WriteOwls is a collaborative community, but we each bring unique motivations that shape our approach to the blog. Here’s a look at why we’re here. We invite you to join our community and share what motivates you to write.
Long journeys. In life we all have them. We all have those things that require so much of us that to look at the whole shakes something inside of us, and we learn, like all those who have gone before, that such sojourns must be taken a step at a time. But we know this. It’s only common sense to eat the elephant a bite at a time. If that were all it took, so many more books would be written, so many more dreams seen to fruition, so many more mountains conquered. However, that’s not all we need to come to the victorious end of a long journey. We are relational creatures, and it is relationship that has guided so many past the dull spots, over the hurdles, and beyond the obstacles to the end. That’s what I look for in writing sites and groups. Not someone to tell me how to write, for I am forever obstinate, but a companion to keep me going. To encourage me when I am flagging and failing. To come along beside me with the soft assurance that I am not alone in my journey. That there are others who journey also, who stumble and need assurances, too. People searching not only for their dream’s end, but for the pieces of themselves that have gone quietly missing in a ruckus and fast-paced world. That’s what I seek and what I also hope to offer. Inspiration. Insight. Encouragement. But mostly, another companion for your journey. Godspeed. – Alicia
I know I’m not alone in wishing there were more hours in a day. After taking care of my family and meeting my freelance writing deadlines, there never seems to be any time left for writing fiction. For years, I tried finding ways to consistently put my creative writing talents into a daily routine. None seemed to take root – until I realized the best way for me to keep at it was to be around other writers. So I joined a local writers’ guild and then formed a critique group for writers who share my passion for children’s literature. These writing companions inspire and encourage me every day. They introduce me to new ideas and resources. They challenge me and hold me accountable. They understand that writing isn’t something I like to do, but something that is intimately connected to my happiness and identity. And, most important, they help me remember that about myself. Do I still struggle to fit creative writing into my busy life? Absolutely. But with other writers surrounding me, I keep finding resourceful ways to make it happen. Here’s to helping you do the same. – Laura
When I showed up for my first semester of college and declared myself an English major, the next question was, “Are you going to teach?” No. Teaching involved wrangling a roomful of children and somehow coaxing them to learn. Definitely not. I went for a career in journalism instead. But now that it’s come time to declare my purpose in this blog, I discover that I do want to teach after all. When I first really, seriously dived into writing, I was shocked at how little I actually knew about writing a book. Remember that English degree? Turns out it’s better for analyzing someone else’s book than for writing my own. So, like the good English major/journalist that I am, I started researching. I read books, magazines, and blogs. I joined a writing group. I signed up for conferences. I still have a lot to learn, but as I learn it, I’m going to share it with you. My posts will focus on relaying useful information on the practicalities of writing, both the craft itself and managing the writing life. If something I write rings true to your own experience, or if you have insights to add to the topic, chime in. We’re all here to learn. – Megan
I always thought of writing as a solo endeavor, until I actually started writing. As words collected into sentences, sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into pages, I saw the evidence of books read and things experienced come to life in my own stories. My love for allusion I borrow from Ralph Ellison and Kate DiCamillo; the challenge of lyrical prose and vignettes I steal from Sandra Cisneros, and the desire to use an honest voice I seize from J.D. Salinger and Sherman Alexie. As writers, we weave the muses of the outside world into our writing. We are undoubtedly influenced and inspired by the words of other writers, either by the books we read or through the advice imparted by other writers we trust to critique our works in progress. While, I might sit at my computer (or typewriter when it has a ribbon) to write alone, the paradoxical truth is: writing is collective; no story has been written by an individual. And so, on we go, together. -Naomi
When I took a stab at my first picture book project, I was both confident and clueless about the writing process. Guess how bad it was? The second one was worse. So I joined a children’s writers critique group—a humbling, enlightening, and above all motivating experience. Writing is a lonely pursuit when you’re stumbling around in the dark, but sharing the journey with bright, talented people has made me a better writer. There are so many things I get out of interacting with the other writers on this blog, that a ten-page list wouldn’t amount to one tiny cube out of the whole iceberg. Instead, I’ll focus on a couple of chips. (1) Book recommendations. Whenever I’m struggling with an issue, I look for books that do whatever it is really well, and my writer’s group always has good suggestions. (2) Insights I discover during my writing journey. There will also be a lot of painting analogies in my posts–it’s amazing how much crossover there is. On some level, art is art, regardless of the medium. Here’s to helping one another become fabulous artists! – Stacey