Thursday, August 30, 2012

Becoming a Writer by Tim Northburg

My guest today is Colorado writer Tim Northburg. Tim is the author of multiple sales training and motivational guidebooks. He thrives on sharing his philosophy of success and motivation with others and he hopes his impact as a writer is thought-provoking and fun. Tim brings a wealth of success in the arenas of sales, marketing, and business development as well as coaching, mentoring, and management. His books help people discover simple truths so they can live happy, fun, and successful lives.

Tim Northburg lives in colorful Colorado, at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and enjoys writing non-fiction and fiction books of all kinds. He strives to infuse “Otterocity!,” into his life. It is his long-term goal to inspire everyone to follow their dreams and achieve success in their lives. Tim is a member of Northern Colorado Writers and volunteers his time at Zach Elementary School to help in reading groups.


Becoming a Writer by Tim Northburg

At an early age I was fascinated with books. My mom would let my sister and me read in our rooms for a half an hour before bed. I read all kinds of kids' books from the library and graduated to novels like Peter Pan, The Chronicles of Narnia, and when I was older The Hobbitt. To this day, I still read all kinds of books. I enjoy the things I learn as well as reading great adventures.

I can trace the actual spark of becoming a writer to my senior year in High School. The last semester I took a creative writing class. One February morning, first period creative writing, we began our assignment when the Principal made an announcement. Cory, my good friend who sat next to me, had committed suicide. I remember the empty feeling inside. I just stared at his empty desk, wondering what it was that made him do that. The rest of that semester I wrote about my friendship with Cory. Through that, I put feeling into my writing and it just connected. It was the first time I really felt the emotion, excitement, and passion about writing. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t know when, how, or what.

In 1993 I put many of those short stories together into a novel. It took me a year to write it out freehand and another six months to re-write it in Word. It is still collecting dust in the basement.

When my children were old enough, my wife and I read stories to them. I remembered many of the books and it sparked something inside me again. I knew I wanted to write a children’s book. In 2004, the idea for writing a YA novel about the adventures of Merlin’s grandson through space and time popped into my head. Over the last eight. it has developed into an eight-book series called, The Relics of Merlin Saga. Book one is titled, Bacon Finnegan and the Sword of Elements.

You can learn more at Bacon Finnegan and the Relics of Merlin website.

As a Sales Manager at a Saturn dealership in town, I developed and self-published six training books for Automotive Sales and a goals workbook. In 2009 things changed abruptly when the economy tanked. The government took over GM and closed down Saturn. After working there eleven years, my job was no more. I had to take a lesser paying position. I, like many other people during this past recession, had experienced job and financial strain.

During that emotional and stressful time, I turned to my writing. and jotted down my thoughts in a journal as a way to release everything. Then, I came across a book I had read a few years back called Rhinoceros Success. It was a book about how to infuse rhino qualities to bring success into your life. (They have thick skin, charge, etc.) I began to think of animals I could use as a symbol to bring joy and happiness to one’s life. On a visit to the aquarium in Denver, I watched river otters play. I thought about it some more and realized that otters were a great symbol for joy and happiness. That sparked my new novel.

Summer of 2010 I started writing Otterocity! It is a story about a man’s struggle through the economic downturn and his transformation to bring joy and happiness back to his life. I feel it is a timely, heartfelt story that will resonate with many people who have dealt with life’s challenges. It touches on topics like job loss, financial pressure, thoughts of suicide, and death. Through the revision process, it turned into a two-book project. First the general fiction novel, Otterocity!. Then a self-help guidebook titled, Otterocity! Field Guide. I self-published them through CreateSpace and they are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

For more information, please visit the Otterocity! website.

Stories bring us together. Our ability to use words to create different worlds, dream the impossible, inspire, and teach is what gives us hope and strength in this challenging world. I hope to inspire others with my words.


Tim, thanks so much for sharing your story with us today.

You can visit Tim's sites for Bacon Finnegan and for Otterocity! for more information about his projects. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Talk about taking personal experience and putting it into a work of fiction! Way to take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks for hosting Tim.

Tim - Thanks for sharing the way you've evolved as a writer. I think most of us are shaped by our experiences and it's interesting to see how yours have shaped your writing. I wish you much success.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Shame about Saturn. We owned three in our lifetime. It gave you the push to write though.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Alex -- Tim sets a great example for the rest of us.

Hi Margot -- Tim's novels are proof he's got what it takes to succeed as a writer. I wish I had had his level of commitment when I was his age.

Diane -- Over time, it seems like there's something good that comes from everything bad that happens to us. We need stay alert so we don't miss out.

Baja Rock Pat said...

Tim, you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story here. I can't wait to read your books. I'm needing an autographed copy though!

E.J. Wesley said...

Loved your story here, Tim. Like it is with so many of us, it proves that writing is rarely a straight-line journey from A-B.

Life tends to jump in the way and force us off the path. But the real writers, like you, keep coming back to it. Best of luck with your novel!


Tim Northburg said...

Thanks all. I'm enjoying myself and am glad that I am able to share my stories with others. I appreciate the support.


Dean K Miller said...

I am enjoying Otterocity right now. The writing world, as well as that other one called reality, needs more writers like Tim...and Pat, too.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Tim, thanks so much for being my guest today.

And thanks to everyone who stopped by and especially those who left a comment.

Kerrie said...

Tim, thanks for sharing your writing journey. I learned a few new things about you. :-) Keep writing. You are an inspiration to all who may get discouraged with the whole writing and publishing process.

lizy-expat-writer said...

As they say - one door closes, another opens.

Tim Northburg said...

Alex - It was good therapy too!

Margot - You are welcome. Best to you too.

Diane - Yes it is a shame, but Saturn taught me alot about customer service and teamwork.

Baja Rock Pat - Thanks. Let me know when you want me to sign your copy.

E.J. - Yes. It surely isn't linear! Thanks.

Dean - I am glad you are enjoying the book. Thanks again for your help.

Kerrie - Persistence is not easy. Thanks for your support.

Lizy - Yes, sometimes it is only open a crack. You just have to push it open and walk through the door.

Pat Stoltey - Thank you for the opportunity to guest blog on your site, it was fun!