I understand that there are a few traits that are common with those able to finish a writing project. First, the book should be appealing enough that you can’t not write it. That is why it is so hard to write a book that your publishing house suggests you write instead because the genre will sell. To me, that would be like telling me to write a fantasy. Given it is a very popular genre that’s widely read, I don’t read them. I have written enough to know that I would have a very hard time writing a book that isn’t a book I’d love to write. I know I am not alone in this.
Certainly, you may be excited about your topic to the point of passion. After all, they are the book of our hearts. It’s just love. Love of telling your story. This love and desire can overcome all the problems and risks that come with writing a book. Simply, will power may be weak but love is strong. The love gives you the idea that it’s what we’re put on earth to do. What do you care about so much that you will talk about it anytime?
Also, maybe you’ve had someone encourage you, helped with, or liked, your writing. For me, a retired English teacher was the first person that looked over my very first chapter. She became so important in my life because I was so vulnerable and needed someone to say my dream was possible. If she’d been negative, I may have stopped writing, I was that unsure. Who has encouraged your writing?
Have you ever been to a writer’s workshop or listened to an author share what he or she has learned (and later apply the information to your writing)? Perhaps you have read a book on the writing craft that has inspired you. Sometimes, I hear a line in a song that inspires my story. Also, I met a writer who lives on her royalties. I heard an agent speak. I have talked to two people who have treated their writing as a successful business by having an hourly/daily schedule and then abides by it. All of this helps me write with pleasure and purpose. All these things can keep you inspired and on track as well. Where can you go to find writing inspiration?
In 2002, I joined my first in-person writing group. I found two critique partners that fine combed through my manuscript, Maya’s Gold. They gave me suggested changes as far as grammar and let me know what needed changing in the plot. Frankly, this help was how I was able to attract a publisher.
This past weekend I met up with two writers, one published and one seeking, or working, to be. The beginning writer was feeling disheartened because he’d had a critique that didn’t leave him with much hope of ever being published. The other writer I was with spent time telling him to keep what he had written, put it aside and sprinkle the information into your chapters instead of all at once. He left us visibly encouraged and wondering how he could fit writing into his daily schedule. Therefore, be careful how you critique someone’s work. Give them helpful ideas and be vigilant not to destroy the writer’s dream. Some writers may want to prove the naysayers wrong, but others will be distraught and overwhelmed enough to quit.
When something happens to us in our lives (or we see it happening to someone else), it leaves us upset and even angry. Writers can express those emotions through their words. Or show some injustice in the world through their writing. Author Paty Jager grew up hearing about the Native Americans that had lived in the area she’d grown up in, but didn’t think too much about it until she was an adult. Her book research on the area upset her enough that she wanted to express what happened, the unfairness to the native people, in some of her fiction western books. What upsets you so much that you what to include it in your book?
Sadly, in life a person can be hurt emotionally and rejected. We can make bad choices with consequences. Sometimes hitting bottom is an interesting thing as far as writing is concerned, that is if you can get back up. A strong reason to write can come from being wounded or upset.
Is there a need for such a book as yours? Will it relate to others? You may not have personal injury, but righteous indignation can rise from political affairs or social injustice, for example. Perhaps you can prove someone wrong, or perhaps it can drive your writing in another way. Still you’re walking a fine line so be careful that you don’t make your reader mad enough to throw your book across the room.
People seem to look for reasons as to why tragedy happens. We know we might never know, still we wonder. Should I write about this event? Will it help others in some way? You certainly would understand the grief that a character is going through if you’ve lost someone. In a different light, author Ann Rice lost a daughter and through her grief she created a book with a young girl that could never die.
Finally, the reason I write children’s books is because there are certain things I want my grandchildren to know long after I’m gone, things I’ve learned through my many years of living, working and watching God work in lives. Things that I deem are important enough for me to pass along. It’s as simple as that.
What inspires you to write?