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Book Inspiration

While my waiting for my computer to be repaired, I have been thinking A LOT about my writing career.  What can I do to really build my career?  The simple answer there is “WRITE”.  It’s just figuring out what to write that is giving me problems.  I have ideas, but I don’t know if those ideas are really worth much.

I turned to my bookshelf for some ideas.  There I found two books that I think might be helpful.  Of course, I’ve had that thought before.  I must have; if I didn’t think these books would be helpful, I never would have purchased them in the first place.  One book is Writing From Personal Experience: How to Turn Your Life into Salable Prose.  Sounds promising.  It does raise a question in my mind, though.  Is my life really interesting enough to write about?  I don’t know.  But I suppose that following the directions and completing the exercises in that book is one way to find out.

The other book I found is called The Write-Brain Workbook.  That one is full of daily exercises designed to get creativity flowing.  I have turned to it in the past when I needed some inspiration or needed a way to unblock my writer’s block.  I really hope that working through both of this books will keep me motivated to write.

And if it helps me to sell some writing this year, that is even better!

And of course, I hope it will give you, my dear reader, something fun to read each day.

On Writing

“Are you writing what you like to read or what you think you should write?”

–From Writing From Personal Experience

I think the honest answer to that is that I write what I like to read. My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury. Most of what I write is similar to her work in that I write love stories with a Christian theme—and all about “real” characters, people I can easily relate to. The stories are much more than just romances, though. They show real people, in real situations that test their faith.

I am not even sure what I “should” be writing. Often I think I should focus on articles rather than stories. Would I sell my work on a more regular basis if I wrote non-fiction rather than fiction? Every time I try that, though, I get so very bored. If my work is boring to me, how can I expect it to interest editors or readers?

Welcome Donna McDine


Author Donna McDine


Children’s author Donna McDine is familiar with the “downside” of being a work-from-home writer.  Today, she takes a few moments to share her thoughts on this unique employment environment.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for a review of her latest book The Golden Pathway.  And there just might be something special in store for that as well….





Donna M. McDine


You dream of the days of no commute to a 9-5 job and you finally give your writing aspirations the chance that they deserve.  You have stocked your office or any small writing space that you designate in your home with all the essentials; computer, paper, pens, pencils, books and research resources, etc.  However, the responsibilities of mother seem to intrude every moment of the day. 

Now that you are home, everyone thinks that you are accessible all day long.  The kids feel that since you are home that you aren’t “really working”.  You’re not sure when it happened, but responsibilities that were normally delegated, somehow have become all your responsibility.  A writer’s life can easily become frustrated when the creative juices are without fail interrupted by the most mundane questions or needs.  You know how that goes.  Cleaning the sticky keyboard.  Mom where are my soccer cleats? What is there to eat?  Can you put the movie in for me?  The list is endless.  When did my family become so helpless? 

We all love our families, but how does one carve out that special and much desired writing time without the feeling of neglect on the family?  It is important to reset boundaries as quickly as they disappear.  Let your family know that writing is indeed work, but also a passion that you want to achieve.  Teach your children the importance of uninterrupted writing time and that they will get your undivided attention once your writing session is completed.  Hopefully they will come to understand that what is important to you should be respected.  Just as you respect what is important to them.

            Although there will be times and sometimes it will feel like many, where interruptions are a necessity.  Such as, when the school nurse calls to say that you need to pick up your child that has a fever.  Like any mother, we quickly grab our car keys and head to the school.  If you attempt to balance your writing and the care of your sick little one it will tend to leave you both feeling frustrated and neglected.  At this point, you are much better accepting the fact that your child needs you and that your writing can wait for another time.  Even if that deadline is on the horizon, you will not do your best work, just leave it. 

            Grab any time thrown your way, especially when the little ones are asleep.  When the house and telephone are quiet it tends to be a great time for creativity.  These little pockets of time may not feel like much, but the time over a week to a month will accumulate and you can get quite a bit accomplished.

            Keep a handy pocket notebook with you at all times, you never know when your next inspiration will come to mind.  It could happen anywhere, such as that crowded doctors office you just brought your sick child to.  Like anything in this life, this too shall pass, but we hope not too fast, since they do grow up quickly.

Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications and her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Her second book, The Hockey Agony is under contract and will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes, moms and is the Publicist Intern for The National Writing for Children Center and Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Musing Our Children.