Two choices: The History of Homesteading or The History of the Homestead Act of 1862

 

The History of Homesteading

The Homestead Allure

 

Table of Contents

THEN

The History of Homesteading:

Prior to Homestead Act

Immigration from Europe

Henry David Thoureau’s Walden

Homestead from 1845-1847 on Walden Pond

ARE WE OUT OF LAND?  THE PUSH WEST

East coast too crowded

Native Americans

1861 Civil War began

Homestead Act of 1862:

Abraham Lincoln

Civil war: economics

“Before the Civil War, Northern states had wanted to open up the West to settlement, and they saw homesteads, the transcontinental railroad, and land grant colleges as critical to that process” (NebraskaStudies.org, 2016).

The first Homestead Act Homesteader: Daniel Freeman

1863 began homesteading

1865 Civil War ended Daniel goes to get Agnes and get married

1890 almost all land is gone in American Frontier

1908 died

The who, what, why, when, and how

Homesteading: THEN and NOW

 

Section One: THEN

 

Chapter 1.  Why?  All dressed up with no where to LIVE

civil war economics and no more space north, or east

Chapter 2.  How?  The best things in life ARE always FREE

Homestead Act of 1862

Chapter 3.  Who?  One in OVER a million

Daniel Freeman Patent #1

Chapter 4.  When?  Running out of room

1862 until late 1890’s when most of the land had been absorbed by claims, railroads or other large future corporations.

Chapter 5.  Where?  The Great American LAND Rush

Western Frontier, Nebraska and west

Life on the trail

 

Section Two:  Now  The Revival

 

Chapter 6.  Why?  What was once the past, is now the present

The allure is due to what was once called convientent and comfortable (technology), is becoming too much.  Modern amenities have changed the landscape of life, literally and theoretically

Chapter 7.  How?  UNPLUGGED

the best things in life are NOT EVER free

homesteading is now a choice to live “uncomfortably” but technology has made it much easier than before.  Now it is off-grid living.  Meaning “unplugged” from modern convienences.   It is not free anymore.  In fact, to get started it can cost a ton of money.

Chapter 8.  Who? Only the STRONG survive

It take a specific person or persons to homestead successfully.  Most have had previous experience in everything.  Many want to run away, some like seclusions, all are at some point a MacGyver.

Dick Proenneke’s story

Chapter 9.  When?  Always and Forever

when you can afford it.  Retirement, make a living off what you grow, or work remote online.

Chapter 10.  Where?  And then there were, NONE

Not free.  Anywhere one can find peace, quite, and seclusion.  Very few places, many buy previous pieces of land that were homesteads in the past.

 

 

Dick Proenneke Alone in the Wilderness

Entered Navy right after Pearl Harbor attack

1945 medical discharge from rheumatic  fever

 

MODERN DAY HOMESTEAD

Addition of Technology

Off-grid not homesteading / or are they the same

Tiny house living

Looks different

Eats different

Allure now

Henry David Thoureau’s Walden

 

Works Cited
History and Culture. (2016). Retrieved from National Park Services: https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/index.htm

NebraskaStudies.org. (2016). Homestead Act: Who Were the Settlers? : Daniel Freeman and the Homestead Act. Retrieved from Nebraska Studies: http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0500/frameset_reset.html?http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0500/stories/0501_0201.html

Sheldon, A. E. (1913). The First Homestead. Retrieved from Legends of America: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ne-homestead.html

 

Or

The History of the Homestead Act of 1862

Homesteading: THEN and NOW

Homestead Act of 1862, A Historical Timeline

By Kristine Keller

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Section One: THEN

This section will focus on what the homestead act used to feel and look like.  The why, who, when, how, and where, of past homesteading.

 

Chapter 1.  Why?  All dressed up with nowhere to LIVE

The Civil war brought on a major economic crisis in the United States.  In order to regain control of the economic situation, many decisions were made by the government to help expand into the West.  (United States National Archives, 2016)

The Homestead Act of 1862 was created to help entice people to migrate west.  Historical facts on the Homestead act will be in this chapter, along with narration of Abraham Lincoln’s role.

Sources:

United States National Archives.  (2016). Teaching With Documents:  Retrieved from The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration: https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act/

http://www.civilwartrust.org. (2014).  Civil War Facts.  Retrieved from The Civil War Trust: http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/faq/

Nation Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior.  (2016, May 10).  Abraham Lincoln and the West, Retrieved from National Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior: https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/firsthomesteader.htm

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2.  When?  Running out of room

1862 until late 1890 is when most of the land had been absorbed by claims, railroads, or other large future corporations.  Explore the years between 1862 and 1890’s.  What was going on in history in the entire world?

End of chapter, lead into who the homesteaders were at this time.

Sources:

Friggens, P. (1939, January 1).  America’s Greatest Land Boom.  Retrieved from Genealogy Trails: Nebraska: http://genealogytrails.com/neb/americasgreatestlandboom.htm

United States National Archives.  (2016). Teaching With Documents:  Retrieved from The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration: https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act/

Chapter 3.  Who?  One in a million

Daniel Freeman Patent #1.  Discuss and narrate Daniel’s deed signing.  Give details regarding who, why, where, when and how, he became the first homesteader with the Homestead Act of 1862.

Discuss briefly how homesteaders look different in order to give in sight to Chapter 8.

End of Chapter, lead into what a homestead looks and felt like and how people got there.

Sources:

All are listed at the end of chapter sample

 

Chapter 4.  How?  The best things in life ARE always FREE

Getting there, life on the trail.  Narrate a Santa Fe trail story.  Also, discuss what a homestead lifestyle was like.  Hard work and how they made their money.

Sources:

Nation Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior.  (2016, May 10).  Stories.  Retrieved from National Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior: https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/firsthomesteader.htm

 

Chapter 5.  Where?  The Great American LAND Rush

Western Frontier, Nebraska and beyond.  Explain how the United States was expanding via war, and the involvement of Native Americans, as well as other countries.

Sources:

Nation Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior.  (2016, May 10).  Great American Land Boom, Retrieved from National Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior: https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/firsthomesteader.htm

 

Section Two:  Now The Revival (this section will include more of my voice, and personal stories, in order to compare Then and Now.  The why, who, when, how, and where, of present homesteading.

 

Chapter 6.  Why?  What was once the past, is now the present

The allure is due to what was once called convenient and comfortable (technology), is becoming too much.  Modern amenities have changed the landscape of life, literally and theoretically.

Sources:

Use my personal story and narrate my experience as to why I want to be off-grid.

Also, use the social media surveys that have been taken by me.

Chapter 7.  How?  The new way to live….  UNPLUGGED

Homesteading is now called off-grid living.

homesteading is now a choice to live “uncomfortably” but technology has made it much easier than before.  Now it is off-grid living.  Meaning “unplugged” from modern conveniences.  It is not free anymore.  In fact, to get started it can cost a ton of money.

Sources:

Specific information on what it takes to homestead now.  The cost and how people still work.

 

 

Chapter 8.  Who?  Only the STRONG survive

It takes a specific person or persons to homestead successfully.  Most have had previous experience in everything.  Many want to run away, some like seclusions, all are at some point a MacGyver. Expand on the characteristics a homesteader needs to be successful.

Sources:

Dick Proenneke’s story, use his journals and video.

Why I would be a good homesteader

Use current media

Unplugged nation

Tiny house living

Current trending allure to homesteading

 

Chapter 9.  When?  Always and Forever

When you can afford it.  Retirement, make a living off what you grow, or work remote online.  Expand on why it is a popular current trend.

Sources:

See proposal sources and stories, this is where those will be added.

Chapter 10.  Where?  And then there were, NONE

Not free.  Anywhere one can find peace, quite, and seclusion.  Very few places, many buy previous pieces of land that were homesteads in the past. (Fischer, 2001)

Sources:

Fischer, T. (2001, September 10).  Families Try Homesteading for Spring Frontier House.  Retrieved from Current Magazine: http://current.org/2001/09/families-try-homesteading-for-spring-frontier-house/

Use free-land app

Chapter 10: Conclusion

This last part will be the conclusion and review of the compare and contrast of THEN and NOW of homesteading.

 

 

Works Cited
Fischer, T. (2001, September 10). Families Try Homesteading for Spring Frontier House. Retrieved from Current Magazine: http://current.org/2001/09/families-try-homesteading-for-spring-frontier-house/

Freeman, D. (1864, August 7). Freeman Letters. Retrieved from National Parks Service: U.S. Department of Interior: https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/letters.htm

Friggens, P. (1939, January 1). America’s Greatest Land Boom. Retrieved from Genealogy Trails: Nebraska: http://genealogytrails.com/neb/americasgreatestlandboom.htm

Friggens, P. (1939, January 1). Looking Back at America’s Greatest Land Boom . Seattle Daily Times: State of Nebraska – Genealogy Trails.

History and Culture. (2016). Retrieved from National Park Services: https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/index.htm

Nation Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior. (2016, May 10). The First Homesteader. Retrieved from National Park Service: U.S. Department of Interior: https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/firsthomesteader.htm

NebraskaStudies.org. (2016). Homestead Act: Who Were the Settlers? : Daniel Freeman and the Homestead Act. Retrieved from Nebraska Studies: http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0500/frameset_reset.html?http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0500/stories/0501_0201.html

Rollins, A. (2015, November 15). First Homesteader is Gone, but Legacy Remains . Beatrice Daily Sun. Retrieved from http://beatricedailysun.com/news/local/first-homesteader-is-gone-but-legacy-remains/article_c54ec7c6-ddd2-5be4-a1cb-040356e65c1c.html

Sheldon, A. E. (1913). The First Homestead. Retrieved from Legends of America: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ne-homestead.html

United States National Archives. (2016). Teaching With Documents:. Retrieved from The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration: https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/homestead-act/

Vosburgh, H. (2013, February). Fort Leavenworth. Retrieved from Kansas Historical Society: https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/fort-leavenworth/17810

http://www.civilwar.org. (2016). Medical One. Two Week Cirriculum For Teachign the Civil War, pp. 175-180. Retrieved from Civil War Education: http://www.civilwar.org/education/pdfs/civil-was-curriculum-medicine.pdf

http://www.civilwartrust.org. (2014). Civil War Facts. Retrieved from The Civil War Trust: http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/faq/

http://www.distance-cities.com. (2016). Distance from Fort Leavenworth, KS to Beatrice, NE. Retrieved from Distance Between Cities: http://www.distance-cities.com/distance-fort-leavenworth-ks-to-beatrice-ne

 

 

bog assignment 7 : my head is a jumbled mess, filled with ideas, questions, and confusion. This is a great thing for a writer

This week, I sent two emails to my professor.  Unfortunately for him, it was a scattered mess.  Fortunately for me, I was able to answer my own questions by the end of my rambling.  This is a very common thing for me to do. To write out a series of questions and thoughts, make kind of a fool of myself, by actually sending the email, but I do walk away feeling better.  I am hoping the receiver of my email understands that this is just part of my writing process.

What I need to do is start a file for these crazy emails, and instead of sending them, use them for a reference for myself.  This would eliminate the need for a professor to come up with a reply to my scrambled eggs of a brain during my writing process.

I have included most of the emails below, because it actually does fall in line with the blog assignment we have had….. and it is a continuum of my thoughts for “the book”.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, I wrote the emails late in the night on my blackberry because my computer was being scanned.  My blackberry dbl types letters, and inserts periods whenever it feels like it.  I also did not do spell check.  Gosh, I read the emails now and am totally embarrassed at the number of spelling and grammar errors I sent to my Writing Professor.  Great job there Kristine.  For your ease I fixed the spelling errors, so as not to embarrass myself more with the entire world when I post this blog.

email #1

. I have two ideas that I am struggling with
Our discussion last week, and this week we are talking about having a solid narrative/story/historical content, in the background that relates to the main subject matter. I call it my time-line or story-line.
First idea, the time-line would be me and my own journey through life, and events that are serious and maybe funny. I would add them in as if the content I am writing reminds me of the event or somehow sparks that memory for me. I have tons and tons of stories…(don’t we all?!). Much of my fiction writing is based on nonfiction (truths) about me with embellished add-in’s. My dilemma is that my stories are not centered on my subject matter of homesteading. I weave them in, as I did in my proposal.
However, these stories are NOT centered on my subject matter of homesteading. Therefore, my second idea was to use Dick Proenekke’s story as my base. Yet, I am not ( will be) but am not THE expert on him. His story (alone in the wilderness) is very much the modern day Walden, and I know much more about Proenekke and his story than Walden (even though I would like to be the expert on both if I do this book, and I really want to do this book, I just need more time and a ton of research. The documentary has a narrator (Proenekke himself). Whereas, the book, One Man’s Wilderness and More of One man’s Wilderness, are written by a separate author who used Proenekke’s journals for his content. ‎I like this idea, but feel that my strength is in the story and narrative, and I feel as though using Proenekke as my base, may bore reader’s because I don’t have a funny story or story about him except for the journals, books, and video.
So, my third and final idea (I know, I said two, but I write this out because sometime the answers come to me as I write, hope you don’t mind, I do this in all of my writing classes, and probably drive you professors n‎utty)… 🙂
My third idea is to use both ideas (go figure). To use Proenekke as my base, and add in some of my stories for humor and to humanize me, the narrator and author. What do you think? Once I get my story-line solidified, I can write in my head.
Also, last question, if I am, or when I am using Proenekke’s story and am writing about them, how do I write the scenery if I can’t /haven’t seen it. That is, can one embellish what one thinks the scene to look like? For example, if Proenekke says in August it wa starting to get cold… can I take that, research weather around that time, and write what the scene would look like? I know in my personal stories I can write exactly or pretty darn close to reality, and in my creative nonfiction course we were allowed to embellish the scene to explain, but not embellish the story.
I just want to make sure I am not confusing creative nonfiction with serious nonfiction. What would be the difference anyway?
I have done some research on just this question, and there seems to be many different answers. I want to know the ethical aspect.

email #2

you are going to laugh. I think I am so confused by the genre labels, which is silly. I do however read a ton of fiction based on nonfiction and write that way as well. I really get confused when the book is listed as nonfiction and fiction. lol.. happens all the time on amazon. I actually just looked up more information on a fiction series I have been reading. Come to find out, it is listed as nonfiction on the authors website. I am wondering if amazon changed it to fiction/historical/international, to get more readers.
I did more research on creative nonfiction, nonfiction, and serious nonfiction, and back-tracked on some of our reading, and answered my own question.
my findings,
For serious nonfiction, all nonfiction in fact, there are no embellishments or stretches of the truth, or imagined. Good nonfiction is being creative enough to show the audience about the story/ and even just a subject matter in such a way that it feels like a fictitious novel. A great nonfiction writer will be able to trick a reader into thinking they are reading a literary novel or even watching a great documentary.
Serious nonfiction can be creative nonfiction. It would just be called, serious creative nonfiction. Truths and facts can be told in a humorous tone. . Being creative just means, instead of telling a story, to show the story to the audience. Here is a quote I found on creative nonfiction, “Writing in scenes represents the difference between sowing and telling. The lazy, uninspired writer will tell the reader about a subject, place, or personality, but the creative nonfiction writer will show that subject, place or personality, vividly, memorably-and in action. In scenes” (What is Creative Nonfiction by Lee Gutkind) .

https://www.creativenonfiction.org/online-reading/what-creative-nonfiction

Therefore, I can do what I previously mentioned, without embellishments. I can a journal entry from Proenekke’s pages that says, “august 5th, colder afternoons”, and I can narrate it by writing, instead,

Historically an august in Alaska is much cooler than in the lower 49. Proenekke writes quickly and curtly ‘”august 5th, colder afternoon”, as if his hands were already feeling the “dark-days” of winter.

I knew we cannot write untruths, it was the scenery that I was trying to nail down, when it is not my own personal scenery.
does that make sense?

More preperation for THE BOOK

 

The homestead revival

 

Last week, I listed the main sources I will use throughout the pages.  I also added a few notes with each source to help me organize my thoughts, which in turn is helping organize my book.  One of the main questions that I keep coming back to is; how am I going to narrate this book?  I mean, will I use one main story line, one main character?  Or/and, should I use multiple character sources, referencing them when relevant for a particular section? With those questions to ponder, I also need to remember Rabiner’s advice, “have a question with a curious human mind at its center” (Rabiner 192), How do I achieve

Per the Encarta English Dictionary, foreground means, “to put something in an important position and so draw attention to it” (EncartaDictionary).

Now, I have those questions, a piece of advice (which I personally think is the “key” to success when narrating a serious nonfiction), and then, more questions.

As this is a blog, I will blog my thoughts, which are a bit of a mess, but make perfect sense to me.

I am trying to come up with my ANGLE.  Which direction will I start from, go to, and end up at? I am leaning towards Dick Proenneke’s 1967 off grid adventure as my main story line character.  I feel that using some of my own adventure, comparing it with his, during specific significant points throughout.

The key will be, being able to weave his story into the pages, while still maintaining a focus on my own story, and relevant subject matter, in order to argue and explain my points with organization.  My fear is that I will lack that important flow.  The tone that turns the pages.  I fear that I have a great idea, but maybe I lack the skill.

Questions arising as I type:

Why is homesteading and off grid living becoming a thing of the present, and not staying in the future?

What exactly drives someone to live off grid and homestead?

Why is it that I am more than curious to try a homesteading lifestyle?

What makes me what to live off grid?

The new form of retirement, following Dick Proenneke’s 1967 retirement from the modern world, and into the past.  This now seems to be the future.

What did Dick Proenneke know that we did not know?

What is the main allure?

What inspired Proenneke to go off grid?

 

What made me decide that off grid homesteading is the lifestyle for me?

What makes it possible for me to homestead now?

What is the allure of homesteading?

Why Dick Proenneke and not someone else?

Dick Proenneke began his off grid lifestyle at the age of 50.  This is most likely the age I will be truly living off grid.  I am estimating that it will take me 1 to 5 years for my family to find and settle into our homestead.  This will put me in my mid forties.  Unlike Dick, I will not be fortunate enough to retire at that time.  However, I do foresee being able to telecommute for work, and therefore, work off grid.  This gives me an edge, being able to somewhat be at the same point in life, age-wise, that is.

Similar to Proenneke, I also have a desire to be the dominating player and role in what I eat, where I live, how I live, and without having to answer the why.  That is the goal, however the contradiction to the is that this book WILL be explaining the why, but not in the same sense.  I will be using what is driving me to live off grid, but part of the off grid allure is not having to answer to so many other forces outside of nature.

There are many other similarities; construction background, backpacking, the desire, the love of solitude, the comfort ability with myself and family, the isolation, the beauty; just to name a few.  Most importantly though, there are many differences.  From technology zilch then, and here now.  For example, solar panels and windmills, water generators, and many other amenities that we have now, were not around in the 1960’s; or if they were, they were not nearly as advanced and convenient.  Some may ask, Is this going against the homestead or off grid picture?  I answer, there is no exact model for this lifestyle.  That is the key.  Off grid and homesteading can look different from acre to acre.  The allure is the fact that we can choose.  We have the choice.  There are no HOA boards or meetings. There are no solicitors.  There are no neighbors-at least not close neighbors.  It is not to accrue what others have.   That is not the dream.  Maybe for one family it IS to accrue what others have, but to accrue it in their own way.  Maybe I want a matching sofa and love seat (which I have to admit, I have had only once as an adult.  The funds always seemed to go out the door, LITERALLY.  Most of our extra money has been spent to explore the mountains, Mexico, or our front and back yard, rather than decorating the house.  This is another good point I need to remember.  Gosh I wish I had a tape recorder, or hand held recorder that would read my mind, as sometimes my ideas that are great, awesome and THE IDEA, is forgotten before I can type it out.  I HATE THAT!!!  The narration will be about me, my findings to answer the questions above, specifically, what is it that is bringing the homestead and off grid lifestyle to a forefront?  Why have we decided to sacrifice modern amenities to physically work harder each day, and most likely longer?

Priorities!!!

Priorities have changed for those of us wanting to go off grid.  Obviously, if we are willing to give up having a hot shower whenever we want.  What has changed those priorities?  For some of us (I refer to us as, homestead and off grid hopefuls like myself), there is no real turning point.  But, for most of us, there is a specific turning point.  Something that quickly, or slowly took hold of our hearts and minds and remains there today.  I strive to find these pieces of information, and I hope to portray them accurately when I am writing about someone else.

My homework for this week is to reread Proenneke’s journals, and to re-watch his documentary.  I want to re-watch the documentary so that I can highlight some important aspects, and organize my own personal narrative.

 

resource list/ thoughts

  1. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, “is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings”.

Published in, 1854, Walden is a first hand account of Thoreau’s experience living off grid.  This book is important because it gives my book a historical branch.

  1. Alone in the Wilderness, is a documentary of Dick Proenneke’s two year adventure living alone in the wilderness. Produced by Bob Swerer, this series I first saw on PBS, many years ago.  It was most likely the first actual reality/show/video of living off grid.  What is today’s, “tiny house nation, off-grid living, mountain living, and many other popular reality shows, was yesterdays, Alone in the Wilderness.  This is a base for the “past” or historical aspect of my book.
  2. Personal journals of Dick Proenneke are written in a book, One Man’s Wilderness, An Alaskan Odyssey, by a good friend of Dick’s, Sam Keith. These journals are very important and play as reminders on what needs to be included from my own experiences.  Historical reference.
  3. http://www.off-grid.net/ This web site is the base of my research for the “future” aspect.
  4. http://earthship.com/ is a website that promotes, and explains a form of off grid, sustainable living, that I would like to model in my own life. The web site has a world of information, including links to other sites that are also in relation to my personal goal.  It combines modern technology with eco-friendly living, which is what makes it possible for more people to go off grid.  “future” section of book.
  5. http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/energy/efficiency/off-grid-living-lessons-zm0z14onzkon.aspx Future aspect of book.
  6. http://www.aloneinthewilderness.com/ Past aspect

Why did this topic continue to command my attention?

What exactly do you want to know about the topic that is not already known?

Easy, I can answer this… the main reason this topic continues to command my attention is because it is a personal goal for my husband and I to be homesteaders someday.

It also commands my attention because it is more than just a fad that has come back but will soon fade away.  The homestead movement is alive and well.  So much so that there are numerous television and reality shows that follow families to their own personal dream to simplify their life.

It is important to remember, that simplify in many ways is making some things in life less convenient for oneself.  I pose to find out why it is that people are willing to give up their modern amenities in order to simplify their life.  How did we get to a place where convenience is such a hassle?

Due to the fact that the homestead phenomenon is ever present, and has been a recent phenomenon in the last decade, following numerous decades where homesteading was unpopular and look at as a hard and dull life.  Due to the fact that this phenomenon is so new AGAIN, I would like to find out what the main reason is for this lifestyle to come back and wave its beautiful option of freedom in front of us.  I am guessing that some of us get to a point where there are too many conveniences, too many gadgets and too many options out there, that end up making what is supposed to be ease, a rather painful decision.

 

I am finally to the point where I am confident that the “Homestead Movement” is not only a great topic, but because this is such a new trend again, it makes the topic of why and un-answered question as of yet.

 

 

 

 

 

These questions keep me up at night…

These questions keep me up at night… Well, not just these questions.  It is my lack of answers.  My lack of complete focus for the direction of my book proposal.  Here I am, been waiting for an opportunity to make myself focus on an idea and follow through with it through its entirety.

This week, I have been trying to take into consideration the four questions, Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato, authors of, Thinking like Your Editor, ask at every decision about a book idea.

more questions

This week, I have been trying to take into consideration the four questions, Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato, authors of, Thinking like Your Editor, ask at every decision about a book idea.

They are as follows,
1. Does this project have a self-selecting book buying audience?
2. If yes, who makes up that audience?
3. What will this book say of significance to those within the audience?
4. Will this audience, once made aware of this book, go out and buy it?
My idea about, how to homestead, is something I want to stick with. However, in order to qualify as a serious non-fiction piece, I am going to tweak the concept to, The Homestead Lifestyle is on the Rise, something along that nature. I feel that the research would be more focused, on past, present, and future homestead trends. By changing the focus from a how to, or personal journey, to look into why the homestead movement is so strong, not only am I representing the non-fiction genre, I am also able to answer those four very important question listed above with more confidence in my idea.
I am thinking that my audience would be much broader by changing the goal from how-to, to, a more informational, fact -based, trend -based, and based on specific past and  present examples such as how technology and television have added to the audience, and why homesteading trends went down from the 80’s to recent days.   Rabiner and Fortunato have something to say about the audience and how not to make it too specific.  Meaning not to focus on just on group, but choose a topic that make different readers may buy,

“Trade books make every effort not to exclude even one potential reader” (Rabiner & Fortunato).

Fantastic, because my topic, Why the Homestead Trend is on the Rise, has an audience inclusive of numerous groups interested in, off-grid, homestead, self-sufficient lifestyles, farming, historical trends, statistical gurus,.and I could list many more (written with a smile).
The main obstacle I now face is coming up with my a more narrow thesis.  As I go through and try and answer those 4 important questions, sometimes I feel as if my thoughts are going in circles.  There is one question that seems to trip me up, Good old question number 3!!!!

3. What will this book say of significance to those within the audience?

I laugh, because I just had a huge reality check.  My past and even present writing practices will not work for a serious non-fiction book.  I am going to have to be SERIOUS!!! go figure.  No seriously, lol.. sorry, but really, seriously, I usually write in a very unorganized fashion.  Even when I am writing a super long paper for school, many times, I will start on one topic and by the time I am finished the entire thesis has changed.  Sometimes this is due to lack of quality resources.  Or, sometimes, I will be writing the paper, and I will come across something so interesting, so intriguing, that I have to change the topic or thesis just so that I can add that tidbit.  All in all, my writing practices most likely reflect that of a more creative genre.  Where your thoughts are changing with your moods, the weather, the time of day, or just because.

The serious non-fiction genre is going to be challenging for me.  My past experience with non-fiction is academic writing and creative non-fiction.  And, I will brag and say that I have done very well with both.  Especially creative non-fiction.  That is where my audience not only reads a true story, but it can then become a beautiful true story.  The difference is Serious vs. Creative.  I need to try and figure out how I can use my creative strength and still be SERIOUS.

So, now that I have organized my thoughts a bit more (the paragraphs above, yes, that is organized thinking for me, or more like a self-advising writing/talking therapy session), I am still stuck with QUESTION #3!!

3. What will this book say of significance to those within the audience?

I guess I answered some other questions for myself, but did not come up with an answer for this one yet.

What I am thinking…

Do I just write on trends, the cause and effect?

What is it that I am trying to prove or say with this book?

When someone finishes the book, what do I want them to think about?

Do I add in a main character?

Follow a specific person’s path to homesteading?
So many questions to consider. I am confident in the direction I am going. I just feel like my ideas are all in creative thinking mode and not organized or well thought out. Research is the next step for me. Figuring out a trend or interesting consistency in the research may help me find my main point.

But, to answer the question before I dive into the World Wide Web and research, and I am not committing to this, at least not 100%, until I am satisfied with some research questions I have.

3. What will this book say of significance to those within the audience?

My answer…

This book will say to the audience that although modernization, like technology occurred to make life easier for our society, it does not always mean life is simpler.  The desire to simplify ones life is part of human nature.

more thoughts….

I don’t know anyone that embraces new or more problems.  Nothing is perfect, and everything comes with its problems.

With modernization our society has lost the simple things in life.

Lastly, I am going to end this post with something to ponder….

Now that we have a good 50 plus years of technology we can also see the effects it has had.  Here is an example, we used to ride horses, now we drive cars.  The car was invented for many reasons, one of them being to simplify life by being able to get around much quicker, dryer, and safer.  right?????  However, now that cars have been around long enough for scientific research, and medical research to be recorded and have quantitative and qualitative results we see that there are also many down sides to cars.  Accidents, drunk driving, eye problems, NOT TO MENTION, EMISSIONS!!! BAD ON THE ENVIRONMENT…

JUST SOME THOUGHTS.  SEE YOU LATER