Terri Michels photographer author speaker


Where do you get your ideas? My ideas come from the world around me: my kids, friends, and things that happen in my life. Have you ever heard a story and thought it was so good you had to share it? It’s a lot like your mom or dad writing down what you said or did in your baby book. I jot down ideas all the time. You never know when they might become part of a story.

How many drafts do you write before your story is just right? Sometimes it takes 10 or 12 times and even then I can always still find something that could be better. I usually write the first draft really fast with pencil and paper. Then I put it away for a few days and work on something else. Writing is a lot like a hot dish or casserole: they taste better the second or third day. I always have my writer’s group friends read it over and make comments. They help make my writing stronger.

What were your favorite classes in school? I liked English and science a lot. I loved sports and even played powder-puff football at my all-girl high school. I can tell you my worst class was spelling. I have many dictionaries around my house. Sometimes my words are so misspelled that my spell-check can’t even figure them out!

How can I get better at writing? The same way an author gets better at his or her writing: practice, practice, practice. And read, read, read … everything you can get your hands on.

Winter tree at sunset
Winter tree at sunset, copyright © Terri Michels