My talented-writer-friend-mom-playdate-buddy Aisha Saeed participated in a blog hop, in which she wrote about her writing process here. Basically, you tag other writers and get to learn and relate to other people’s writing processes, something I find interesting to see how each person’s mind works! Aisha has a novel coming out next year – Written in the Stars – which is really exciting! I love reading her thoughts on her blog, so am looking forward to reading her novel. on March 24th, 2015!
What am I working on/writing?
Right now, I’m trying to focus on children’s book stories. When Z was born, I was very invested in getting a story published and had a lot of gumption! When it didn’t work, I took a break and delved into photography and loved it! I feel like I have a creative reserve and can choose where to apply it. During my teaching years, the reserve was all used up. When being a stay-at-home-mom, I really wanted to use my creativity, so writing stories for children was one way to get my thoughts out. Blogging is also another way I love sharing my thoughts – I like how photos can complement my words. I got distracted with blogging, photography and baby A in the middle, and am now trying to use that creativity for writing children’s manuscripts, and the children’s book world. Trying to find a new balance and a new focus that will hopefully pay off!
How does my writing/work differ from others in its genre?
I’ve been reading and reviewing a lot of children’s books here, especially those in the Muslim children’s book world, books about Eid, Ramadan, and general multicultural stories. It’s been great to see that there are quite a few wonderful books out there written already. Reading these stories has shown me what is in this genre already, and what other stories need to be told. I’m planning on telling those untold stories.
Even for college application essays, my father would always say, write about the things that make you different so that you stand out. Good advice for writing picture books as well!
Why do I write what I do?
Because I think even more diverse voices need to be heard. Because my favorite part of teaching 2nd grade was Read Aloud time. Because the first place I go to in the library is the children’s section. I just love picture books – seeing illustrations complement the author’s words. Each picture book is a unique piece of art!
Also if I don’t get my thoughts out by writing, my mind gets clogged. The words keep bouncing around and the only way I can get them out and clear my mind is through writing. I’ve always loved writing, even as a child. When I was given a diary for my birthday as a child, I wrote in it and to this day I have kept a journal. When moving from Abu Dhabi to America, I was happy to bring my journals along with me! It’s always fun to read my childhood journals, to see what I brought for lunch that day, and what activities we were up to!
How does my writing process work?
I wish I was more organized in this part, but am not. When thoughts come to me, I may write them down on a post-it, the back of an envelope, anything near me. Unfortunately, I don’t always keep track of these scrawly ideas. It’s usually the ideas that keep coming back to me that I know I need to get out of my head. Sometimes, I feel really creative and the words come v.easily. Those are the best times! Sometimes, the story keeps replaying in my head, and I can visualize it really well with illustrations and everything, but then the minute I see in front of my laptop, my mind can go blank or wander. That can be frustrating, so I may take a break, or get forced to take a break (with my 2 little ones around me), and find that the story replays in my head again when putting baby A to sleep, or when cleaning the crumbs off my kitchen floor.
I love how a messily scrawled idea can take shape and become a story, so that’s why I keep writing!
I hope this writing process was helpful for writers!
Next, as part of this blog hop, I’d like to introduce a best friend/ex-roomate who will be blogging about their writing life next week. Check out her blog next week to find out what inspires her!
Salma has a witty sense of humor, is a scientist, aspiring pharmacist, and quirky baker who bakes delicious goodies! She’s the type of person who always has lots of funny things happen to her when she goes grocery shopping. She blogs here and you can follow her on twitter here @snstoman