Imagine my delight when I saw the topic of the week! As luck would have it, a good friend wrote a book about it. I couldn't resist asking her to join us today. Welcome B. Lynn Goodwin, author of YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?
A Dialogue by B. Lynn Goodwin
Molly is a mother of 3 children under 8. She has a secret desire to write.
Ana, her neighbor, is a published author working on her third book.
Molly: You want me to do what? You want we to write in a journal? With all the other things I have to do?
Molly: (Recognizing that this is not a battle worth fighting.) Grab a cup of coffee while I finish folding the laundry. (Ana sips. Molly folds.) Okay. I’ll jot down a few lists just for the joy of crossing things off.
Molly: I’ll write “to do” lists and shopping lists, and I’ll even prioritize them. It will help me remember. There’s something about putting pen to paper that makes a commitment real.
Ana: Have you tried journaling 10 minutes a day for 10 days in a row?
Molly: With 3 kids to dress, 4 lunches to make, and 8 shoes to find, you want me to put a pen in my hand and write? Longhand?
Ana: (Smiling calmly) Yes. And when you’re done, I want you to reread it and look for the sentences or phrases that have energy for you and underline them. Journaling is an amazing tool. But you have to use it. In time I’d like you to start journaling as the characters in the story you’re working on.
Molly: You want me to do what?
Ana: Surely a woman with your creativity can imagine herself into her character’s mind, pick the character’s favorite font and color, and write in the words she uses.
Molly: (In a biker voice) Hell, yeah! (In her normal voice) Those are Betsy’s words, not mine. Seriously, why would I journal as a character?
Ana: So you can let her tell you what she wants, what she needs, what bothers her, and more. You’ll be surprised what Betsy will tell you if you let her.
Molly: What else?
A: Write about the process of writing. Write about the point you’re trying to make. Free write. This is for you and no one else, so pour your heart out and tell your truths. When you go back to the story, you’ll bring more depth and clarity.
When you’re stuck, write about that.
Write about the sensory images in front of you, the way the sun makes a path on the carpet or the way steam rises off a cup of coffee, carrying the aroma of morning with it. Go wherever the writing takes you. Explore fearlessly.
I want you to write about anything and everything, whether it’s a part of your story or not. Writing empowers people. If you or a character is in a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual slump, write your way through it before you take action.
B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, http://www.amazon.com/You-Want-Me-Do-What/dp/1606962973. She’s also the author of Talent, a contemporary YA novel which will be published by Eternal Press this year, and the editor of Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com, which is currently running a Flash Prose (Fiction & Memoir) Contest.