Some Writing Advice: Leave Home

We writers are isolationists, introverts. How else do you explain the fact we spend our time alone creating friends and worlds?  We are not made for the outside; we’ll rather stay inside, thank you very much.

When I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, as much as I cared about the degree, I was more interested in something else. See, ever since I could remember I had been planning a trip to Europe. It was always my dream to be that young traveler/writer by himself going through Europe, with nothing but a notepad and a few paperbacks in a bag. I saw myself sitting under trees in the Lake District, opening my soul to the romantic poets, or wandering the halls of Charles Dickens’ home hoping for a message from beyond. I even sometimes thought about smoking a pipe (I didn’t, but wouldn’t it look cool?)

What I actually experienced though really was not at all what I expected. Oh, the traveler in my kicked in after a bit, but the rude awakening of being thrown out of my “universe,” my norm; well, I had to adjust for that first in a major way.

There were no little safe places to go, like I could when I wanted to write or just read at home; here everything was new and different (as well as the people around) and for an introvert it can make one’s hair stand on the back of one’s neck… permanently.

Still, I know that this experience made me a better writer. I look at what I did before I went on that six-week trip and what I did later and I see a more imaginative, more creative, more introspective, and more worldly writer.

So fellow writers, here is why, I think, you need to break out… Yes, I am telling you to step away from the keyboard and the soft couch. (Don’t worry they’ll be there when you get back.). Here are just three reason why: Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Harry Potter, Lucy Pevensie, Alice, and Compasses…

Here’s a confession- I’ve always wanted to write Children’s literature.

Oh, not any typical children’s lit/young adult book, I’ve always dreamt of doing something groundbreaking, stupendous. So, in other words, I’ve built up the idea so much in my head that I can’t even begin to start. None of the ideas I get reach that level. Of course, none could.

Why do I love the idea of writing a book in this genre? Because this is the gateway drug for all good readers (I plan to stop the drug references there). We don’t start by reading War and Peace; we start by reading Lewis Carroll and his Alice. A good children’s lit book will inspire a reader (and writer) for decades afterwards.

I can go on about this for pages–and I’ll probably talk about it again at some point–but let me focus today on one thing I love and two things I think children and young adult lit needs help on. Continue reading