When I was invited to be part of a “World Blog Tour” I thought, “No, I don’t really have a process…” and you don’t want to put that out there to be emulated! However, I was assured that, yes, that does need to be out there to help someone else know that they are not the only one. Okay, so here is my contribution.
The theme of this tour if the writing process. Aspiring authors and those well established will find these blogs interesting and affirming. We all approach writing so differently!
Pearl Nsiah-Kumi nominated me. Pearl is a retired RN. She came to the United States from Ghana, West Africa and has lived in Maryland for over forty years. Pearl has three children, a son in-law, and four grandchildren. She loves to write poetry and short articles based on Scripture. She has authored two books: Get On Board and Stay On Board and The Last Train at Sunset, and is working on a third. She is also a volunteer counselor at a local Crisis Pregnancy Clinic.
Pearl’s books contain salvation messages, and messages about the Christian walk. They are suitable for devotionals and also helpful in witnessing. Both books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles. You can find more on her website: pearlkumi.weebly.com
A bit about me—
I am a wife, mother, grandmother and an author by accident or design, however you look at it! I was a teacher for many years but when hit by a massive MS attack I was suddenly retired. In an effort to save my sanity and sense of self-worth I began to write stories, insights, etc. without any plan or direction, bits at a time. Then the Lord informed me that we had a book. “We do?” That massive pile of disconnected bits became two books.
This concentrated time with the Lord has changed me in ways I cannot describe and I would not change anything!
My writing process–
1) What am I working on? I am involved in a writing project with a group of writers. We are getting the word out about a premier leadership training program that is transformational. It involves reintroducing relational brain skills that are rapidly falling out of our society. When we missed learning a skill growing up, we cannot teach it to our children, hence they fall out of family lines. The good news is that our brains can learn these skills at any age! My specific assignment is to co-author a book specifically for pastors and church leaders who are in a position to spread these joy growing skills. And who could not use more joy in their life?
2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?
There are lots of leadership training materials out there that teach the skills of leadership, but there is not really anything like ours that we know of. We teach and train the relational brain skills needed to develop and maintain healthy relationships. What is unique about our “joy project” is that relational brain skills are learned in the right hemisphere of the brain. That means that you cannot learn them from a book, a webinar or other lecture type of classroom setting. They have to be learned by imitating–from modeling, by watching someone who already has them. It is kind of like “monkey see; monkey do”! In an ideal world we would all master these skills by the time we are 3 years old. So what am I, as a writer, doing in such a project? The mind has to be satisfied that there is a real need for such training. The book learning is important because when we understand the neurology and the need to retrain the brain, we can joyfully jump into the training.
3. Why do I write what I do?
The non-fiction started out as a sanity saver during the recovery from the M.S. attack in 1995. Then it became an effort to keep a promise I made to a mentor to take his teaching and explore it deeper and farther than he had. When that was done I thought that was the end of it–I wrote my term paper and handed it in! Now I could knit. But God had other plans. Now it is a matter of passion for my Lord.
I finally came to understand that my classroom had expanded rather than been diminished. The Lord called me to be His scribe. My current assignment is to stay one step behind Jesus, close enough to hear what He says and write it down and make it plain. But the fiction is because I am a compulsive storyteller and word clown; it also gives me mental respite from the discipline of the non-fiction. I write it to entertain and while people are laughing, the character building message of the story goes into their hearts without resistance.
4. How does my writing process work?
I really have two styles of process. With the non-fiction I research and write up sections or snippets. First, I listen to the Lord to see what He wants to put in the table of contents. I try to outline–sometimes that works and other times I simply have to sit down and write to see what I know. Then I research to fill in the gaps. Then I go back to edit and rewrite, who knows how many times! After wrestling with it until I am mentally and emotionally exhausted I again ask the Lord how He wants to end the book. I sit back and watch the ending happen. When God shows up to write His part it is so exhilarating I want it never to end. Of course it does.
The other style of writing is the children’s stories. Those pull out details from my childhood on the farm. God initiates by dropping a title and sometimes the story line into my head. When I sit down to write I am reading the story for the first time as it comes out on the computer screen. One chapter in the 4th book of the Sassy Pants series He gave me the chapter title, but not the storyline: “Pigs on Parade.” I knew nothing about marching but my daughter in the Coast Guard knew all about marching. She filled me in on the learning to march process and then I typed out the chapter laughing the whole time!
The two authors who will follow me are Lilly Maytree and Martin Roth. They will be posting June 9 and you can find their URLs below.
Lilly Maytree at: http://LillyMaytree.blogspot.com
Martin Roth at: http://www.martinroth.com.au
Lilly writes for the juvenile market (rollicking adventures with a thread of Christian faith woven in) as well as writing novels for adults in a genre you could call sort of suspense, adventure, and romance with a strong thread of faith in God—maybe we should call it the mixed genre? Lilly and husband Dave live in a sailboat and are continually on an adventure.
Martin’s novels are Christian thrillers with that theme of faith woven throughout. His passion is to support the persecuted church world wide. A veteran journalist, his novels are set in Australia and other Southeast Asian countries. His Brother Half-Angel are real page turners…you keep needing to know what happens next!
I have greatly enjoyed both of these authors; I think you will too!
Blessings, Carol Brown
P.S. You can find my books at www.fromgodsheart.com