Authors of Awesomeness

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of such wonderful YA lit like Speak and Wintergirls, is doing this amazing supportive thing for writers this month. She calls it: Write Fifteen Minutes A Day© Everyday, she provides a writing exercise and some words of wisdom and, if we are up to the challenge, which she believes that we are, then we do said writing exercise. I only saw this yesterday, so, I have only done Day Three, but I’m onto Day Four and have added it to the Blogs that I Follow on the right hand side, so do check it out. For right now she is certainly an “Author of Awesomeness.”

A few weeks ago, YA author of Need and Captivate, Carrie Jones wrote about the reasons why we write. She asked us to answer the question why it is that we write. I responded: “Because I have to.” She talked about a “writer’s responsibility” to help other writers. And, it seems that both of these YA writers are taking it to the next level by encouraging us to go deep and write “like chicken poo” as Anderson says this morning, just to give oneself that fifteen minutes of inspiration.

I needed to remember that. I had forgotten how important it is just to write. I’ve been so focused on writing the perfect academic paper and making the next stages of my novel “work,” that I forgot the importance of just writing something completely separate and on its own for the sake of it. So, thank you Laurie Halse Anderson and Carrie Jones for reminding me. You are both Authors of Awesomeness.

What is somewhat bizarre, is at work I have been training the new girl. That part in itself isn’t so bizarre as I have been doing the training for sometime now and I enjoy teaching people very much. Passing the knowledge or whatever. I think that I’m pretty good at it too. But, part of the training for this particular person is helping her with her copy writing. How odd is it for me, the one who not a two years ago was going through a similar process with my boss and going to writing workshops to “learn the craft”; who not six years ago went back and forth with her thesis supervisor over every grammatical query and, who in a few short months will start at the VCFA to learn more about how one does this writing thing. Me, I, am helping someone write. I am learning how to help someone write in the process as well.

I have a colleague who is an amazing copywriter and editor. She took a course so she knows the secret codes and names for things and can tell you why your writing isn’t quite working. She has a simplicity with her words that I can only imagine to emulate one day. As I seek guidance in her style, I work to help this other girl with hers. The process if fascinating and I can only hope that I am guiding this new writer well as she finds her own copy writer voice.

It is strange. It is bizarre. It is completely wonderful.

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About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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