Though I’m an introvert, meaning I’m more interested in thinking about the stories in my head than making small talk at dinner parties, I’m not socially awkward or shy, and I don’t suffer from any kind of stage fright—except when it comes to talking to strangers about my writing. My face heats and my blood pressure spikes. I either go brain-blank or start babbling, speaking in disjointed sentence fragments with lots of “um’s.” Continue reading
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Good writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It needs direction and inspiration. Here are a few of the books I have been reading lately that have given my own writing a boost. What books have helped you improve your writing?
The Magic Words by Cheryl Klein
This book on writing has been a real gem. It covers the nuts and bolts of the process but also infuses each page with the inspiration and wonder that made me become a writer in the first place. To make things even better, the entire book is devoted to writing for children, particularly middle grade and young adult. The exercises throughout the book are particularly helpful because they focus on your work in progress instead of assigning unrelated exercises. Continue reading
You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.
Do you use Pintrest for your writing? If so, what are your favorite pins?
I heard Kate DiCamillo speak at a book festival last year, and she described getting a job at a warehouse when she first got serious about writing. The job gave her time to write, but it also gave her the mental space to write. She spent her work day using her body and then her writing day using her mind. It created a balanced life.
That kind of balance is hard to come by, but it’s vital for a writer to produce good work. And it’s a concept I’ve been learning the hard way. Continue reading