Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and twenty-second, is of non-fiction writer Britt Reints. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Britt Reints is a writer, speaker, and happiness advocate. She maintains the award-winning blog InPursuitOfHappiness.net and recently released her first book, An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness, which has been called “surprisingly blunt” and “refreshingly honest.”
Britt found her own happiness through a near-divorce experience, lots of therapy, and ten months spent traveling around America in an RV with her husband and two kids. She approaches the topic of happiness with honesty, humor, and humility and brings in the experts when necessary.
When she isn’t writing, Britt enjoys exploring her adopted hometown of Pittsburgh with her family.
And now from the author herself:
As a non-fiction writer, the most difficult obstacle for me to overcome has been the notion that I have to be an expert before I can write about a topic. When I open a book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I surrender completely to the journey that the author wants to take me on. Becoming an author myself meant I had to be comfortable with the idea that I would be trusted to lead another reader somewhere.
What I’ve discovered is that there the term expert can be unnecessarily intimidating. Being an expert simply means you know more about a subject than the person you’re talking to. It doesn’t, as I often feared, mean you know everything there is to know.
That’s especially important because I tend to write about things like happiness, intentional living, and relationships.
There is no such thing as an expert on being happy.
No one in the world can tell you with 100% certainty how to be happy. I might be able to tell you what a group of scientists say about what is likely to put you in a good mood, but I can’t tell you what will make you feel like you’re living a happy life. The best I can do is share my experiences with you and hope that you find something in my stories that resonates with you.
It took me a while to understand the value of my own stories and my ability to tell them.
A story that resonates is equally as (if not more) valuable than a collection of statistics and facts. A story that resonates has the power to move people to act. But think about how many of us don’t do what we know we should, how rarely we act on pure information. It’s only when another person’s story infuses that information with hope and belief that we actually get off our buts and do something different.
Appreciating the value of non-fiction storytelling is a constant process for me. I imagine that I would be completely confident if I had advanced degrees, but I’ve met enough authors with those types of qualifications to know that education alone doesn’t make us feel like experts. Many of us in the writers club struggle with feeling qualified enough.
I try to remember I am qualified to tell my story.
I try to focus on doing that and work to avoid the temptation to pad my story with filler that I think makes me sound more credible. (Although I do absolutely slip in references to studies I’ve read about from time to time.)
My story has value to someone. My ability to tell the story in such a way that someone else can see themselves in it is what makes me a writer.
You can find more about Britt and her writing via…
- In Pursuit of Happiness – http://inpursuitofhappiness.net
- An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0989673804 / http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0989673804
- Britt on Twitter – http://twitter.com/missbritt
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As I post a spotlight or interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique directly (see Editing & Critique) or for posting on the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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