I stole a day out of last week to focus on this craft of writing. Along with several hundred scribes, I turned from other responsibilities to consider the very questions I’m answering here today: what do I write and why? The workshop I attended zeroed in on the art of novel writing and my head was filled with great encouragement, instruction and examples from award-winning mystery writer William Kent Krueger. Between sessions and at lunch, all of us writerly types shared what we’re working on and traded contact information. It was a good day.
That day of focus reminded me that writing is as important to me as breathing. So, taking a deep breath, I’m responding to an invitation from my friend Brenda Yoder to post this week as part of a World Blog Tour. (Please visit Brenda’s wonderful blog, Life Beyond the Picket Fence, and see what she’s been up to.)
What am I working on?
In addition to putting into words my observations on life to be shared with you on this blog, I’ve begun crafting a little piece of fiction about a farming family. It’s a story that’s lived in my heart for over a year and I recently shared part of it with my writing group. With instruction from Mr. Krueger and from several great writing books, I hope to create a story that will move and inspire others. We’ll see.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’m not sure that it does. I love writing essays — which is essentially what blog posts are. It’s my desire that readers will step away from reading my blog with something to “mull over”. I’m sure that is what most bloggers desire. As for the novel, as the story unfolds, I’m hopeful that it will be an accurate portrayal of the trials and joys of working together as a family, especially in the midst of the conflicts and challenges life brings.
Why do I write what I do?
I write the blog because I believe we miss so much when we fail to slow down, observe, record and appreciate all the living that goes on around us. Several years again, I read a book by Nancy Nordenson entitled “Just Think”. Her little book was the impetus for my quest to love God with all my MIND. I think one of the most beautiful words in the Bible is “selah” — a tiny word inserted in the Psalms that tells us to slow down and think on what has just been read. In life, I try to practice “selah”.
How does my writing process work?
I wish I knew. It just happens, really. I seem to write best under pressure and late at night. However, I’ve had some very productive afternoons on the front porch of my writing cabin and in a local coffee shop. It’s best for me to write when inspiration strikes, though that isn’t always possible. For the novel, I’m keeping a notebook with character descriptions, a story outline and back story for each of the characters. They change as the characters evolve, but it’s a good place to start. For the blog, many posts come from my personal Bible studies or from books I’m reading, as well as from things happening in the world.
Next stop on the World Blog Book Tour?
While I follow and enjoy many well-known bloggers, two of my favorites live right here in northern Indiana.
I’d like to introduce you to my dear friend, Connie Gochenaur. After raising her daughters in suburbia, Connie recently became a “farm girl” and writes about her beautiful life at www.mydayswelllived.com. Connie is Mom to four grown daughters, Grandma to four wonderful grandchildren and Wife to Jon the Farmer.
I’m also hoping you’ll stop by the blog of Lou Ann Homan-Saylor. Lou Ann is a columnist for our local newspaper and writes a lively, entertaining blog at louannhoman.blogspot.com. A storyteller, writer, actress and teacher, Lou Ann leads a life between two worlds — her home in nearby Angola, Indiana, and Okracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Lou Ann is currently an islander, tending the light house and participating in theater at her beloved summer home. During the school year, she is on the faculty of Trine University.