Rereading the good books.

I love rereading books. The good ones anyway. Especially the ones that inspired me toward being a writer in the first place.

Recently I just picked up the series The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce and finished the four books in about four days. Granted I was sick two of those days and they are easy reads, still, I felt accomplished. It took me on a short journey back to middle school, a place no one really wants to return to, but it reminded me of why I took up writing and the long, strenuous journey of becoming a published author.

I want to write MG/YA novels to reach those kids like me. The awkward ones who don’t quite fit in to any one group of friends. The ones who usually eat lunch in their teacher’s classrooms because it’s more comfortable than finding a seat in the lunch room. The ones who dream of far off places and being different. I want them to be able to read my books as adults and remember how far they’ve come.

But on that same note, I want to reach adults too. After all, I’m an adult now, and I still almost exclusively read MG/YA books. Not really because I want the whole Twilight high school love story thing, but more for the fact that these books are often more brutally honest than Adult books. Not always, but often. And they take bigger risks.

I read a quote about five minutes ago that inspired this blog post. It was from one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis. He said, “a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

Yes. I wholeheartedly agree.

One of my fondest childhood memories is reading the Harry Potter series with my family. My dad and I would often race to finish so the other couldn’t ruin the ending. If I can show someone else that feeling of connection with a parent or role model, the one of a shared passion like reading, I’m going to.

When you’re writing or painting or acting, or whatever it is you do, think about why you’re doing it. Let it remind you of the moment you simply fell in love with your art, and enjoy it.

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Writer Wednesday: Why I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo…

I hope this post doesn’t put a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. So let me preface it by saying this: I think NaNoWriMo is awesome. I think it’s a great way to get authors, agents, and publishers banding together in the pursuit of one tangible goal with us all on the same team.

So why do I not do it?

I could simply say, “because I don’t want to,” and leave it at that, but that’s not what a blog is for, right?

I’ve tried to do NaNoWriMo before and I failed. Miserably. Some people believe that any writing you get done during that month is progress and would consider it a success, but I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. I had a daily word count and I lost steam on day three. I’m just not a fast-paced writer.

I like to take things slow. Feel out the story. Take time to plan and make sure my outline is what I really want to write. Basically, to write as I can each day and not be upset if it’s a paragraph or pages. It’s hard enough to write a short story in a week, let alone a novel in a month!

Plus, if I’m being honest, it’s not very enjoyable for me.

Writing is an escape into a part of me I don’t get to access during my regular work hours. It’s a place I go where I can be free to truly express myself without fear of judgment. (Until people read my work, but that’s a different matter.)

I don’t want it to become something on my to-do list. And when your planner is your best friend, it can be a very easy slip. For that reason, I don’t participate.

I may try again in a future November, but for now, I will content myself with gaining wisdom from the agents willing to share it this month, and working on my short stories for your enjoyment.

Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?