“Unfinished Writing Syndrome”

It’s confession time. I’m coming to realize I have a disturbing writing habit. If you’re a writer, maybe you do too. I call it my “Unfinished Writing Syndrome.”  I have many good and promising picture books and middle grade novel manuscripts that I’ve started, and haven’t finished.

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I no longer work on one to revise it, when I find I’m already thinking about the one I’m not working on. I can’t say I’m happy about this one bit. It’s frustrating, irritating, and downright unproductive at times. It’s all a matter of focus, or lack thereof at this time.

Everyone’s writing process is different. I only hope this isn’t mine forever. There are better ways, and I’m going to go create one for myself. After all, we are in control of our own writing-self.

Your input:  Do you have “Unfinished Writing Syndrome,” or perhaps another “writing condition?”

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“It’s Time To Write”

Learning the craft of writing is important and pertinent to every writer’s life and profession. Over the years I’ve attended countless children’s writing workshops, conferences, lectures, and purchased writing resource books. Then there’s also online information to comb through, which can be overwhelming. The writer can literally read all day about writing.

But then comes the time to sit and write. The time topexels-photo-220357.jpeg apply what you’ve learned.
What good is the education if you never use it?

That’s where I am right now. “Just write” I hear my creative side shouting…even pleading! Well, all right. I’m realizing that I should just write, and then go back and apply what I’ve learned when revising and editing.

Writing at its heart is a creative process, unfettered by rules. The rules, techniques and tricks you learn apply to the revising and editing part. Yes, some of the acquired skills will shape our writing, but writing should pexels-photo-316465.jpegfreely flow out of our imagination first.

I’m sure most writers already know that. And I do too. I just needed this reminder. Thanks for indulging me. And excuse me while I go write!

Your inputDo you tend to pile on the knowledge while you write, or after you’re done?

“2018: Will This Be The Year?”

I, along with most traditionally unpublished authors, ask themselves every New Year: “Will this be the year I get a literary agent and/or published?”

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© Forrest Davis

I think it’s a fair question full of hopes and goals that should be fed daily and never left to doubt. After all, hope fills the heart and mind with action. The kind of action needed to move a writer (or anyone) forward with their dreams being fulfilled and their goals being reached. It doesn’t happen all at once. We must build upon it day by day, week by week, month by month, and often year by year.

An essential step to take is perfecting your craft. I’m excited to be attending a SCBWI Nuts & Bolts Workshop in Tucson this month to sharpen my writing skills. That usually leads to helping the writer complete their manuscript.

The next largest step is the submission process. You’ve worked hard on your manuscript, revising it many times, having critique partners make valuable suggestions. You edit, revise, complete, and hit the “Send” button. Then it’s out of your hands. Or is it? That’s the time to start on a new story, or edit another one. But most of all, it’s time to have faith in your work.

Children book writers often write books for young readers that are full of hope and dreams coming true. Why shouldn’t the child within the writer anticipate and believe the same for themselves?

pexels-photo-714703.jpeg  Your input: What are your goals and dreams for 2018?

“Tis The Season To Keep Writing!”

This time of year is no doubt the busiest time of year. There are Chanukah and Christmas gifts to buy and wrap. Though online shopping has become a favorite for me, it can still cause my eyes to glaze over—plus one needs to scoop up the packages before the porch pirates do! Then there are cards to sign and send. Many of us sum up the year in a family newsletter. Let’s not forget holiday parties. It just all takes time and energy.  Night Xmas TreeIMG_edit3_9993_1

For the writer, it’s easy to throw up your hands and say, “I’m too pooped to write.” I’ve done that before. But this year, I’m fitting some writing time around Christmas festivities. I find the Christmas carols calming and inspiring.

Most of all, this season is the time I spend with myself as a child. You read correctly, and I know that may sound a bit weird, but for me it isn’t. So many good and loving memories of family and warm laughter.

Childhood holiday memories fit in perfectly with writing for children.  Children never take a break from being children, and I should never take a break from being a writer for children.

Don’t get me wrong, I have taken plenty of time to prepare for Christmas this year and I’m looking forward to spending time with family, friends, fun, and festivities!

Your input: Do you put a wrap on writing during the holidays? Or do you write around it? If you are not a writer, what usually gets put on hold during the Christmas or Chanukah season?

“Hail, November!”

Autumn is slowly coming to Tucson, AZ. So far, November is way too “hot” for autumn, even hitting 90 this year! October was also unseasonably warm this year— much too warm,

November brings the cooler, crisper morning air (mid-50s for lows) that feels so good after a long, hot summer (and fall). Even if the afternoon Tucson temps are record-breaking warm-hot they’re not as intense as spring-summer. And even the leaves turn color and fall in Arizona,Fall Leaf Collage_wmk

But when the temps cool down to the 60-70’s for the highs, I find it to be refreshing writing weather. I love writing children’s books with a cup of hot coffee. I seem to think a little more clearly in the crisp air.

The coffee warms my body, while the writing warms my heart. J

And of course pumpkins still abound!

Your input: Do you prefer to write in warm or cool weather? Or, if you’re not a writer, do you prefer warm or cool weather?

“Jack O. Lantern” –The 7th Annual Halloweensie Children’s Story Contest–aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!

Picture book author, Susanna Leonard Hill, is holding her 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest. This will be my first time entering. Please read my entry, Jack O. Lantern, down below, if you dare! So ignore the shadows, invite the monsters, and gather the candy corn for my first ever Halloweensie story (99 words) entry!

Jack O. Lantern

by Lynn Rogalsky

Jack O. Lantern loved Halloween. Jack collected spooky creatures to love.

He found Monster and gave it a monstrous hug.

Jack’s black cat, Shadow, brought home a new friend.

A crow Jack named Candy Corn, because the bird squawked, “Corn, corn!”

The four went trick-or-treating. Jack loved getting candy and seeing all the pumpkins.

At one house a neighbor asked Jack what the O in his name meant.

“Orange. Orange-you-glad we’re here?” Jack’s smile lit up the whole front porch.

Everyone handed them all the candy. Jack wondered why.

“You’re frightful—you have seeds stuck between your teeth!” said Monster.

halloweensie-pumpkin

 

Interested in joining in all the frightening fun?  Pumpkin Jack_wmkSimply write a 100 word Halloween story for children using the words monster, candy-corn, and shadow. 

For all the details, go to Susanna’s website by clicking the link above or here: https://susannahill.com/2017/10/27/the-7th-annual-halloweensie-contest-aahhhrrrooooooooo/.