Many people know that Morgan Dragonwillow is the powerhouse behind the StoryDam community, but I’m not sure how many know that she is a published author. This past March, Morgan dove, feet first, into the world of self-publishing with her book of poetry Dancing Within Shadow.
Morgan’s Early Start
While it wasn’t until the end of 2011 that Morgan says she “started seriously writing,” she has been writing in some form or another since she was eight years old! Even at that age she had dreams of one day being a published author. She said, “I really wanted to write a book when I was eight years old. In 2012 I told myself this is it, I am going to get serious about my writing and get published.” It was the poetry she wrote in that time that inspired her to publish Dancing Within Shadow. “Most of the poetry in this book is about my struggle with my childhood and finding the courage to overcome it,” Morgan explained, “When I looked back at the poetry I had written in the last year and saw that there was a common theme, I decided to publish it. I thought maybe it could help someone else that has had a difficult childhood and help them to see their own courage.” This seems to be in the very nature of how and why Morgan writes poetry. Morgan says “I write poetry to be able to say things, feel things that I can’t seem to express or feel anywhere else.”
Beyond Morgan’s Poetry
Although Morgan’s first published work is a book of poetry, you should not be mislead to believe that she writes nothing else. Morgan has plenty of stories to tell. When I asked her what she would do if she wasn’t a writer, she said, “I can’t imagine not being able to write. I have a lot of creative outlets though such as creating art, jewelry, photography, crocheting, and I am hoping to add painting to my list.” In the meantime, she has a number of manuscripts that she shelved while working on her poetry. She says, “One in particular seems to be prodding at me to work on again.” It is a Shapeshifter story “about a woman that has magical abilities and a shapeshifter. They became friends as teenagers but she was shipped off to live with her aunt to learn how to work with her abilities. Later when her mother dies she comes back to take care of the estate to discover she still has feelings for him and that they both have a common enemy that needs to be dealt with.”
Morgan’s Writing Habit and Advice
Morgan describes herself as an inconsistent writer, but I love the habit she has for herself when she goes through what she calls “periods of purposeful writing.” In her own words, here’s how Morgan writes, “I get up, put on my tea, turn on music, move and shake out anything that needs to be moved out of my body, and then I sit down to write. When I am in a writing mood I can write for hours. Typically I will write for thirty minutes to an hour at a stretch and then take a short break before getting back to it.” I love this practice, it sounds so serene and inspiring.
Morgan also has some great advice for those of you in the writing world, “Be kind to yourself. Become your own biggest cheerleader and let go of the negative self talk. Allow yourself to write whatever wants to be written, don’t sensor. You can always go back and edit it later, just get the words onto the page.” She says her golden rule of writing is, “Always push through. When it is the hardest it usually means something great is trying to come through, don’t give up. Keep writing.”
Morgan finds the ability to push through, not only from inside, but from the woman she calls her “all around cheerleader,” her partner Christie. Christie is “always telling me I can do it,” Morgan says, “She encourages me every step of the way as well as being my sounding board, sometimes editor, problem solver.” And while Morgan says she doesn’t have one great writing influence, she admires the authors of her favorite books like Nora Roberts, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Gilbert, Stephanie Meyers, and J. K. Rowling. She says, “Reading their books always inspires me to write stories of my own.” I can think of a greater compliment to an author’s work.
Connect With Morgan
Morgan is still writing voraciously on the Internet while promoting and working on new projects. You can follow her on Twitter @MDragonwillow\, befriend her on Facebook, or keep up with her on her blog, Playing With Words, as she works through National Poetry Month by blogging #AtoZPoetry for the #NaPoWriMo and #AtoZchallenge. Of course, do not forget to check out Morgan’s book of poetry Dancing Within Shadow available on Amazon right now!
If you are a StoryDam member who has published any books and you are interested in being featured on the StoryDam website, contact Nicole Rivera either on twitter @riverand, or via e-mail: BlogWithNV@Gmail.Com.