Whitney Danhauer

Reading and Writing Fiction: An Author’s Story

By: Whitney Danhauer | October 29, 2015 | 
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Reading and Writing Fiction: An Author's StoryBy Whitney Fay

If you had asked a young Whitney Fay what she wanted to be when she grew up, without hesitation she would have told you: A movie star.

Thanks to a debilitating case of stage fright and a near-criminal lack of talent, however, that particular career option wasn’t in the cards.

So when she actually did grow up, Whitney turned to her second choice: Writing.

Luckily enough, that second (and much more feasible) dream job eventually became a reality, and after several years of freelancing, she landed a job as the marketing administrator at LockNet, a nationwide provider of door and lock services. She currently orchestrates a large portion of the company’s content creation. Or in layman’s terms, she writes about doors and locks for a living.

(And now she’s done writing about herself in the third person.)

Reading and Writing Fiction

I don’t know if you realize this, but doors and locks are a little low on juice when it comes to entertainment value. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but hey—it’s a fairly cut-and-dry topic.

…which leads me to how reading and writing fiction has been so instrumental in spicing up my content creation at LockNet.

Five years ago my good friend Collin Parker and I discovered we have both always harbored lifelong dreams of writing a novel, so last fall we decided to take the plunge…together.

We discovered the joy (and practicality) of Google Hangouts and spent every second of our spare time working together on our book. If we weren’t writing fiction, we were reading fiction.

Each day, after eight hours of writing about locks and doors, I would go home and write about a woman who is begrudgingly forced into helping plan her 15th high school reunion. And finally, it paid off!

This month, we published our first novel, Good Riddance.

And, yes, you read that correctly: I would write all day, and then I would come home and write all night.

“Whoa! That’s entirely too much writing!” you say.

Fiction Helping Non-Fiction

Well, writing at home made my writing at work exponentially more creative. Being able to write fiction got my creative juices flowing.

Yep, writing about a high school reunion allowed me to see doors and locks from a different angle.

Instead of focusing on the informational-ness of the post, I would build a story around whatever piece of hardware I was talking about.

Doors and locks are something we encounter every day, but my fiction writing helped me switch up my view.

I wasn’t just writing dry, product-driven posts anymore. Suddenly I was finding ways to make the LockNet blog more entertaining, and I even found ways to connect everything from biometrics and Back to the Future to four-point locking systems and the zombie apocalypse.

It was all in how I changed the angle and tone of the post. And that was due entirely to being able to write fiction outside of work.

Write, Write, Write!

Any author will tell you the key to writing well is to just continue writing. It doesn’t matter if every piece isn’t your best piece.

It would, in fact, be impossible to be always at the top of your game, and I’d call you a liar if you tried to make such a claim.

BUT… through those not-so-great pieces, the great pieces will always emerge.

So don’t let anyone scoff at you if you write short stories or read trashy romance novels (except for Fifty Shades of Grey. That novel… well, it’s just unacceptable). There is a ton of good stuff that comes out of stretching your brain by reading and writing fiction.

And if it helps your “real life” career, too?

Well, bonus!

Shameless Self-Promotion

If you are so inclined, you could start reading my fiction.

It’s for sale now! And if you read it and then decide to leave a quick review on Amazon? Well, DOUBLE bonus! (And I would be eternally grateful.)

Good luck, and get writing!

Editor’s note: Locknet is a client of ours and we have watched Whitney’s creativity blossom in the last year. I mean, it’s not easy to write about doors and locks, yet she does it really well. All because of fiction. So go read it. And write it. And read it. And write it. 

image credit: Pixabay

About Whitney Danhauer


Whitney is a 30-something mom living in Central Kentucky with her better half, Michael and her daughter, Evie Rose. She's an avid reader, an even more avid movie watcher and loves nothing more than a well-placed pop culture reference. By day she writes about doors and locks for LockNet, by night she writes about whatever she wants. Her first novel, Good Riddance, was released in October of 2015.