You know you may be a writer if . . .
Love my journals!
- you have an uncontrollable obsession with journals and writing utensils.
- a trip to the library is a highlight of your week.
- you are reading at least three books at the moment. One is to research a topic that intrigues you. One is in the genre you can see yourself writing. One is just for you.
- when a loved one asks you to watch TV, you agree because it’s important to spend time with living, breathing loved ones, and not just the darlings that are sitting on your nightstand tugging at your heart.
- on your nightstand you keep a journal, writing utensil, and flashlight. Great ideas that must be written down come before the sun.
- you get caught reading over someone’s shoulder.
- you know how some people get hangry? That’s how you feel when you haven’t had a chance to write in a few days.
- you edit your text messages
- your loved ones know that you are not hangry and send you off to write (because they are tired of your brooding).
- you keep an inspiration journal close by.
- you frequent thesaurus.com
- you love to listen to others speak, waiting for interesting phrasing. And then you hurry to that inspiration notebook to record it.
- you keep a dictaphone in your car.
- you secretly contemplate how to portray your middle school nemesis in a future story. Haha! The written word lingers forever!
- you never feel lonely if you have a book or journal with you.
- you run late in the morning because you had to write down one idea, but that idea grows and you need to see where it takes you and you have to keep writing despite the ticking clock. Then you rush through your shower because the idea percolated with the falling water and you hurry to that journal once more, dripping droplets on it (because ideas come best when its inconvenient.)
- cutting your word count by 5% is as satisfying as getting a haircut.
- you’ve been wondering if you are a author-in-waiting, but doubt yourself.
Doubt no more. Get playing with words!
It was bound to happen. And it has. Lauren Tarshis has come out with a new I SURVIVED story, and it’s the one I secretly hoped she would not want to write. So, of course she did.
Grrrr. I’ve already ordered mine. And I know it will be wonderful as all of her books are. Sigh. Learn more about Lauren Tarshis here while I lament over my dramatic and action-filled Chicago Fire story (that is BACKDRAFT meets PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) with the makings of a classic that is still sitting in my computer waiting to find the right publisher.
On the upside, she wrote her story because her readers asked for it. Therefore, there are kids out there who are interested in the Great Chicago Fire (and I can’t blame them!). AND . . . My story is skewed to a slightly older audience, of fifth and sixth graders. This means the third and fourth graders who loved I SURVIVED THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE OF 1871 will have a great story to look forward to when they get a year or two older.
Well, that’s my upside and I’m sticking to it. No lingering discouragement allowed on the path to becoming a published author!
Keep playing with words and keep your chin up when the inbox is not bringing you the news you’ve been waiting for!
Though I’m sure I take after my mother in many ways, I’ll only admit to one. I love to explore new territory and I’m not afraid to do it by myself. This is something that I will attribute to my always-on-the-go mom.
In mid-October 2010 I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Quebec City. While he busied his days with scheduled meetings, I stepped back in time within the walls of Old Quebec City (where they speak french and I think it is too lovely of a language to try to imitate publicly).
Streets of Old Quebec
Around lunch time I picked a small restaurant that sat on a narrow cobblestoned street that was too narrow for motor vehicles, but perfect for the throngs of footing-it tourists.
The restaurant where it all started.
Though there was a slight chill in the air I opted to sit outside where I could overlook the small park decorated in pumpkins and fall colors. And so I could people watch. I was on vacation so I treated myself to french onion soup and red wine. Wine for lunch!
The view from my table.
In the park, an older couple played folk french music.
Listening to French folk music.
Was it the wine? The ambiance? The foreign land where I was discovering a new side to myself? Whatever it was, I pulled a notepad from my purse and began writing.
They were most likely the most awful words ever scribbled down, but they were my beginning. Old Quebec City will forever be my most favorite place to write and I hope to make it back there again.
A brand new website launched a couple of days ago. It is a virtual cafe where agents and writers get to mingle and writers are encouraged to pitch their stories. The goal is to give writers more access to a wide variety of agents and agents a way to search for the kind of story they are itching to represent. Will there be many happy matches? Time will tell. Until then, I’ll bring the coffee and meet you at writerpitch.com