Friday again, my friends! Shannon here. I'm trusting you all had a fun and safe holiday week. I've been very busy over here, writing and traveling and taking care of sick kids. I thought summer was supposed to be for vacationing!!!
I finally got my new website up and running. My husband has always been my IT guy, but he's been super busy this summer so I had to figure it all out myself. Take a look and tell me what you think. While you're there, hop over to the NEWS tab and sign up for my newsletter. I'll be sending out my first one in ages next week and there will be a fun, bookish giveaway included.
And now back to our summer panels! I hope you're enjoying them and learning a little something along the way.
When you look back on your childhood, are there moments, experiences, or hobbies, that helped prepare you for the writer’s life?
Yes, certainly. I was always a creative soul. I performed in theater productions and puppet competitions (don’t knock it, I have gold medals). I’ve always enjoyed adventuring and looking at the world through the lens of a storyteller. All of those things greatly contributed to my writing. There can be a fair amount of public speaking that comes with this gig as well and I think I was well prepared for that because I spent time in both cheer and student government during my high school career. I think if you're a good collector, every experience can be tucked away for later use. Your past adventures are fantastic tools.
What pops to mind for me is actually a negative memory that I’ve shared on the blog before. In high school, a friend of mine told me she didn’t think I was talented enough to be a published writer. We were at an unhealthy place in our friendship, so this statement was intended to inflict pain, and it certainly did. I vowed that I would never show anyone my writing ever again, and that my friend would feel really stupid when I was a huge success. (How I thought I would become a huge success without showing people my writing is a bit of a head scratcher, but I wasn’t thinking my clearest.)
Two great things came out of this. The first is that by shutting out others from seeing my writing, I was free from what they might think. I wrote without fear for several years, and from those fertile years, my author voice bloomed.
The second is that I learned a hard but good lesson on criticism. There’s no escaping it in life-- whether you’re an artist or an accountant--and I feel like going through that pain and the years it took to heal have been good for me as an artist and a person.
I should also mention that after several years of not speaking to each other, my friend reached out and apologized (and I apologized for wrongs I’d committed as well) and we enjoy getting together when she’s in town.
My entire childhood prepared me to be a writer. I grew up in Alaska with no electricity or running water. I read a lot. And I played outdoors a lot. Most of all, I daydreamed all the time. Somewhat similar to Anne of Green Gables, I lived in a fantasy world. This has developed into somewhat of a problem for living in the real world as a grown up. I can’t daydream my way out of problems. But it is a wonderful talent for a novelist to possess.
How about you guys? Are there moments, experiences, or hobbies that you are involved in now that you can see preparing you for the writer's life?