"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

7/26/13

What Do You Write?

This post is part of Patty Wysong's
 A to Z meme. This week's letter is "A."

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.


What do you write? I get this question a lot. I tell people I'm a writer, and it's generally the first inquiry I get (except, occasionally, when someone asks me what books I have published. I like the first question better. :::roll::: ). And, in general, it's a complicated answer for me.

If they asked me what I had published, that would perhaps be easier - though not nearly as exciting as I would like. I've had hundreds of newspaper articles published (worked for a couple different papers over a few years), as well as some flash fiction (and flash nonfiction - if that's even a genre LOL) in a magazine or two, a few anthologies, and a Sunday School paper.
Photo credit

Another possible question that could be answered more easily is what have I written. Hundreds of blog posts. Some poetry. Flash fiction in just about every genre but horror and erotica. A nonfiction book. The start of a biblical fiction book. A couple picture books, and a devotional book geared toward tweens. And likely several other things I'm not remembering off the top of my head

But these answers aren't very helpful - especially if I'm trying to get someone to read (or publish) something I've penned (or keyboarded). So I think I have come up with a better way to search for my answer to this question.

Because I think that when someone asks me what I write, they really want to know what, once I become a published author, I wish to be known for. And even if I'm wrong, that's what I'm going with :)

So, as an author (I'm not terribly comfortable calling myself one since I kinda see authors as published in book-length form, and I'm not), Joanne Sher writes books for kids focused on biblical truths.
graphic courtesy of christiansunite

Guess I'd better practice that for the next time someone asks...

When someone asks what you do (or write), what is YOUR response? Do you need to rethink it?

Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

Check out some of the other "a" posts below, and/or link up with your own!


 

23 comments:

  1. Hi Joann! I'm writing a Christian fiction novel, which leads to the question, "What is Christian fiction?" For me, the story has to include some aspect of redemption through Jesus Christ to fit that category.

    Thanks for the blog! I enjoyed it very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Tom - and that is a great question (and great answer!). Have a super day!

      Delete
  2. It's a tricky question, similar in vein to asking a Mom "so what is it you do?" ;)

    In this season, I mostly blog (but even that is not steady!) I do have a picture book that I'm revising and a young adult novel that I've begun.

    In truth, until I treat writing as more than a hobby, this is the best I can do!

    Deb Weaver
    thewordweaver.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if it's a hobby, Deb, that's PERFECTLY fine :) Really need to start following your blog, by the way. Off to do that now. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. I always believed that an author is one who writes-published or not. But then, I can understand how terminology can get sticky. It's like photographers being considered artists. I like to photograph but sure don't consider myself an artist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, Barb, "I" consider you an artist. And maybe you consider me an author. So I guess we're even - or something LOL.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. I just started responding to that question by saying I'm a writer. For many years it was a homemaker and home educator. I still work in my home, but am also working toward publication of a series of Christian historical romances.

    As for published... not in book for yet, but I do have a bimonthly column in a homeschooling magazine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool about the column - and exciting about moving toward publication. Praying as you move closer.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. I hate this question. Really.

    What do I write? Weeeeell, I blog. ;-) I write devotionals. As for fiction, I write Christian romance, and because the people who tend to ask that question usually do NOT expect romance, I usually insert sappy into that phrase so it's "sappy Christian romance". It gives them something to laugh at to fill the awkward void I've gotten a few times when I simply said Christian romance. WHY do I write Christian romance? Because that's what I read. I'm an escapist at heart so I prefer reading fluff with good substance and a pretty bow at the end to leave me smiling with a warm fuzzy. *shrug* Not everyone is a deep thinker...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOOOH! I just thought of a good answer to "What do I write?"
      WORDS. That's what I write. WORDS. and numbers sometimes. ;)

      And we all need a sappy Christian romance every once in a while. Love ya, girl!

      Delete
  6. Yep, that's a tricky question for me because I write fiction, nonfiction, historical, conteporary and children's books!

    So now I say, I'm a Christian writer and right now my focus is on blended families and fiction.

    Still working on it.

    The question I really hate is what are you working on now....and when can I read it.
    Blessings,
    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, Diana - what are you working on now, and when can I read it? ;)

      Praying as you work on JUST what God is calling you to write at the moment - whatever it is!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. We writers are a complicated lot, aren't we? Someone asks us a question and feel the need to explain it in long thought, much like a novel! What do I write? Inspirational romance with huge helpings of adventure. Pirates of the Caribbean meets Gone With the Wind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh - I'm totally intrigued by THAT combo!

      And no worries about the apostrophe thing. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. OK. My name really doesn't have all that junk in the middle of it, but apparently computers are still temperamental with an apostrophe :(
    J'nell

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like this post. When people ask me I say I write for anthologies but have gone into fiction. Waiting and waiting to be published there too! You have done a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know I can relate to the waiting, Terri. AND that I'm praying for you as you do the same. Thanks for coming by, my friend - and for the encouragement.

      Delete
  10. Ooooh!! I still have that problem! Especially when I say I write inspirational fiction or something and then some smart person nearby will say "Wasn't your Nano about a fantasy xyz?" or I'll say I write "faith-filled fantasy" and someone will say, "Ohhh, you mean like Harry Potter/Narnia? I don't like those kinds of books, I'd prefer to read *insert opposite genre here*..."

    Argh. LOL. I like your answer of Words--that is definitely what I write. I've just gotten to the point when people ask me what I write, I ask what they like to read. Then I say, "I've written something like that (which I almost always have, with the exception of the horror genre), and tada, we can have a good conversation without any smiling-through-my-teeth-moments.

    Fun post, JJ! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So clever to ask what they like to read, sweet Sawa-who-writes-everything. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, precious lady!

      Delete
  11. I understand what you mean about being reluctant to say you're an author or writer. I took the approach of being "a student of Christian writing." That one will actually stick with me because I'll always be a student and it keeps me from feeling that I'm overstating any ability that may (or may not) be there. (I happen to think you're a great *writer*, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh - I LIKE that, Nancy! A student of Christian writing. And thank you for the encouragement :) I enjoy your writing as well! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  12. I'm never asked! How about that? I guess everyone I am around already knows what I do. Or maybe I just don't look interesting enough to folks. LOL. Great post. I think a writer is a writer just as a rose is a rose. They are what they are. But it does beg the question -- are we human doings or human beings? My identity shouldn't be tied up in what I do but Whose I am. Easy to say, harder to practice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Love the human doing vs being thing. Had heard it before but it struck me anew. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009. Design expanded and personalized by PattyWysong.com 2011.

Back to TOP