When people learn that I’m a writer, an author, a crafter of events that have never really happened, they wonder how on earth I can think of story ideas. And honestly, I wonder how they can’t. But I have an edge…I’m a parent. I am surrounded by endless questions like…
What part of your life would you want to go back to and live it again?” my daughter asked. “To re-experience a good moment or to fix a bad moment?” I asked. “Either,” she answered, “but you could only pick one.
Talk about a story idea!
There are times when balancing parenting, homeschooling and writing is overwhelming. I am constantly working on something: meals, cleaning, teaching, plotting… I’m not alone, because here you are, reading this and possibly searching for the “how to” write while your toddler is shouting commands from across the table (mine is demanding to be released from his highchair…he has been sentenced to finish his breakfast). It takes a sense of humor, patience with clutter, writing in snippets between naps and those dangerous quiet moments when children are investigating the corners of the house and finding joy in using crayola markers to redecorate (real experience) or giving each other haircuts (again, real event).
I sometimes imagine my life as a TV show: a sit-com when the day goes well, or, when drama is high, it’s all in the name of research for those tense scenes of future novels…How will the wife manage yet another task? Will she enlist the help of her children to prepare the house for a showing (we are selling our home) or will she put on her super-mom cape and do it all herself, thus inflicting undue chaos as she single-handedly cleans, cooks and acts out how to find common demoninators for her fifth-grader.
I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t have to. Below you will find several resources for writing with children, how to use Goodreads to market your book, a comedic look at your life as a writer, and an interview with Mary Trunk, a film maker and mom who explored moms who make art. Enjoy!
“If you ask your child whether the new kid in school is the protagonist or the antagonist, you might be a writer.” … and dozens more clues that might implicate you in this writing conspiracy.
WRITING WITH CHILDREN
Parents who write are often put in one of two categories: 1) highly organized individuals who use their time wisely; or 2) highly focused individuals who can focus on a task despite the chaos surrounding them. Charles Yallowitz presents an optimistic point of view that inspired me to take a fresh look at how I interact with my children while I’m trying to crank out a new chapter. Charles, thank you for your compassionate parenting and encouraging words!
MARKETING WITH GOODREADS
Once you’ve passed that initial gatekeeper and have found a publisher, the world of marketing takes over your writing life. Kimberley Grabas introduces Goodreads as a marketing tool, not to advertise with “spammy comments and blatant self-promotion” but a true give-and-take approach. Filled with how-to set up an account and dozens of helpful tips, this is a must-read article for all published and self-published authors!
Imagine a magical place that gathers together 17 million of the most passionate readers who want to talk about, review and buy your book. A place that not only allows, but encourages, both new and established authors to promote their books. A place that provides FREE opportunities to – get your book in front of thousands of buyers, – conduct informal research (polls), – participate in a highly viral environment, – join or create groups with like-minded people on every literary topic imaginable, – create an author presence, connecting your book, your blog and your social media platforms. Now imagine if Amazon purchased this magical realm of high quality, book-buying, book-loving influencers in the spring of 2013, likely leading to big opportunities to align your Amazon marketing to this Utopia. If such a paradise existed, would you want to be a part of it?
CAN MOMS MAKE ART?
Ever wonder if being a parent and an artist was like trying to freeze water with your bare hands? Or, in your mind, do the two go together like birds and bees? Susan K. Perry interviews Mary Trunk in an eye-opening discussion about Mary’s documentary Lost In Living. I, for one, am eager to watch this film!
A filmmaker spent several years interviewing 4 mothers who write or make art. And I interviewed HER about what she found. Very honest and thought-provoking interview.
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If you are looking for a summer read, check out Unforgettable Roads.