Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become really adept at anything. I’m beyond 10,000 hours of writing, thus theoretically “adept.” However, I am mainly “grateful.” Writing is a deep pleasure that allows me to forget everything and enter a world where anything can happen as I try to tame fictional characters and settings into an enjoyable, worthwhile story. Some of this happy escape (but also disciplined effort) results in actual books people can buy, or check out of the library, and read. But a big chunk of it accumulates as experience/practice/backstory/abandoned bad ideas.
And there’s more to being a writer than writing.
There’s living. All of my books in one way or another come out of my personal experience or passions or fears or psychological bent, and I am grateful for the people who have shared my journey and made life worthwhile and happy.
There’s reading. I’m picky. I like to read writers who are masterful in their literary skills, and I hope that affects my writing. To name just a few of those who inspire me: Edith Pearlman, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Kent Haruf, Daniel Woodrell, Ann Patchett, Barbara Kingsolver, Karen Hesse, Kimberly Willis Holt, Rainbow Rowell, Gary Schmidt, Kathi Appelt.
There’s community. Writers need the support of colleagues. Locally I am blessed by my Writers’ Group and PAL of Central Iowa. I am also a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).
And most of all, there are readers. The people who take my stories and make them part of their own life experiences.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by. Please take a few minutes to explore and learn more about my books. My most recent book is 27 Magic Words, from Holiday House, 2016.