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
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?