Monday, January 27, 2014

It Takes a Village

It takes a village... To write a novel!  One thing that I have learned so far is that it is important for an aspiring author to surround herself with other writers.  These are the people who will help you line edit your manuscript!  These are the people who will encourage you to keep writing!  These are the people who will tell you that your idea sucks so you don't waste a year working on it!  

Where does one go to find a writing village?  I found mine at the local library.  You can also find groups online or at local bookstores.  Another idea is to join a professional organization such as SCBWI and connect with other members.  The main thing is, find your village!  No author is an island!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In The Beginning...

How does a writer become an author?  And how does one know she is, in fact, a writer?

I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I have always kept a journal, and I sleep with a notebook close to the bed so that I can record any brilliant ideas I have before drifting off to sleep.   I have notebooks all over the house that are filled with story ideas or little bits of dialog.  My husband tells me that this is not normal behavior, and at some point I began to agree with him.

I also read like it's going out of style.  I remember coming home from the library when I was a kid with literally a whole series of books to read and I would just lay on my bed and read them, one right after another.  The babysitters Club!  Nancy Drew!  Sweet Valley High!

I remember praying one night, "God, I think I want to be an author!  Isn't that funny?" and from then on, it was like a switch was flipped inside of me.  I was going to be an author, no matter how long it took.  I had things to say, and darn it, people were going to have to listen to me!

After making this profound decision, I knew just the place to start.  The library.  I read pretty much the entire 808 section last summer.  Books like "Getting a Book Published for Dummies" and "Writing Great Children's Lit".  In those books I discovered that I had already done an important step in the process- studying the market.  Finally, reading all those YA books has paid off!

So my next step was to set up a writing goal for myself.  I decided I wanted to work on writing every day during my young children's nap time.  That would come out to approximately an hour and a half a day.  Not a huge amount of time, but I can get quite a bit done if I buckle down!

I know the road ahead is probably going to be full of bumps, but I am ready for the ride!