Posts Tagged ‘Let’s Talk About Writing’

Last month we talked about reading. That every writer should read…widely. And then we shared some of the books we love the most, or that have made an impact on our lives.

This month, let’s talk about what we write.

For years, all I wrote was fiction. Long fiction. I found it difficult to keep up a momentum, to create a goal, because it’s such a vast venture. The result was that I often felt bogged down, and the books took much longer to write than they should.

When I decided to create a website , I committed myself to communicating once each week. I devised a separate blog theme for each week and made lists of ideas and titles to keep me going. This was a challenge, to say the least. These words would be non-fiction, a direct connection with readers, instead of the indirectness of a novel. How would I manage it?

But there’s something to be said for commitment. I’d made a promise to myself and to my readers, and with God’s help, I maintained the once per week blog.

The surprise was that I enjoyed it. I was able to develop my writing voice to a greater degree, and had the responsibility to do it weekly. Remember the old adage, variety is the spice of life? That’s what I’m talking about!

The next opportunity for variation in my writing came from my publisher at the time. He requested that I write a short story for Christmas that year (I plan to re-release this story nearer to Christmas. I’ll let you know), and that it be contemporary instead of my usual historical. Another challenge, to be sure, but this story proved to be a ton of fun once I created my characters.

I’m still working mostly on historical fiction, but I have a number of other irons in the fire, and now I know there are many other avenues available to connect with readers. The variations have given a boost to my writing.


What do you write?


What led you to that genre or style?

Do you have any plans to try other genres?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Read Full Post »

Let’s talk about writing. Not just about the craft, but also about the life. This is a sharing blog, so I hope you’ll feel free to participate by commenting.

Whenever I teach basic writing workshops, one of my top suggestions is:



  1. What do you read?
  2. Why do you read what you do; what draws you to that genre / author?
  3. What’s the most recent book you’ve read and what made it good / bad / great?
  4. What’s your favorite book / author from the past year or two?
  5. What reading format(s) do you prefer and why?

I’ll answer from my perspective and you can chime in too. It’s always fun to compare, consider and learn…

my library photoI read all the time.


I’m what you might call a chain-reader, a story addict.



  1. I read mostly fiction because I’m a story person, but I also read non-fiction to learn more about my craft and especially, these days, about indie publishing. I especially like cozy mysteries and historical novels, but I’m also a sucker for the occasional romance read, as long as there’s more to it than the romance. I read genre fiction as opposed to literary fiction because it makes more sense to me. Some of my reasons for reading are:

– to be entertained

– to lose myself in another world

– to learn about people and places

Genre fiction does this for me.

  1. I think I read mysteries for the game: trying to figure out what will happen and why people do the things they do. The cozy part is because I don’t like to read much violence. I appreciate historical novels because that’s what I write, mostly, and I love to imagine and learn how people lived in various times and places.
  2. I am currently reading a book called The Woods at Barlow Bend, by Jodie Cain Smith. 511kJW203hL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU15_It’s quite good for the following reasons:

– the storyline is unpredictable

– the point of view character is a fourteen year old girl who doesn’t understand her world

– tension is heightened when her father is accused of murdering her mother

This is neither a historical nor cozy, but I downloaded it for free from Bookbub (there’s a great site for readers) and it has me hooked.
NOTE: If you decide to read this book, I’d love to talk to you about the ending.

  1. One of my favorite authors in the past few years is Kate Morton. UnknownI love her long stories that peel away secrets and meanings like the layers of an onion. They deal with many issues, about how people respond and react to life’s events, about bad decisions and redemption…or not. The stories are all-consuming, and the mood of the piece runs all the way through each book.

I also love the quiet stories of Botswana told by Alexander McCall Smith through the eyes of Mma Ramotswe, proprietor of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. 512Z4QefB4L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU15_
They are simple and calming.

  1. I prefer print books when I’m sitting comfortably on the couch with good lighting, but if I’m awake at night, or at the hairdressers’, I always have stories on my iPhone. I also listen to audiobooks while I’m doing housework or cooking, and these are often Anne Perry’s Victorian mysteries.

What about you? What do you like to read?





Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: