It is ironic that the last post on here was “writing when you don’t feel like it” back in February and now it is April before I’m getting back to a blog post …
I struggled over the last couple months with editing one project (Make a God … coming soon) and writing the rough draft of a children’s book. that and the simple busy-ness of life somehow meant that I didn’t keep up with the blog. No excuses, though. I have to learn how to keep it going even when it gets really busy and difficult.
The children’s book was a real struggle. I knew it would be a huge challenge, and it was. It was a challenge for me for two reasons. First, I had never written a children’s book before, and from what I’d read, they are more difficult to write than novels. Great. Second, it wasn’t completely my idea. I was, in part, doing it for a friend’s amazing charity organization. It was her idea, and while I helped develop it, writing from someone else’s passion, trying to connect it with your own, can also be difficult. You know, because writing a children’s book wasn’t difficult enough already.
I do what I normally do. I read up on. That’s the Mooney way. I read books about writing children’s books. I read a ton of new children’s books. I found lists of the best children’s books online and got them from the library. I brainstormed and tried to get the shape of the story in my head. How do I give kids awareness of a disease without being preachy? How do I still connect with the emotion of the reality of the struggle with that disease?
It was getting close, and one day, I had this headache, and after getting some work done and downing some ibuprofen, I decided to try and write the outline for the story.
After the outline, I felt … let’s write this thing. Feeling inspired despite the headache, I did it. I wrote it.
And as I came to the end, I cried. As I wrote the ending, I actually shed a couple tears.
That’s when I knew it was good.
And when I read it for my wife and kids, my wife had a tear in her eye.
Maybe I’ve got something with this.
And as I shared it with a few others, the emotional connection was there with misty and puppy dog eyes.
In the end, I’ll have to revise it a little, add a sentence here or there, organize the pages (important in a children’s book) and then see what we do with it. Hopefully get it published.
As we write, it must connect with us emotionally. That can be vulnerable and scary. Formulas and tropes are fun but predictable. When we infuse our stories with things that connect with us emotionally, there will be others that connect with it, as well.
This goes with other aspects as well. Do you love your characters? Even the villains? I mean, do you really love them? Not as a copy of another popular character but because he/she is real and you care what happens to them. Every reader won’t connect with the story or character, but way more will.