Westview Questions of the Week

persevereA few weeks ago I visited Westview School in Champaign, Il to talk to the fifth grade students about the writing process.  I told the students I would respond to their questions on my website.  They have asked some really great questions.  Here’s a few for this week.

1. Do your kids write books?

Sometimes my children like to tell stories, but they haven’t started writing much.  One is not in school yet and the other is in early elementary.  For now I hope they enjoy reading books and maybe one day they will find their own story.

2. Did you ever doubt yourself or want to give up?

Sure, this has been a long process filled with times of both success and frustration.   My faith is a big part of my life, so when I feel like that, I pray.  I also take a break from writing long enough to read something for fun or watch an inspiring movie.  It also helps to have someone read something I’ve written and get some encouragement.  The main thing that brings me through, though, is my faith.

3.  Is your story on your blog?

No, I am actually saying very little about my story on my blog for now.  Until I have it on the way to the bookstores, I am keeping it pretty private.  What my blog is about is the stuff I’m learning about writing that I think might help someone else who is on the same journey.  I also like to share great books I have read and what makes them so good.

4.  What helped you become a writer?

Being a reader is the best thing you can do to become a writer.  By reading a lot you develop a sense of story.  You know how a story is suppose to work – plot, characterization, story arc, etc – by reading good stories.  It just kind of soaks in.  There is a lot to learn through books about how to write, but you can’t learn how to sense what works in a story or what doesn’t unless you are reading a lot of good stories.

5.  Is it a hard process?

I think like most things, the first time you do something is pretty hard.  You do a lot of things wrong and you learn from your mistakes.  I have written a lot of things in the past, but nothing like this.  So I am learning A LOT!  I’m hoping it will get easier with each story, but some challenge is good.  It keeps you sharp and when you get through the challenge you have grown and can feel proud of yourself.  Yes, it is hard, but not so hard that I don’t want to try.  I’m looking forward to the victory!

Next week is the last set of questions.

Until then,

Enjoy Playing with Words

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