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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Voice—Development Part One

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“It’s about being who we are--that will determine what we do.” Jay Kesler

Even our dream projects have the ability to grind us down emotionally, mentally, and spirituality because of excessive demands, or time constraints, or unexpected urgent issues that upend our day. It’s easy to get sidetracked from our creative process.  And get sidetracked from finding our personal creative voice for our stories. There are whole books written on creative process, so here are just a few basic thoughts that might help focus you on developing voice and story over time. And although I’m only mentioning a few possibilities this blog became so long I’m dividing it into three parts and will post again on Saturday and Tuesday before we dig into specific categories beginning with Picture Books next week.

One: Identify Your Creative Process

Creative Process in writing requires three parts: generate the material, shape the material (either to audience or form), and read/polish the material. Or create, construct and craft. All three need to be fed—all three interconnect.

One of Sarah Domet driving philosophies for her book, 90 Days To Your Novel, states, “If you do not write on a daily basis, or a near daily basis, you are not a writer.”  Yet, knowing how jumbled my own schedules have been over the years, I think the key is really consistency. Whether writing daily, bi-weekly, weekends, or for once a month mini marathons, once you choose what works within your life—make a commitment to it and don’t let go except for disaster interruptions.

James Scott Bell advises becoming “a snatcher of time.” He recommends taking a blank weekly calendar and darkening all the blocks that are obligations. Then look at the empties. Fill them up with writing appointments.

Time is a rich commodity. Take your creative pulse. When are you most alert to write new material? What can you nurture in slower stages of your day? Find your balance between create mode and critique mode and keep them separate.

Also be aware that there are often three main obstacles to goals that can effect your process. Perfectionism. Fear. Procrastination. Being stuck can also be part of the creative process too thought, so when that happens take time to ask questions to the answers you do not know. But sometimes we need to have a concrete time in order to write towards. Sometimes the story needs space to unfold and we need to give it the quiet and time to develop.

Action Steps:

1.      Keep track of how you use your unscheduled time over the next week.
2.     Pay attention to whatever obstacles block your creative projects. Perfectionism. Fear. Procrastination. Write down one action or shift in thinking that you use to overcome this attitude no matter what you are doing.

Share: How can you adapt this defense to your writing time?

Read deep, marcy

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