The Artist

Sometimes, it's difficult to see everything within the industry. Watching trends, figuring out what's popular, trying to write the next big seller... but I've been thinking about this for a while.

And it's so easy to become ensconced in one corner of the writing world. Seeing what that one crowd wants and working hard to make the theme in  your book just right. It's work. Maybe not hard, but still--work. Perhaps the perspective on life and what's happening in the publishing industry gets narrowed.

All of a sudden, an author might question what in the world she's doing. Her stories hardly ring true anymore, she feels more like a drone than an imaginative, creative individual! Not me, an author. ;)

But I think that's why it's really important to READ everything. [yes, that's a bias statement--I'll explain] I've been reading romance since I was twenty-two, and it's usually contemporary, occasionally historical, always mainstream. When I say everything, I do admit that I won't read certain genres. For me, inspirational romance is a no. I'll read Christian fiction or Mainstream written by a Christian that is sweeter or maybe falls into the women's lit category. But Romance for me is a hard sell with no desire shown or implied. [but if you've followed me at all since I started this blog years ago, you probably already know how I feel--or you can read about it here and here!!] So, I don't read Inspirational Romance... fine. But there is so much to read!

Historical, Paranormal, Action/Adventure, YA, NA, Sci-fi...but wait! There's more! :D There's always one more genre out there to get our hands on in order to keep apprised of the industry and what it's doing. It's never as simple as "everyone is reading about vampires." Maybe writing that Vampire novel will help us grow as writers... maybe stepping out and doing something new is good for honing those skills. Yet, perhaps when we find ourselves writing against the grain, it's time to remember that there is a market for every genre. Every one!! [, not the one that tells the history of your family. Sorry!] There is a saying, if you don't like who you've become, change your friends. That can be true in this industry, too. If you don't like what you're writing, change your publisher! [again, I don't mean me. I'm just saying hypothetically] :D

Are we difficult artists if we write what we want to write? Or do we bring the best out in ourselves by allowing those creative juices to flow? How do you find a balance between this-is-business and this-is-art??

How the story comes about.

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You ever wonder where the story comes from? I DO! Thinking on all of the books I've read inspires me to come up with something even more unique. There are some who agree that task is impossible. The story is always the same - good guys, bad guys, good girls, bad girls...

I disagree, although I didn't always.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My stories come from my imagination. Whether my imagination is sparked by a book I'm reading or the newspaper, something I see on line or an event within my own life, imagination is what makes the story MINE.

Early last school year, I caught one of our distant neighbors, with his semiprivate fencing, digging a whole in the backyard. My first thought? I wonder who he's burying there. Is this normal? Maybe not but I sure did get some good story ideas out of that instance. Of course, I've seen his wife several times AND I've admired the decorative fountain/pool that he installed. :D Sooo, who is buried under there, anyway?Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now, my husband does two things online. That's right, just two things. He checks his email and he flips through MSNBCs week in pictures. Did anyone see this past week's photo of the house in Italy with the gas leak? It completely obliterated it. Shrapnel could be seen from this particular view 100 yards from the house. It was amazing... yet sad. And I wondered who lived there and how such an event would effect them.

I heard Christina Dodd tell a story about how she went to Walmart on one account and without a current work-in-progress, decided she would pick up a book to read. After reading the back which described a heroine and the pursuing conflict, Ms Dodd said, "No, that's not what she does..." And then she went on to write her story.

History... I LOVE IT. I live in a history rich area of the country right now. Just the thought of the people who lived here 150 years ago sends shivers up my spine... and I think, they might have had cousins living further west or brothers and sisters back in the homeland... It's just interesting!

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God inspires me through His people and His word... have you ever wondered what it would be like to be one of the thousands fed on the beach? I often wonder what it meant to be a woman working in King David's palace or to be there after Jesus wrecked the temple. I mean, think of the talk! Jeez, who was that nut, anyway? Boy, wasn't he cute though? I wonder if he's married.

Surround yourself with opportunities for inspiration. READ. Meet new people. READ. Listen to works best for me. READ. Write.

Always write.

Where do your stories come from???