Finding My Niche

Last year at HP
I had been out of the publishing business a long time when my friend, Mary, invited me to my first writer’s retreat at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Educational Center in Piggott several years ago.  That experience connected me with other writers and triggered a gradual evolution from retirement to casual dabbling and eventually to more serious writing endeavors.

This year I’ve been trying to clarify my focus. An invitation to jump on a blog hop about My Writing Process seemed the perfect opportunity to refine those thoughts.

Thank you, Stephanie Vanderslice for tagging me. Here’s where I find myself today.
What Am I Working On?

I have a novel (about three-quarters done) that languishes between writing retreats at HP and the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow. When I’m home, I seem to focus on shorter pieces or this blog, which I love, and I’ve been concentrating on inspirational writing in 2014.

Sunday, we’re heading down to Navarre Beach for a couple of weeks where I’ll be working on that book. It’s the perfect place to write without interruptions.  

Our Favorite Getaway Spot
I confess I’m shy about submitting my work. But this year, I’ve sent several devotionals, poems and a story to some faith-based publications. I recently learned that five of my devotionals will be included on a new website that will launch in the near future, which is exciting. I’ll keep you posted on that. Still, I remind myself that my work won’t appeal to everyone. I just hope to find an audience that connects with it.

How Does My Work Differ From Others in my Genre?

I don’t really know. My book is about a young man’s journey from despair to faith. I hope to present the Christian component without being preachy. I’d like to appeal to a broad audience while remaining true to what I believe.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

My writing reflects my life. I’ve lived my own redemption story, plus I have a teacher’s heart. I see spiritual applications in everything. Life is full of writing prompts.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I start my day by reading something inspirational and then spend time reflecting and praying. Some days my writing springs from what I read, but just as often, an idea that’s been percolating begins to take shape. It may start with a single line of poetry, or an outline might unfold almost like a lesson plan. I try to capture these thoughts in a journal, which usually becomes a first draft.



 
My favorite reference book
As I type the copy into my computer, the editing begins. Maybe because I worked as an editor, I actually enjoy the process. Trimming away the nonessential, trading a phrase for the best word to convey a thought brings me great satisfaction. If I let it get cold for a few hours or overnight, I always see more ways to tighten it and make it better when I go back to it.
Like any creative endeavor, my writing is part of me, which can make me overly attached to every thought, line and word. I remind myself to get over it and edit more. If it doesn’t contribute to the central thought, I save it for something else.

Who’s Next in My Blog Hop?
Kayla Dean: Kayla works as a Student Development Specialist at Arkansas State University - Beebe. She is also a wife and the mother of a sixteen-month-old son. She must be amazingly organized because she still finds time to write. She beat me to the post! Read about her writing process at K.I. Dean Around.

Gayle Glass: In addition to being a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother (she looks too young for that!), Gayle is a working woman who still finds the time to write and pursue a liberal arts degree. She has lots of writing experience. Check out her blog The Looking Glass.

At time of publication, I didn't have a third writer for this blog hop, so if you're interested, jump on the My Writing Process blog hop. Just tell me in the comments. I recommend it. It's been an enlightening exercise for me.

  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

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