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Tag! You’re It

vecchi tempiLast week, my friend Janet of JanetGivens.com fame asked me if I’d play in a writerly game of tag — and I said sure.  I just needed to answer three questions and then tag one or more someones to continue the game. Here goes!

What am I working on?

Well, let’s see . . . I’m working on a book manuscript that contains Christian devotionals for writers. I’m far enough along that I’ve contacted an agent who handles this type of book and am waiting to hear back. If not – or if the answer is “no” – then I’m going to contact another agent, while continuing to work on the manuscript. I have ideas for several more Christian books, so it’s important that I get the right agent.

I’m also working on a handful of articles, one about writer’s conferences, another about ostomy care, and another one a devotional. I’m also researching a local history topic for a book I’ll write for my library.

Why do I write what I do?

I try to write material that will help other people and make a difference. For example, two years ago, I helped to found the annual Northeast Ohio Christian Writer’s Conference; the experiences that I’ve had with conference planning and with interacting with attendees inspired the book manuscript. I had a colostomy for eight months and, again, wanted to help others with what I’d learned along the way.

How does my writing process work?

Depends! For more straightforward nonfiction, I can brainstorm the structure inside my head and then I contact people to interview, if applicable, and begin to lay out the skeleton of the article in a Word document. Early on, I don’t worry about how perfectly all reads. I just want to get it down, because that part can be sort of painful to me. Once all starts to come together for me, though, I get excited about the project again and I love to tweak and improve.

For fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir or devotional type material, I usually have an image or feeling in mind and then I freewrite for a while to get it out. I’m often surprised by where I end up.Night driving on an asphalt road towards the headlights

Someone once explained the writing process to me this way: when you drive on a dark night, the headlights illuminate a bit of road ahead of you and you simply trust that, when you get to the end of that geography, the headlights will illuminate the next section of road. And, that’s what writing can be like for me, when it strays from straight nonfiction.

I often find more insight into where to go next on my more creative work after sleeping, so I give my subconscious brain a lot of credit, whereas my conscious brain does more of the heavy lifting for white bread nonfiction.

Next up: Valerie Bordeau at http://freelancewritersacademy.com/

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