"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

5/28/14

Joanne: A Writer Blog Hop

I'm guessing several of you folks have seen this blog hop around here and there. I know I have. And my dear friend and accountability partner Zoe McCarthy invited me to join (be sure to check out HER blog, Creative in Everything, which is full of inspiration and wisdom!), and I agreed.

And this is how it works - each person who participates in the blog hop answers four specific questions about their writing, then mentions three other writers who have agreed to participate, along with a link to their blog. A week or two after the post goes live, the other writers do exactly the same thing.

And so, here I go, answering the four questions:

What am I working on?
In addition to my posts twice a week at the FaithWriters blog (I'm the official blogger there) and other posts monthly at a couple other sites, I am working on two picture books at the moment. One I wrote as my "March picture book" for Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 and I am currently editing, critiquing, and polishing it up so it's nice and shiny for review at the website RateYourStory. I plan to submit it for a critique rating on their next "free submission day," which is June 1.

The second picture book I'm plugging away at is still in the brainstorm/barely-starting-a-rough-draft stage - it will, God willing, be my June picture book. Not giving too much information, but it involves an elephant and his favorite band. Will see where it goes from there!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
If I weren't a generally optimistic person, I might say that mine is different because it isn't as good. ;) I have only been focusing on picture books for six months or so, so I'm still learning. But I AM an optimistic person, so I can give you a better answer than that, I think.

My stories all have hope in them - whether they are funny, serious, or whatever else they might be. And it's not just any hope - it's hope in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It may not be stated explicitly, but it is always there in the background - just as it is in my life. And, of course, I bring my unique history/love of children/voice to whatever I write.

Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it, and feel called. As I said above, I've only been on this particular writing path for a short time - and it was my time at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last year that eventually sparked me to change from inspirational historical fiction to picture books at the beginning of this year - though I DEFINITELY got my feet wet last November with the wildly fun Tara Lazar and her PiBoIdMo (that's Picture Book Idea Month, in case you didn't know).

I love kids, and writing for them is a challenge, and lots of fun for me. I still have A LOT to learn (i.e. I am most definitely not ready for prime time), but I am enjoying every step of it (well, ALMOST every step LOL).

How does my writing process work?
Photo source
It varies some, but in general my ideas come to me either when I least expect it, or when I am purposely trying to find something to write about (such as during PiBoIdMo). I'll often flesh it out on paper a bit until I have something I can build a story on. Then I'll start writing. Often, I will start longhand (I do quite a bit of writing while waiting for carpool), and type in what I write out later, making some preliminary changes as I go. I'll then print out what I have so I can write more longhand on the same sheet of paper if my next opportunity to write is away from my keyboard.

I do some editing as I go along, but also give my story MANY, MANY look overs (and have others do the same) before I consider it truly done. In general, I save over old drafts - but I'm trying to be better about saving into new files so I can see "where I've come from." The PB I'll be submitting to RYS currently has seven drafts.
 
And now, for passing it on:
I have to be honest - I had QUITE a lot of trouble finding folks who hadn't done this already or felt they had the time to do a post like this. But I DID find a couple.

Suzy Leopold is a wife, mother, grandmother, educator, and writer whose passion is sharing the importance of the love of learning with children and their families. You can visit her blog to learn more about her.


Karlene Jacobsen is a mother, wife, home health worker, nursing student, and writer who writes romance and contemporary fiction. You can check out her blog, Undaunted Devotion, for inspiration and more about her.

Be sure to stop by their blogs - now, and in a week or two! And if you haven't been tagged in this blog hop and would like to be - consider yourself my third person :)


My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

2 comments:

  1. Joanne, this was beautiful. I'm sending the link to a woman who has a great idea for a children's book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zoe - so appreciate you stopping by (and asking me to participate. It was FUN!)

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