I am super excited about this post! I was graciously tagged by Jenna Terese @ Jenna Terese -- YA Speculative Fiction Author. The gist of this tag is to answer questions about your experiences as a writer and writing blogger (which I have just become, thanks to my Writer's Advice Column!), then to tag some of your favorite writing blogs/bloggers!
So here we go!
Display the award logo on your site. (Check!)
Link back to the person who tagged you. (Here’s Jenna's post!)
Answer the 5 questions.
Tag 3 blogs (must be blogs related to writing, not book review blogs) and ask them 5 new questions.
Follow as many blogs with this award as you can!
#1 Why do you like to write?
Wow. I honestly don't know how to answer this question! I know why I write--but why do I like to? Why do I stick with it after scraping hundreds of stories, bemoaning my subpar writing, nitpicking at every word I type? Why do I keep on after feeling defeated, discouraged, and totally unfit to undertake such a task? Why do I bother when I have a million other things I could be doing? (Believe it or not, I was going to pursue careers in acting, ballet, fashion designing, photography, and baking before the writing gig came along.) Why am I so consumed by the lyrical cadence of sentences flowing into paragraphs, words morphing into lives, scenes dancing across empty pages?
In the natural, I like writing because, despite all the heartache, work, and disappointment, it's fun. It doesn't really take the blood and sweat dance does--although, believe me, there are plenty of tears. It's something that can be waded into carefully or dove into with full abandon. It's for everyone, really. The fantasy lovers and the romantics. The detailed historians and the carefree contemporaries. It's creation. It's life. Writing is a wellspring that refreshes me, so I keep coming back.
Which brings me to the spiritual. I like to write because God wrote me. He wrote my life, my story, every nuance of my personality, my body, my future. I like to write because (1) it's a connection to the Author of the Cosmos and (2) because it's a way for me to witness to people all across the world! I like to write because He instilled a love and a passion for it within me, and I couldn't get rid of that gift even if I tried!
#2 What’s your favorite writing topic to blog about?
Hmm... Since I just started my advice column in December, I haven't really blogged about much. (I still consider myself qualified for this tag, thank you very much.) I really like talking about POV, voice, and writing styles. I love getting deep into my characters' heads and hearts, and so I LOVE talking about different ways to do that. My next Ask Ann-Marguerite™ post will be about POVs, so that's going to be a ton of fun. Apart from my advice column, I do a lot of ranting about voice and POVs within the writing community--particularly on Kingdom Pen, the best writer's forum out there!
I also hope to get in a few posts about my most favorite subject ever--romance! I love encouraging writers to accurately write fabulous romances, whether as a subplot or as the story itself.
#3 What topics/issues/people do you want to bring awareness about through your stories?
Oh, my word--there are so many! I want to write about the truth behind the Civil War and the antebellum South--but that's because I'm opinionated. I want to write romances that show people that there's more to love than just hugs and kisses. I want to write simply to show that books are more than "make-believe" or "fairytales"--they're glimpses of reality we might never see otherwise.
But the topic? The one above all others?
Well, that's Jesus.
Not only to I want to write stories that lead people to Christ, I want to write stories that bring Christians to a deeper awareness of who God is, what His love looks like, what the church should be, and how He sees things like depression, suicide, mental illness, rape, abortion, prostitution, etc. It's difficult to tackle the philosophical, the theological, and the physical--the ideas we wrestle with, the truth in God's Word and His nature, and the seemingly "natural" things around us--but I'm trying. In Bound and Determined, for example, I'm taking a look at what faith really is, what it means to be a Christian, and how grace works. I'm learning a lot and receiving a lot of revelation, because I don't have all the answers.
I also want to make the spiritual real. We're entering an era where we are going to really see God's hand moving--and the devil's as well. We need to understand that we have power and dominion over the world and the works of the enemy. We need to be aware of the spiritual realm around us. So I'm introducing this into my stories. In Prisoner at Heart, miracles happen, demons are cast out, and visions are beheld. Bound and Determined will be more theological, I think, but I'm not skimping on the spiritual. It's out there. God is out there, and He is very much real.
#4 What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
I'll be honest here. I don't know. I adore historical fiction, but there are times when I really want to write fantasy. I have a few ideas, and I've been trying out a few of them for years, so we'll see. I'm actually a fantasy/speculative and mystery reader--at least, that's how I started out. I still have some of that in me, but right now I'm focusing on historical. I think I love them both equally, but historical is *surprisingly* easier for me to write.
I also want to try my hand at mysteries one day--but there will always be romance. No matter what I write, there will always be romance. Maybe not as strong as it is in my stories now, but there will be romance. And God. Always God.
So, yeah, my favorite genre is probably romance. Not YA or contemporary, though. Only well-balanced, action-packed, suspenseful, intriguing romance. That being said, I do have a few Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen style stories for the future...
#5 How do you want to impact people through your blog?
First of all, I don't see my advice column hanging around for long. Eventually, I'd like to create a separate site just for Ask Ann-Marguerite™, and I'd like to see that branching off into editorial/beta services and guide books.
As for personal impact, I'd like to encourage writers, young and old, to go for it! I know from experience that if you put your heart and soul into a story, you can give it wings! Self-publishing has made everything leagues easier than they were ten or twenty years ago, and I want to see good writers with a lot of passion honing their craft and reaching past the stars!
So, doing this is probably pointless because (1) nobody reads my blog except my grandmother and (2) nobody reads my blog. (Haha.)
Anyway, I'll be tagging some peeps who give some great writing advice on their blogs!
Em @ Painting With Words
Kellyn @ Lilacs & Reveries (Kell is actually a writing teacher who has a mailing list full of goodies for aspiring authors!)
YOU! If you just so happen to be reading this post and are not related to me (and have a blog about writing, which is optional at this point), feel free to consider yourself tagged!
Also, since we're discussing writing blogs, Kingdom Pen is a FANTASTIC blog for writers! It's comprised of articles written by regular ol' writers like myself that are chock full of unique and necessary advice pertaining to all things writing!
What first inspired you to write?
When did you first begin blogging?
Which mistake/cliché do you think writers should avoid?
Who was your writing mentor?
What was the best writing advice you ever received?