Tag Archives: Writing

Tapping the Writing Well

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For readers of my blog, my love of books and reading is undoubtedly apparent. I am also an aspiring writer. Though I write for my blog, and I’ve written plenty of essays I want to reach deeper into my well and bring forth creative and compelling fiction. I want to be a crafter of words that envelop, that entrance, and that transport readers.

I am eager to find within myself a story that begs to be told. One that may be unwieldy, and as of yet simply amorphous wisps of fog. I know if I can but harness those fleeting ideas, then with time and passion I can shape them into what will hopefully become fully formed, charismatic characters that pop from the page and descriptive prose that immerses readers in the world I have created.

It is my ardent hope to find and unlock these stories within myself. I know that they reside within me-I can feel it each time I pick up a pen to write as the words burst forth from my fingers, seemingly under someone else’s control. I must read and write with a fervor and a hunger that has no bounds. Only then will I find the writer within.

It has been too long since I have put pen to paper to write fiction. During my college years I wrote children’s stories and fantasy stories and was amazed at the words that poured out of me. My characters became as dear to me as my oldest friends. This, I believe, is an affection only writers can truly understand. I am ready to get back to that place again as I begin my next quest into fiction writing with a children’s series featuring a mischievous duck that I hope will capture the hearts of children.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting an exceptionally talented mystery author, Ian Rankin, at a reading from his latest book, The Saints of the Shadow Bible. I was not brave enough to raise my hand during the Q&A session following his reading, but I plucked up the courage to ask my question when I met him. I began, “I’m an aspiring writer, and I know that you have a PhD, but I was wondering if…” “If I ever took a creative writing class?” he finished my sentence before I could. And his answer, no. This prolific and best-selling author simply read voraciously, carefully studied the worlds created by other authors, and looked for a space he could call his own. He advised me to do the same.

It was a relief to hear him say that formal training is not necessary, but at the same time it also makes the task I’m setting myself to all the more daunting. I cannot simply take a class, perform well, get my “A’s” and then be equipped to delve into the world of fiction. Instead, I must find a way to bring a new and compelling voice to readers, one they can identify with and be swept away by.

I truly believe that if you are a writer, you write. It is an inherent characteristic, part of your genetic makeup. Of course, that is not to say that you can’t hone your craft. There are always ways you can learn and grow as a writer. But to me, I believe the greats, those paragons of literature that create a lasting imprint on readers–they are born with it .

Though I could not hope to be one of those names that transcend time, I do hope to find the stories within me, share them with readers, and make an impact in some way on their lives. Authors are keen observers, constantly watching the world and the people around them. It is out of these observations that characters begin to form, and worlds come to life. Imagination is of course something no good writer can be without–the ability to see the extraordinary amidst the ordinary. I know that I have it within me. I’ve just yet to find the tap. The only thing to do is to read and write with abandon. To soak up all the glorious greatness of other writers, to let the words pour from me like a dam set free, and to dismiss any fear that they might be inadequate. In doing so, I will find my voice, my space, and my story.

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Filed under Book Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

2014–The Year of the Writer

It’s that time of year again…New Year, New You. New Year’s Resolutions to be kept, gym memberships to be purchased, new yoga gear to be worn, more water and green tea to be consumed and so on. Though I’ll admit that I have some health and fitness resolutions on my list for 2014, there is another resolution that I’m determined to keep at the top. It’s time for me to make a serious and concerted effort to regularly exercise my writing skills. There’s no reason for me not to, it comes  easily to me (most of the time) and I get immense joy from letting the words flow out onto the page. Why should I deny myself that pleasure simply because lying on the couch in front of the TV is so much easier, but so much less rewarding?

It’s time for a change and one that I will stick to. I’m making 2014 my year of writing. In this year I will make my blog a priority, I will make my creative writing a priority (more on that to come) and I will make my personal growth as a writer and reader a priority. These are things that are near and dear to my heart and fuel my spirit and I’m not going to let the post-work laziness get in the way any longer. I will march into 2014 with this new motto in mind “The pen is mightier than the couch.” Perhaps a bizarre twist on Bulwer-Lytton’s celebrated adage, yet one that I feel is particularly fitting for the writer in me.

I have recently started contributing to my blog at work, Greenleaf Book Group’s Big Bad Book Blog and this new responsibility at work has given me the kick in the rear I desperately needed to get back on track with my personal publishing blog.  I am so excited to start 2014 as a young publishing professional. It has been a long time coming and an earnest quest of mine to be a part of this industry that I want to build a lifelong career in. I think therefore that I owe it to myself and to publishing to be an active participant in the space.

It’s going to be a great writing adventure and I can’t wait to see where the page and the words take me!

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