My critique partner Teri Jones tagged me in a blog hop about writing process. Teri blogs at www.raisedtoaction.com about bringing up kids with servant hearts. Her work ethic, insight into writing, and commitment to the writing process inspire me. It is my blessing to share my love of writing with Teri who is one of my best friends, my sister in Christ, and my daughter.
What am I working on?
About a year ago, I decided to take the next step in my writing—from a parenting column in a local paper to a parenting book. I had fourteen years of weekly columns. Those columns came from 33 years of experience with kids and their parents when I was a teacher and a counselor. It seemed an overwhelming task.
I decided to write a series of books that would equip parents as they seek to empower their kids. The goal is that their eighteen-year-olds would be ready to handle all aspects of their lives from finances to laundry, from spiritual discipline to relationships, and everything in between.
The first draft of the first book, targeting parents of children up to age seven, is nearing completion. (I begin with young children because that is where parents lay the foundation for the teens.) There will be three books to follow for other age ranges.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
In my survey of parenting books, I found none that follow my approach. I use stories to illustrate the parenting concepts. Each chapter includes succinct lists of the foundations for that topic. Also included are FAQs to address questions parents often asked me in counseling sessions. Parents tell me they are struggling to teach their children sound principles of their faith in a secular culture. And it is necessary for children to be in the world if they want to change the world.
Many tell me they have not found answers in any parenting books. The reason, they say, is that so many books tell them what to do without telling them how to do it. They seek “nitty-gritty, how-to” examples of what to say and do. That is what I offer in my book.
Why do I write what I do?
I began writing to reach parents in our newspaper’s readership with answers to the important question: How do I raise up a godly child in a secular culture? Everything is my life experience has converged at this place and this moment. Today, I cannot not write this book.
How does my writing process work?
If I didn’t have structure in my day, I might jump from task to task and never finish anything. For that reason, I use my mornings for jobs not related to writing. At two in the afternoon, I begin to write—no intrusions (most of the time). I research, write, edit—and ponder. And yes, I’ve tried writing first thing in the morning. It doesn’t work for me.
For each chapter in my book, I decide on the concept. While that theme rattles around in my brain, I do non-thinking jobs. Then at two in the afternoon, I sit down at the computer. Writing is life-giving to me. Sometimes, I think it would have been nice if God had called me to write earlier. Then I realize that I needed those years to accumulate the experiences, the stories, and the lessons that I bring to my writing.
My blog hop tag…
I am tagging my friend Dr. Linda Hutcherson who is new to writing outside the world of academia. Linda’s excitement about writing is contagious. She brings a wealth of life experiences and a deep faith to the task. Not only do I enjoy reading what she writes, but I love being near enough to catch the star showers of her enthusiasm. She blogs at Witness Writers, our local critique group and part of North Texas Christian Writers, and at Among Friends, a women’s blog of Harvest Christian Fellowship.