|Wolf Moon Gunnar Woolenbrau|
The best tip I can give prospective writers is this: write about things you like, especially at the beginning of your career and especially if you write books. It makes sitting at the keyboard for hours on end so much more enjoyable. I've learned that with proper motivation (the need to earn money to feed my horde of animal friends) I can research and write about anything but when it's a topic I love, it's much, much easier.
Writing Homegrown Pork has been a push. I don't like to think about using animals for food and this book, more than anything else I've ever written, is precisely about that. Although, collecting antique recipes for this book has been fun. I find them in vintage cookbooks archived at Feeding America; The Historic American Cookbook Project website. That's a definite perk for writers: you'll discover some seriously cool resources while conducting research.
But don't think that even if you're experienced in the subject you write about that you won't have to do a lot of research—you will. Editors expect writing based on solid, varifiable research, not personal experience, though you can work that in along the way if you like. For fun, I piled up my printouts when I finished writing Hobby Farms Llamas and Alpacas and the stack was almost three feet tall.
Now you're probably wondering what the little cutie pictured at the head of this entry has to do with writing. Nothing at all! Except that he and his mom are frisking around the yard as I write this and I couldn't resist grabbing my camera and framing this shot. That's Wolf Moon Gunnar Woolenbrau. His mom and relatives are part of what keep me at the keyboard most of the day, five and six days a week. Ask me: Is it worth it? You bet!