Writing typically happens alone, a writer with her ideas and her words, weaving stories and hoping to touch the hearts, the minds, the souls of others. And nothing feeds a writer’s efforts more than community. A community of other creatives, of other dreamers who are taking steps to nurture and grow the seeds of dreams planted in them by the Creator himself.
This week, I have the opportunity to write in community and to link up my words and stories with other writers on a Blog Tour. I was invited to join this party of creatives by blogger, Sarah Gail, and if you need some encouragement or some good ideas, I recommend grabbing yourself some coffee or tea and spending some time with her words.
As for the Blog Tour, we are all answering four questions and sharing a bit of who we are in the process. At the end of this post, I’ll introduce two other bloggers who I’ve invited to join the Blog Tour party. I hope you’ll give each of these amazing bloggers some love by clicking through their links.
1. What am I working on?
Last November I dove into National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) with plenty of enthusiasm, a bit of trepidation and no story idea to speak of. For those of you who aren’t familiar with NaNo, it’s an annual event where writers commit to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. It had been a while since I’d shown up on a daily basis to write a novel and this was just the incentive I needed.
And, with two little girls, ages 6 and 4, the challenge was double for me. Not just finding a story to tell, but finding time in the midst of motherhood and the swirl of life.
But I managed to pull it off. I hit 55k words by the day before Thanksgiving and had 2/3 of a story unfolding.
Because that story has lingered in my mind, I am revising the first 55k words and then working on finishing the story. To stay committed to this idea, I created Writing Wednesdays here on the blog. On Wednesdays, I post a new chapter of my novel, The Dream Quest.
It’s been great fun and led to another thing that I decided to dive into with plenty of enthusiasm: Writing Sprint Wednesdays. At the end of each chapter post on Wednesday, I include a Writing Sprint Prompt and challenge other creative writers to join me on the blog, writing for 15 minutes without their inner critic or editor and with absolute abandon and joy. Writing for the sake of writing, and I get to host the link up party and build a community of writers. It’s incredibly awesome so far.
2. How does my work differ from others of my genre?
All writers are unique and provide a glimpse of reality through their experience and world view. I am a storyteller. I like to find new and interesting ways to approach an idea, and often that approach is steeped in my faith in God, my love of Jesus and my desire to encourage others in the living out of their stories. I do this through reflective blog posts and through creative writing of stories.
Perhaps the greatest illustration of this was a blog series I wrote during Lent. In that series, Walking with Jesus to Jerusalem, I took familiar moments in the final week of Jesus’ life and placed myself and my reader in the story. I wondered what things might have been like, the looks on people’s faces, the emotion that permeated the moment, and mined the depths of my heart and experience to capture a storyteller’s perspective of Jesus and his death and resurrection.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Writing has unfolded for me like a complex flower with many petals, like a chrysanthemum. Each petal contributes to the wholeness, the beauty of the flower and does not stand alone.
My writing has included various pursuits, each seeking to capture and express the essence of me and the world around me. My first blog started as a marriage blog – Love in Marriage and its predecessor 365 Reasons I Love My Husband. Within this new year, I began to explore ways to meld my blogging with my love of story and creative writing.
I believe that our lives are made up of the sum of daily choices we make. My marriage blog focused on the idea that love is a choice we must make daily. That idea remains in my writing. What we do each day, the joy we experience, the hardships and challenges we endure, shape us; but we also shape those experiences by our thoughts and attitudes and beliefs.
For me, one of the biggest parts of shaping my experiences and therefore my life comes through faith and through Jesus. I write what I do to point the world back to him, whether in a blog post about a challenge in my life, like a broken marriage, or through a story like The Dream Quest.
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
It begins a lot like what Stephen King talks about in his book, On Writing; I ask a lot of what if questions and quietly listen to and for the still small voice of my muse. I am a big fan of writing for the joy of writing and capturing a story. Sometimes that means that I write what writers dub a lot of pre-writing (in other words, I write a lot of words that will land on the cutting room floor so that I can get to the words that I need to tell the story).
This can take the form of Writing Sprints that let me write without overthinking and it can take the form of putting things aside for a time and revisiting them with a fresh eye and a willingness to cut and revise.
Mostly, it involves a willingness to show up, to let go of my expectations and to write where the words lead. Stephen King suggests that writers are similar to archeologists in that our job is really to uncover the stories that we write and I subscribe wholeheartedly to this idea. It’s where some of my best stories, posts and words come from.
And with that in mind, it is time for me to hearken to the call of the muse and see what my character, Daniel from The Dream Quest is up to and where he needs me to follow him next.
Check out these bloggers and my new friends:
Next week, these two friends will continue the Blog Tour. I’ve met each of them through a community of Dreamers and Builders and they are both amazing, inspiring and encouraging. Please, be sure to click through the links below and show these writers some Blog Tour love. Thanks!
Ami Adams is a wife & mother who is striving to be the woman God designed her to be while inspiring and influencing women and girls around her. An introvert, she is learning that it’s okay to be herself and that God can still use her for His glory. With a heart for reaching young girls and women, she desires to instill in them self-acceptance, love, and the importance of always being who they are. Ami believes in the power of being real and vulnerable as a woman, but also a God-follower. Girl, Be Still is her home and her journey of figuring out God’s plan for her as she trusts Him to use the gifts and talents He placed within her years ago. More than anything, she wants others to know the deep, unwavering love God has for them!
Meagan Logsdon is a writer of imaginative fiction she hopes to publish someday. She would love to write full-time without having to resort to living in a cardboard box. Her writing explores themes common to humanity–hope, evil, redemption, community, and ethics, to name a few. An enthusiastic collector and devourer of books, Meagan confesses to having a bizarre, probably unhealthy, crush on C. S. Lewis and a bizarre, slightly more healthy, friendship with Madeleine L’Engle and Dorothy Sayers.