"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2



Monday, February 18, 2013

The Reason Behind Your Writing...


Hi everyone! This week I am so happy to welcome agency-mate, Sonya Weiss. I've gotten to know Sonya through our agency loop. She is funny, always encouraging, and just a delightful soul. I've invited her to do a guest post this week. So without anymore delay, please welcome, Sonya Weiss!

Hello everyone! Thanks Loree! I’ve always had a wacky sense of humor. Sometimes, my sense of humor can lead to some pretty embarrassing situations. Especially if you’re nearsighted.

I was at the grocery store and saw a friend of mine. She’d just sprayed a whiff of air freshener into the air. I came up behind her and did a fake coughing/gagging that was worthy of an Oscar. She turned around and I saw she was a stranger. Her lips puckered like she’d chewed on lemons since her birth. No matter how much I apologized, she wasn’t appeased.

My daughters thought the whole incident was hysterically funny.

That has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to share with you, but in case you needed a laugh, there it is.

What I want to share today involves the reason behind your writing. It’s so easy in this business to lose focus on why we’re actually writing. I started out writing for the sheer joy of telling a story.

Then I learned about ‘rules’. Oh. ‘K. I’m optimistic. I’ll learn the rules and keep on writing.

Then I learned about the money. Percentages. Rights to give up. Rights to keep.

Hmm…’K. Then, I needed to know about the business side. The creative side of my brain tried to rebel, but I roped it in and learned about the business side of writing. Queries. Synopsis. Editors. Agents.

Next, author platform, social media, street teams, beta readers and conferences charged forward ‘Learn about me! And me! And me!’

So I did over the years. Slowly, the focus of my writing changed and it was so subtle that I didn’t even notice it at first. But one day, there it was, staring me in the face.

The joy of writing was gone. It was now officially a job and…I was miserable.

I talked to an author who’d sold a manuscript to a well-known publishing company. She said she never expected to sell the novel and wrote it for herself-just to tell the story.

A light bulb went off and I realized I’d lost sight of the basic reason I felt called to write. Just to tell the story.

That’s the encouragement I want to leave with you today. When the struggles with your writing come (and they will!) remember to just tell the story.

Great advice, Sonya! It always begins and ends with the storytelling. Sometimes we get lost in all of the other stuff that comes with writing. Thanks for your wonderful post this week! It's been a real joy having you here, Sonya! 

Questions: Ever become overwhelmed social media? Ever lose sight of the writing goal? What keeps you and your writing grounded? Ever approach a friend, only to find out that it's a stranger who looked like your friend? haha...loved Sonya's story.

We would love to hear from you!

Sonya Weiss is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She writes contemporary romance as well as young adult fiction. She loves God, chocolate and finding humor in all of life's situations. She is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency. You can find out more about her: at http://sonyaweiss.com or follow her on Twitter @SonyaWeiss.

Between you, me and the gatepost,

Loree


In upcoming weeks look for - an interview with Susan J. Reinhardt. Susan is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Susan's debut novel will be coming out very soon. You can find her at:  http://susanjreinhardt.blogspot.com 

and

I will be giving away the Queen of the Quill Award and gift to - 2 very special bloggers.

35 comments:

Jessica R. Patch said...

I have been overwhelmed by social media, and that's when I decided to just do what seemed to work best for me in regards to interacting and making new friends. I didn't get on the bandwagon for every single thing and I do believe I got my sanity back!

So great meeting you, Sonya! :)

Misha Gericke said...

I have lost the plot a few times, but above everything else, it's my love of creating stories that makes me want to write.

Although publishing etc. is nice, it shouldn't overshadow our need to tell a story.

Magnolia said...

Hi Jessica! I don't mind the social media as much. I think my least favorite one is Facebook and my favorite one is Twitter. With Twitter, I can get in, get out.

Magnolia said...

I can't figure out why Google is signing me in as Magnolia except I used to have an old blog. Something else to go on my to-do list-changing my Google ID.

Magnolia said...

Yes Misha-so true!

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Great reminder, Sonya. And thanks also for the laugh. :)

Sonya said...

You're welcome, Melanie. You should have heard the one about the FBI who showed up at my door after I'd interviewed an agent about money laundering LOL.

Loree Huebner said...

I just sprinkled some fairy dust on to Magnolia and turned her back into Sonya! LOL! Don't you just love Blogger sometimes?!

Jessica, Misha, and Melanie, we thank you for dropping in today! So great to see you!

Sonya, now you have me curious about the FBI story! LOL!

Terri Tiffany said...

I have been there before too....lost the joy. But something always happens when I start to give up. Another story comes into my head and I must write again.

Sonya said...

Loree,

I had just come off a week of interviewing a private detective, a homicide detective and a safety expert for an article I'd written. Still in that 'talk to the experts' mode, I thought I'd call up the FBI and ask them some questions about money laundering for a manuscript I was working on.

So I did. I asked a lot of detailed questions and the extremely professional FBI agent patiently answered. He also wanted to know some information about me. I didn't think anything of it until an FBI agent showed up at my door, flashed her ID and asked if she could ask me some questions.

What a piddle moment for me! I thought 'how on earth am I going to convince this woman I'm not interested in money laundering but my characters are'.

So I told her that and she told me she was only there to interview people about someone looking to take a high profile job. She was checking references etc. We had a good laugh and she told me she thought writers must lead an exciting life. ROTFLOL.

Sonya said...

Terri,

That's the way it was for me too. I have 'go you' quotes on my bulletin board by my desk and one quote that I really love that helps me remember it's about the story is from Finding Forrester. "Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head."

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Thanks so much, Sonya and Loree. I began to seriously write about six years ago when a story literally dropped into my mind. I decided it was worthy of being told, and so began my storyteller's journey. The realization you mentioned, Sonya, is so encouraging; it's always best to let the heart lead the way. All the best ~ Victoria

Sonya said...

Well congratulations on your storytelling journey! You have some great blogs and I loved the photo on 'The Beauty of Winter's Gray'.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Ha ha, loved that story, Sonya! It's my own goals that usually steal my joy of writing. I'm very slow in getting it just right, and get very frustrated when I find myself tweaking my finished MS AGAIN. Seriously, after four years, its time to tell another story. ;-)

troutbirder said...

Well Loree, if you wern't a generation or two younger, I might have met you tubing the Apple. A favorite venue of mine as a high schooler....:)

Jessica Nelson said...

That is really wonderful advice! :-) I love it and am trying to get back to the joy too.

Sonya said...

Gwendolyn (love that name btw) for me, editing over and over again is a way of procrastinating. Because my work never feels good enough. It never feels finished. Jeff Goins had an excellent blog on that.

Here-I'll share it. For me, this really helped me understand why I struggle with my writing. I hope it helps. http://goinswriter.com/never-good-enough/

Sonya said...

Jessica,

Good luck with that!

Freewriting helps me. I use The Writer's Block by Jason Rekulak. There are 786 ideas to write about. When I write anything and everything for the sheer joy of writing, it really is so freeing. Just me and the melody the music of the words make as I write them down ;-)



Sandra Orchard said...

Loved that story! And can so relate to your journey. :) Thanks for sharing.

Jen J. Danna said...

Why we started writing in the first place is definitely something for us all to remember. Sadly, it's something that's so easy for us to lose track of in amongst everything else we're expected to do. Thanks for the reminder! :)

Loree Huebner said...

Sonya: LOL! Your FBI story cracked me up!! How funny!

Terri: I had lost the joy before too -about 6 years back. I think it was due to the fact that all I was doing was revising old stories. What I really needed was to start a new story.

Victoria: I think it's divine when the story just drops on our head. We must write it then. I just had a story twist that did that. That's when writing is really fun.

Gwen: That is just what I was saying to Terri. Sometimes it's time to put the old one down, and start a new one. It gives you a new spark.

Trout: I loved your blog post last week on Minnesota. I had spent many summers there. Tubing the Apple River was a highlight that I will never forget. I still have a post card of it.

Jessica: How was your travels? How's FL today? I'm so jealous.

Sandra: So nice to see you!

Jen: We do need to be reminded why we write.

Thanks for stopping by everyone! Isn't Sonya just such peach!?! Love her!



Sonya said...

Sandra-glad you liked it! ;- )
Jen-You're so right, I feel miserable when I lose sight of why I'm writing.

Loree-aww...thanks for having me!

Karen Lange said...

Nice to meet you, Sonya! This is wonderful advice; I appreciate the reminder. I do lose sight of the goal sometimes and get swallowed up by all the other stuff there is to do. :) Thanks Loree, for hosting!

Carole St-Laurent said...

Your advice comes at a very fortuitous time for me. Thanks Sonya!

ckcrouch said...

Loved your post Sonya. Good points too. :-)

Loree Huebner said...

Karen, Carole, and ckrouch, so happy you all stopped in! I'm so glad that Sonya gave us a great reminder, and for some of us, it's perfect timing to hear it again.

Great to have you here!

STAG said...

Sonja, a few years ago there was a movie called "how to murder your wife". You could find it on youtube. Its a Jack Lemon and Terry Thomas movie.
The protagonist would do all the things his character would do as he had his character be a jewel thief, and other dodgy activities, all of course with documentation by his trusty sidekick.
Which was fine until his wife went missing and the police started looking through his notes....
So as usual, there is nothing new under the sun. But I bet your story was better....

STAG said...

Dooooh! I meant Sonya.....

Loree Huebner said...

Stag: Thanks for sharing! So nice to have you here!

Sonya said...

Karen-Nice to meet you! It is so easy to lose sight of the goal. I like to keep quotes around my desk to remind me how much I love just telling the story.

Carole-You're welcome! I'm glad it could help.

ckcrouch-Thanks and thanks for stopping by to 'meet'.

Stag-That's okay, I like either spelling ; - ) That movie sounds hysterical. I'll look it up-sounds like it'd be something I'd enjoy. Thanks for mentioning it.

Carol Riggs said...

Nice to meet Sonya!! And it's great to be reminded to write for the sheer joy of telling a story. We all need that. There's just so many other things clamoring for our attention; they can suck the fun right out of writing!

Sonya said...

Carol, nice to meet you too. The first piece I sold was something I wrote that was just telling a story to entertain my children. My daughter convinced me to send it in and I balked, but finally caved, never expecting to even hear back.

I almost fell out of my chair when the editor contacted me wanting to buy it. : 0 )


Julie Musil said...

What powerful advice! Sometimes I've lost sight of why I do it, but then I rein myself back in. And by the way, I DID laugh at the grocery store incident!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Loree -

Thanks for having Sonya on the blog. Sometimes we have to get back to basics, and this is a prime example.

Thanks for the shout-out, Loree. I'm looking forward to visiting with you in the near future.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Loree Huebner said...

Carol, Julie, and Susan, thanks for stopping in! I loved reading your comments for Sonya!