The New Blog

Drumroll please…. Woman at beach throwing her arms back behind her.
After much thought and soul-searching (helped out by some great posts on branding over at Through the Tollbooth), I think I’ve pinpointed some common themes in what I write.
This was a daunting task for someone who writes patient education material, medical presentations, blogs about the writing life, science articles for adults, science articles for kids, children’s fiction, young adult fiction, fantasy, contemporary, serious, and light-hearted. What the heck does all this have in common?
But as I went through the exercises, some common themes started to emerge:

  • I write about kids discovering their worth
  • I write about kids figuring out their place in the world
  • I write about people finding joy in what they do
  • I write about nature animals–topics that bring me joy

Mix them all together–and I found that I write about people learning to thrive in their lives.
That’s what I want to do. I want to write about how we, as writers, can thrive even as we balance writing time with other full time jobs, such as parenting, caring for a parent, or doing other kinds of work that satisfy the need for an income, but not the creative muse.
I want to write about the RICH writing life. Writers might not all be rich in coin, but we have our own brand of reward! As of today, this blog is moving to a new address: The Rich Writer. There I’ll offer regular encouragement; share useful tools and resources; and present interviews with other writers on the road, about how they balance it all. Please…come pay me a visit!
:) Cheryl

A New Direction

iStock_000002551139XSmall

First off, thanks and an apology to all you faithful readers who have been visiting my blog only to find it rather sparse on content of late. Between a flurry of deadlines and end-of-school madness and a bout of illness (pneumonia! Who gets pneumonia in sunny, gorgeous May weather?), this blog has definitely been on a downward slide.

But that slide has prompted a bit of soul-searching, the kind that almost every blog writer undergoes sooner or later. What’s the purpose of this blog? Who am I trying to reach? What am I trying to provide for them?

I started this blog July 2007, almost two years ago. When I did, I envisioned it as a place to post my thoughts on the writing process–and the process of being a writer. Fine goals, those, but I think there are plenty of other writers/bloggers out there doing the same thing.

Since then, I’ve delved more into the blogging community. I’ve discovered blogs that I love, like the Shrinking Violets, targeted toward introverted writers; Yat Yee’s blog, with its focus on book reviews and fostering a community of writers; and, of course, the quintessential children’s writers’ blog, Cynsations. I find that the blogs I keep reading are those with a focus or perspective no one else offers.

I want to do that.

So…next week this blog will set out in a new direction. Don’t worry—I’m not planning massive changes—but I want to hone my focus. It’s time to shake things up a bit!

:-) Cheryl

Great Characterization Post

I just read an awesome post Questions to Reveal Character over at R.L. LaFevers writing blog. I’m in the midst of creating characters for a new writing project and her recap of questions-that-help-you-get-to-the-heart-of-your-character provided me with a great tool for figuring out how my various characters interact.

Here’s a taste:

Which is where these questions I mentioned the other day came in so handy. They are from a workshop Michael Hague gave at the RWA National Conference a couple of years ago. He suggests that the internal journey of a character is a transformation from persona (the construct that they show the world) to their essence (their true nature).

I’ve summarized the list on an index card (purple) for future inspiration. Thanks, Robin!

:-) Cheryl

Feeling old?

I suppose I should explain the recent scarcity of posts. I’ve been pretty sick—nothing too serious, just respiratory stuff—but sick enough that my ramblings were a bit too random for publication. I’m on the upswing, now, and wanted to share the week’s inspirational exchange:

Me (puffing for breath after descending a flight of stairs and hobbling to the computer): Wow. I feel like an old woman.

13-year-old son: I know what you mean. When I was sick, I felt really old, too—like 29 or something.

I’m pretty sure he was just yanking my chain. Pretty sure.

Anyways, I’m feeling well enough to chafe at the need to sit still and well enough to scribble down story ideas and play with plot twists and character quirks. I’m not saying their good ideas, twists, or quirks, but it’s a start!

:) Cheryl