A world of words. That is how I approach writing. First, I determine the type of tone I want my piece to exude. This of course begins with word choice: casual, academic, sarcastic, painful. Once I have determined the genre (or have been told the genre) then I just start writing. Simple as that. Very rarely do I sit down and construct an outline. I am impulsive by nature. Not a planner. Although on occasion this tactic results in a work of genius, it more often results in a long and tedious revision process. That is what is exciting about the writing process for me. You never know how you will get to the end product.
Most of the writing I do is academic. Probably because I am a teacher. No, scratch that. It is because I am very literal. I have always been this way, long before I was a professional educator. Even though I can shut the rest of the world out when I consume a piece of fiction, I state the facts in my own writing. A year ago on September 17, I bought my first house. Along with the house came too many Tupperware bins full of childhood artifacts to count. In one of those bins I found a series of stories I had written as child. Those stories represented the world that surrounded me at the time. The characters were my aunts, uncles, and of course my sisters, who have always been my best friends. The plots mirrored history lessons I endured throughout the school day. My stories, to put it bluntly, did not delve into the realm of fantasy. They focused on the real. An approach I rely on still when writing.
I believe my realistic approach to writing stems from my insecurities as a writer. I despise the idea of others reading, judging my work. I seem to hear the readers’ voices in my head reminding me I am not good enough, not talented enough, can’t spell. I have to admit this fear has held me back creatively. I have all these ideas for children’s books swirling in my head, but my fear of rejection has kept me from putting them on paper.
My favorite writers (other than J.K. Rowling of course) are Jane O’Connor and Kay Thompson. Essentially, I want to be them. I love how Fancy Nancy and Eloise are vibrant, energetic, creative, troublemaking, smart young females. They not only entertain my daughter but also help spawn her creativity. My writing goal for this semester is to engage in more creative writing. More specifically it is to start exploring and creating within the world of children’s literature in the hopes of one day being the inspiration for my little girl.