Splendiferous news here today! I've been mining my imagination for stories, plots and ideas for several years now ... hoping to find a book in there somewhere. I've found all sorts of adventures, crafted many stories children would probably enjoy ... but nothing promising enough to justify the time it would take to process and polish to perfection. I loved my 'inklings', as I call them, but try as I might, couldn't raise them to maturity. Aside from a couple of favourites which I did submit to publishers, I couldn't clearly imagine them in print, in the hands of readers.
How I have yearned for that moment, for that book. And now, I think I've struck gold!
I'm fairly protective of my inklings before they hatch. I will say my new work is inspirational, motivational non-fiction. I am writing for teens and adults. I think it matters. I'd love to outline the book, along with the marketing plan and extra dimensions I've planned ... but not yet.
For years I have wanted to write fiction, for children and teens, just as I love reading it. And writers write, right? So I have written ... about 30 stories, from first to third drafts and a handful of thirteenth drafts. I received just as many rejection letters from publishers. These are apparently important stepping stones on the path to publication, so I feel privileged and professional to have them.
I always thought my non-fiction bits and pieces were just training ground, something to tap out while I wrestled to pull together the threads of my 'real' stories. Non-fiction came naturally to me, probably as a result of writing countless highschool and university essays. In recent years I played with writer's tip-sheets, snippy heckler articles and of course countless teaching documents, both necessary and superfluous. It's kind of funny (but predictable) that my first potentially publishable book would be non-fiction.
I've had a fantastic writing apprenticeship thus far. I've been helped along the way by how-to-write books, websites, magazines, occasional writer's groups and e-zines. A few web-based classes gave me food for thought, such as Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake method and Marg McAlister's Writing 4 Success courses which also came with detailed feedback.
When I was writing more prolifically a couple of years ago, I was wonderfully, informally mentored by children's book authors, Dianne Bates and Margaret Watts. I met Di Bates through correspondence about a writers newsletter she produced, and visited Di and her also-writing husband, Bill Condon, with my young family. Margaret Watts was a childhood friend of my mother in law, an accomplished writer and teacher, who happily corresponded and encouraged me. The friendship and advice these ladies provided was remarkable. It means a great deal to me that two accomplished authors took the time to nurture my budding talent. I intend to be just as welcoming and generous with the people who come into my life. That is, in part, what my new book is about!
So. I have a goal. I have a plan of attack. If I have 5 minutes here and there, an hour or two once in a while, I can do this. When I'm writing fiction, I lose touch with reality, crave hours of solitude and feel like I'm neglecting my loved ones ... I love the escape and indulgence of writing, but it's not conducive to being a good parent and wife. Other writers and parents can do both, but I can't do both properly at this point in time.
This project is uplifting, energising and inspiring. I know why I want to write this book and what it might mean to my readers. Hopefully, that's enough to keep the spark burning until I'm ready to write it.