Name: Clay Morgan
Website URL: http://ClayMorganOnline.com
Social Media Links:
Undead: Revived, Resuscitated & Reborn
NFAA Chapter Location: Dallas
NFAA Meetup Group Link: https://www.meetup.com/Dallas-Chapter-Nonfiction-Authors-Association/events/238385902/
Tell us a bit about you. What kinds of writing do you do and what do you do for work?
I help entrepreneurs and business professionals overcome the anxiety of public speaking and networking by teaching them how to develop amazing presentation skills.
For the day job, I’m a creative corporate consultant specializing in curriculum creation, organizational development and strategic communications. My favorite genre to write is creative nonfiction of the memoirish sort, so Tony Horwitz, Sarah Vowell, and Bill Bryson are huge influences. Prior to corporate consulting in Dallas, I lived my entire life in Pittsburgh, PA, where I spent a decade teaching history, political science, and communication for a handful of colleges such as Pitt and Robert Morris.
What are your publishing-related goals?
After a turn in traditional publishing a few years back, I’m now excited to dive into self-publishing as well. After working with so many managers and executives in the corporate world for the past few years, it’s been a thrill to work with authors, speakers, and other entrepreneurs who want to breakthrough noisy environments and increase their visibility. My next two books will deal with how to do that by learning one skill set that helps anyone become both a better speaker and networker. It’s all about learning time-tested ways to connect with anyone.
What motivated you to want to run a local chapter for NFAA and what do you hope to accomplish with your chapter?
Writing is such an isolated life. I needed community and the accountability that comes with it. But I also want ongoing professional development. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how instantly the NFAA has delivered.
What advice would you offer to fellow writers?
That depends on who they are and what they need advice on, but generally I would say keep writing. Learn how to finish. Then spend the rest of your life learning how to improve. Don’t doubt you’re a writer because you haven’t sold anything yet.
Please list any favorite books, tools, or resources you would recommend for fellow writers.
Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is amazing. I also learned a ton from Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King, especially if the type of nonfiction you produce is creative. Duotrope is a fabulous online resource and well worth the annual subscription fee if you’re trying to succeed as a freelancer. If you want to produce better content overall, I’m now highly recommending Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.
What do you do for fun?
I’m a pop culture aficionado, so movies, TV, and music are constantly playing in my life. Hockey is my favorite sport, but I haven’t played in years. I love travel adventures of all sorts, whether local or long-distance. Reading is relaxing. I also have an amazing partner in crime named Jen, who is the love of my life. We have fun no matter what we’re doing, whether board game nights with friends or just eating delicious food.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The greatest teacher I ever had drilled into my head that great writing was made up of clarity, brevity, and variety. If we writers spend our lives focusing on those three elements of style, we’ll never stop improving.