Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a great 2021 so far! (Um, Joy, this is only the third day of 2021, but whatever you say.)
Yes, I have weird conversations with myself. Anyone else feel like you’re at least two different people, one Irrational Self and one Rational Self? Just me? Okay…
Anyways! On from that weirdness. My good friend Issabelle from Teen Writers’ Nook tagged me for this Writing Community Blog Award. I thought it sounded awesome, and y’all know I love a fun tag! So thanks, Issa.
I hope y’all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed answering Issa’s questions. Let’s begin!
Awww, as Issa mentioned, that is a nice compliment. Am I really one of the best writing blogs? *doing a happy dance
1. Display the award logo on your site.
2. Link back to the person who tagged you.
3. Answer 5 questions.
4. Tag 3 blogs (must be blogs related to writing, not book review blogs) and ask them 5 new questions.
5. Follow as many blogs with this award as you can!
Now for the best part – the questions!!
1. What made you start writing?
I have always had a passion for words. My parents say that when I was little, I jealously watched my older brother with his books and demanded when they were going to teach me to read. LOL. We’ve got a ton of photos of me staring at picture books, vainly trying to read the words.
I wrote my first “story” as soon as I first learned to write and string together sentences. That was when I was about four years old. That “story” was a pitiful little thing written on scratch paper using a pink highlighter. From then on I wrote more little stories, creating book covers out of huge drawing paper. I began writing my stories on line paper and stapling them together.
When I was around six or seven years old, I started buying 200-page wide-ruled composition notebooks at the dollar store and writing stories in those. The stories I finished, I made sure to use all 200 pages; but there were lots of stories I abandoned after the first few chapters. All my novels were about girls my age going on crazy adventures. I clearly remember some of my main characters and their accompanying stories, though most of them I’ve forgotten. (Although I’ve kept all of my old stories and go through them once in a blue moon when I want a good laugh. Some of them, though, are tough to read because my handwriting was not the best.) Some of my protagonist’s names were: Rosa Nivv; Maggie (whose last name I do not recall); Cornelia (whose last name I also do not recall); and Leilani (whose last name I AGAIN do not recall!).
Basically, all of my childhood years were spent in fictional worlds. The novels I best remember are a six-book series I wrote at eight years old, about the characters in MarioKart. I think it’s because those are the books I had the most fun writing. I still look back on that time with fondness, although the writing was just… not good. But that’s how we learn!
As I grew older, my writing went in a completely different direction and was anything but inspiring until I became a born-again Christian. It was then I decided I wanted to use the gift God has graciously given me – the gift of writing – to honor him. The result was The Apostle’s Sister, which I see as the first REAL novel I’ve ever written because it’s the first novel I chose to write to truly honor Jesus.
2. Do you ever have any days when you question why you’re a writer?
This question hit me right in the heart! YES, YES, and YES! I have those days ALL the time. Here are the common thoughts that run through my head on those sorts of days:
– What ever possessed me to think I have a GIFT for writing? Who am I kidding?
– I’ll never fix all these mistakes, much less publish this novel. Why haven’t I given up yet?
– I’m not cut out to be a writer. A REAL writer wouldn’t even have doubts.
– I’m unworthy to write this story. I must be crazy to think I could do it, even for a minute.
Those are the sorts of depressing thoughts I get. And it’s normal to have those thoughts. Every writer feels discouraged, even the most successful writers. Even the writer of your favorite book. I’m sure Harper Lee wasn’t always completely sure of herself as she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird.
The important thing is, never let these thoughts control you. When I get them, I pray. Then I correct myself using the words I know God would say to me. Instead of saying the above negative statements, I say these positive ones:
– God gave me this gift for writing, and he doesn’t appreciate when I belittle the gifts he bestows on me. God doesn’t kid around.
– God never gives up on me, so I will be more like him if I do the same. Mistakes can be edited. No matter how many rewrites it takes, I’m going to finish this story. And I’m going to stop seeing publication as a dream and start seeing it as a realistic goal.
– If God saw fit to make me a writer, I am certainly cut out to be one. I am what he says I am. Doubts will creep in, but I can pray for strength to say no to them.
– I am unworthy, but God is worthy enough for the both of us. He doesn’t see his children as crazy. He’s telling me I CAN do it, with his help.
3. What’s a recent tip you’ve learned for writing?
That you shouldn’t worry about putting a ton of backstory at the beginning. It actually bogs the story down, and readers don’t like when you explain everything to them. In fact, it was actually Issa who gave me this awesome tip to ask myself: Does the reader really need to know this information RIGHT NOW, or can it wait?
I still struggle with info-dumps, but with this new tip I’m hopefully improving!
4. What’s your favorite writerly quote?
This quote is from John Piper, a pastor I greatly admire. He is the founder of Desiring God, a website I love to read. It has amazing, inspiring Christian content, and Pastor John is so in step with God’s Word.
The more I think about this quote, the more I realize how true it is. You have to write each word of your book to change hearts. You can’t just think, “My book will change people,” but not keep that in your heart as you string together words to form each sentence and each paragraph. Books are made up of sentences and paragraphs. Your book will not change anyone. Your individual sentences and paragraphs will change them.
I just love this quote and try my hardest to keep it in my heart as I write my novel.
5. Do you have someone you consider like your writing mentor?
I do! I see my amazing English teacher as my writing mentor. I love her and her class and I learn so much from her every day. She definitely knows her writing and reading stuff! I actually wrote my short story, The Widow of Nain, for her class. You can read it on this website if you go to the page titled THE WIDOW OF NAIN.
My English teacher is just so encouraging and has taught me so much. She is the one who introduced me to my favorite fiction book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Need I say more?! (In fact, she loves TKAM so much she named her daughter Harper.)
There are the questions!
I really enjoyed answering them!
Here are the people I tag:
1. Julia @Julia’s Creative Corner
3. R.M. Archer
And here are my questions for the nominees:
1. What kinds of scenes are the most difficult for you to write?
2. How did you come up with your most recent story idea?
3. Do you have a favorite author, and if you do, why do you like them?
4. What’s your opinion on novels told in poetry form?
5. What is the deciding factor for you in determining whether or not you liked a book?
And I have a question for all of you guys as well!
On her post, Issa talked about taglines, and she had a tagline for her latest completed project, Into the Lamp. Which got me curious. I don’t think much about taglines, but now I wonder… if The Apostle’s Sister had a tagline, what would it be? If any of you have any ideas, I would love to hear them!
That’s all for today! There will be posts on Tuesday and Thursday this week, so stay tuned for those!
You know the drill – eat, pray, write, repeat!