Monday, March 23, 2009

Curse of the Writer

Sometimes I curse the writer inside. Most times we get along fine, I sit down at the computer or with pen and paper and my hands can barely keep up with my mind. At times it comes so easy that I question if what I am putting down on paper is flowing along as nicely as it seems or if it will turn out to be nothing more than random thoughts when I take the time to read it. Other times, like now for instance, I have spent days trying to decide what to share on this blog and have spent the last 30 minutes staring at a blank text box unable to get inspired.
Yet, I am sure that at the most inappropriate time, like the middle of the night, inspiration will strike and the ideas will flow. Do I get up and write them down now or wait until morning. I do not know why I even go through this debate with myself any longer, it all depends on how important the idea is to me. If I wait until morning, past experience has proven that the chances are I will only remember that I had a really good idea, the idea itself will by then be gone.
It is with this thought in mind that I offer this piece of very simple advice to all writers:


Keep one by the bed, keep one in your purse, at your desk and in the car. Although I do not recommend recording your ideas at stop lights, I do recommend writing them down as soon as you can. You never know when the writer inside will decide to share an inspiring idea with you, and then turn around only to say, "Oops, sorry, you waited to long,"then the idea is gone as quickly as it came.
So although I welcome every idea offered up, it is times like this; 1:24am, in very little light, trying to stay between the lines with my thoughts and not disturb those that are sleeping around me. Thoughts that pour into my head and demand to be recorded, although I am already to tired. These are the times when I feel the curse of the writer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Plugging Along

I wrote my first children's book over 13 years ago. Since then it has been sitting and waiting on me to do something with it, besides taking it out of the folder and looking at it now and then. I can't say exactly why it has taken this long but I think it has to do with growth. Growth as a person, growth as a writer, and most of all a growth in self-confidence both as a person and as a writer.
I can honestly say that I am ready!!! I know that with a lot of hard work and determination I can make that journey from writer to published author. What better way to learn about what the world of writing has to offer than by jumping in and trying it out. I felt it was also appropriate to take my first attempt at children's writing along with me. First of all because I feel very strongly in reading to and educating our children and this project, being a preschool aged concept book, covers both of those areas. My second reason for wanting to focus on doing something with this project is because it has been screaming to get out of that folder for to long now and I believe it has potential not only on its own, but also as a possible series. I promise to share more of this work with you as soon as I have determined that it is complete and on its way.
I have chosen to self-publish this piece for several reasons. The main one being because it is a project that I wish to maintain some level of control over. I also want to use it as a way to get my feet wet in the fast rising river of the self-publishing market. This is my chance to see what its all about, what works and what doesn't. I will be glad to share any information I find useful along the way, but keep in mind what may work or may not work for my project may not be the same for another persons project. Anything I share with you is a matter of personal opinion and should be treated as such. I encourage everyone to do their own research and find what works best for them.
I've spent weeks now reading about, emailing, and talking to self-publishing companies. The first thing I have discovered is that if you truly want it done there is someone out there that will be more than happy to take your money to do it. Research carefully, talk to writers that have used these services, and when you think you have found the one for you, research it again. I will keep you posted on my choice for this project and how it is going once I have given it a fair amount of time to develop a well educated opinion.
Other things I am doing to build on my writing business besides writing this blog and stepping into the self-publishing arena include, but are far from limited to: working with a writing career coach, submitting articles to children's magazines, writing and more writing, and most importantly regularly attending my Y-City Writers Group meetings. I can't say enough about joining a good local writing group. For myself belonging to this group has not only encouraged me to write but to be proud of my work. The members of this group provide not only support, but honest opinions and a wealth of information that I might otherwise miss. There is a lot of information out there; in your community, magazines, and of course the internet to name only a few sources. No one person can access it all, so its nice to have others provide you with what they have found, and to share what you know with them.
Until next time, I plan to keep plugging along with what I enjoy and encourage everyone to do the same, and if at all possible find a group of others that enjoy the same thing and join. You may be surprised by how much it can help you grow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Brief History of How I Got Here

I began writing in elementary school. I wrote articles for our school paper and found that I really liked it. By the time I was in high school I had started writing a wide variety of material: short stories, poems, articles, research papers, letters, journals, anything I could think of.
During the summer, before my senior year, I began writing my first romance novel. I found it a couple of years ago in a box, unfinished, and just waiting on an ending. After graduation I married, had my first child, and started college. My writing for the next few years became all about term papers and to-do lists. It wasn't until after the arrival of my second and third children that I began to write again for fun. I finished my first children's picture book in 1995 complete with illustrations. I attended my first author presentation and book signing at our local library and became even more interested in the writing process. I continued to write short stories and completed another children's book before the arrival of my fourth child. After that my writing went down hill along with my twelve year marriage. Being a single mother of four, working full time, and returning to college to finish my Associates Degree in Accounting, didn't leave much time to write. Although I was back to lists and term papers, I still had that writers desire. By December of 2003, I found myself remarried with two stepchildren, operating a family child care center from my home, and armed with a lot of information for stories to be told. It was during this time that I joined a local writing group and the creative juices began to flow. More than five years have passed since I first walked into that first writers group meeting and my husband and I have since become grandparents and added two more children of our own to the lot, but I feel confident that I am ready to take my writing to another level and work toward becoming a published author.
So, with this blog, I invite you to share in what ever may be in store for me on this journey as I begin to navigate a new path in my life. Along the way I plan to share not only any valuable writing or publishing information I may find, but also stories of my life both past and present, and some of what I have written. I can not guarantee where this journey may take us, but I can promise wide variety and that we will never be bored on the way.