my mind, it’s sorta like the universal image of infinity represented by the Lemniscate. There is no end, there is no beginning. It’s just a lazy, twisted circle, sloping down, curving up, abundance feeding, breeding a myriad of paradoxes, continuing on forever.

Isn’t being a writer a delightful hobby of self discovery?

Thanks so much for joining us George! George has three holiday novellas due out later this year. He focuses primarily on GLBT romantic comedy with elements of suspense or paranormal. To learn more about George, please stop by his Twitter, Facebook, his new website (still under construction), his personal blog that will launch the end of this week, and for a variety of fun stuff check him out on you tube under ButchBluBoi.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kris M permalink
    June 23, 2010 12:17 pm

    I met George at Savvy Authors and I’ve also spent a bunch of time with him in workshops. He is a hilarious guy, full of spunk and a a great friend. His writing is wonderful and I’m so happy for him with his novellas. Great job as a guest blogger today!!

    For me, my hobby was my writing because I worked full-time as an attorney. Then a health scare put my life quickly into perspective and now I write full-time. With an educational background in science, law and history, I’ve always been a ‘biggie’ on research. But as I learned in law school, unless you’re passionate about the subject, research isn’t fun. So I guess it would have to be that the interest for a story idea led to the research which led to writing that story.

    So again George and I agree — like we always do!!! Interest, definitely interest.

    • George Allwynn permalink*
      June 23, 2010 12:57 pm

      WOW!

      My first comment (is it too unprofessional to ‘squee’?)

      Sometimes, my research becomes too addicting – to the point it starts to interfere with my time spent on writing the story. So, I’ve had to learn the fine line between what is really needed for research, and what is me, getting lost in the sauce or procrastinating.

      Am I always successful? No. Especially if I’m stressing out about something in real life. In order to let go of some of that steam, I jump in head first, into researching something — even if it’s not current to the story I’m working on — it could be useful down the road (so I convince myself!)

      …0h, and Kris, I’ll pay you that 50 bucks for all those nice things you said about me later….

  2. June 26, 2010 3:03 am

    HI George, I just love that idea “On the corner of the carpet I claim as my ‘writeful’ domain”. Thanks for stopping by, I loved the post!

    • George Allwynn permalink*
      June 26, 2010 11:06 pm

      Thanks, David!

      Ever once in a while, my brilliance will shine through my dull exterior!

      Don’t get old, David. It suxs.

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