Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What I Write, Why I Write, How I Write: The Meme

I blame Sarah Reinhard for this since she tagged me. Talk about something that makes me reveal a part of myself that I don't think anyone cares about.

I suppose I am a writer but I don't really embrace that description. That's like calling myself a "breather." It's what I do but I don't know if I do it well enough to define me.

Heaven only knows that I never read these when other people write them.

Curmudgeonly sounding I know, but it is simply honest.

So ... here we go.

Imagine my surprise to realize that I have 5 books in the works.
  1. A movie book about how to see below the surface and find Catholic themes whose sample did not excite any publisher ("we can't make money on those"). Just last week I decided I'd finish it anyway ... sometime ... and self-publish. My friends want to read it.
  2. A devotional following the liturgical year. It combines art and text to show how our calendar year and liturgical year go hand in hand. No one wants this one. They all love it. But "we can't make money on those." I amuse myself by working on it and perhaps an art house would pick it up. But it is unexpectedly large at this point. The Fall book is about 100 pages. (I love it. It is my baby. My friends actually pester me about buying this one.)
  3. Historical Fiction. This one is a mission from God and I don't want to talk about it really. But it is harder than hell, people, because it is something I never ever do. Use my imagination! What? But I have no doubt this has been assigned by the Divine Editor, whether or not I do it well or it ever gets published. And as a consequence I've been dragging my feet and feeling guilty for not working on it because ... you know ... it's harder than hell.
  4. A book about reading spiritual classics, but with my twist of luring you into it with a popular book and a movie, all of which have related themes. No sample written yet but the person I ran the idea by was not thrilled. Outline and sample in the works for that person, for other publishers maybe, or for self publishing later.
  5. An idea that a publisher IS interested in and which I should be working on instead of this. If they like it, then you'll know later. But for now mum's the word. My priest really wants this book, by the way.
Let's see. Why am I wonderful?

(Gee, I don't know why Catholic authors would find that question awkward.)

Maybe because I say it like it is. (Much more charming when I do it on paper than in person, I can assure you! Rewrites are essential and then you can make it funny.)

Maybe I'm funny. Not sure how well that comes across. But I make myself laugh sometimes.

Maybe because I range wide and throw everything into the pot from pop culture to everyday life to nature and somehow make it all go together, with God always just under the surface waiting for us to catch a glimpse? As Rose would say, my auteur moments.

I don't know. You tell me. I've got nothin'.

Blogging: it just comes out.

Ghostwriting: I have an assignment.

Book: I've only done one and I came up with something the editor wanted that was also a reflection of me (evidently). The devotional mentioned above was an idea I was captivated with which has become a sort of spiritual reflection as I work on it.

The other ideas began as ways I could maybe earn more of a living by writing, but since I seem to be told, "we'd love to work with you, but not on that" while never being told what they actually might want me to work on ... this is not as clear to me. And, to be fair, I pursue it in fits and starts rather than determinedly full-bore.

Process. Hahahahahahaha ... oh, you were serious.

As Rob Long of Martini Shot podcast has affirmed, the worst part is beginning. Not beginning a book. Beginning to write anything. Sitting down. Starting. Not stopping to check email because writing is ... you know ... work.

Once I make myself do that then I just do it. And I'm getting better at doing it in different locations, at different times, and so forth. As long as I do it as if it is work, instead of extra curricular activities (still how I tend to label it), then I'm ok. I tend to combine techniques of hand writing in front of the tabernacle and when putting that in the computer then I take off and continue from there.

Except for blogging. That is: sit down, turn on computer, log in ... and blast off.

And when I think to write books that way, as a blog post, it is magic.

Hey, thanks guys! I wouldn't have remembered that without doing this.


If you want to pick this up, just let me have the link and I'll put it below.


  1. Those all sound like great ideas, Julie.

    I find the best way to write is to lock down a specific time of day and just write as much as I can. Editing can come later -no need to be perfect on the first go. I also turn the internet off when I start. Then it's blue skies ahead.

  2. I want to read all your ideas! And I wish I knew a publisher who would make money off those...but yeah. I get it. You are maybe one of a single digit nber of people I would ever encourage to self pub. (Now who's curmudgeonly?)

    I think starting with writing in front of the tabernacle is the right beginning. And you are a writer, and a damn good one. So THERE. ;)

  3. Julie, I'm impressed by your positive attitude despite hearing that this or that work won't sell. I'd be tempted to throw in the towel, but kudos to you for your optimism. I haven't given much effort to writing spiritual stuff because I'm intimidated, I guess, but you and others have me thinking it's something I should try.