Some days

Idea Journal

Some days, self-doubt takes the lead.

Some days, I wonder if my writing will go any further. Those days, I look back and realize how far I’ve come.

Some days, it’s tough to pick up a pencil or keep typing. Those days, I let the warmth of a good book wash over me.

Some days, I can’t help thinking that I’m just not cut out for this. Those days, I focus on the fact that I’m not writing to become a best-seller, but because writing makes my heart happy.

And you know what? Every day, I’m incredibly proud to call myself a writer.

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My highlights from the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild Annual Conference

The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild held it’s annual conference in mid-October and, as always, there was a lot to take in and a lot to learn. While I can’t possibly share everything, I do want to highlight some of the more memorable lessons I took away from each presentation I attended.

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My first drafts vs my later drafts

I’m sure this isn’t something I need to tell you, but I’m going to go ahead and say it anyway: Every writer does things differently. Not just in regards to style or ideas, either. The actual act of writing a story is different for each of us. We focus on different aspects of the story at different times, and we each struggle with different elements.

Personally, I love hearing how other writers draft their stories. There’s always something to learn from that, don’t you think? So I thought, to return the favour, that today I would tell you a little bit about how my stories come together.

In particular, let’s quickly talk about some of the ways in which my first drafts are different from my later drafts.

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My experience with a sensitivity reader

As writers, we have the option to utilize–sometimes for pay, sometimes not–a variety of readers and editors along the road to publication. What they provide varies with their role; critique partners offer different feedback than beta readers, copy editors different than developmental editors, and so on.

A relatively new type of reader to come on to the scene is the sensitivity reader. New, but no less important, especially if you’re writing about a marginalized character. The main character in one of my own novels is an example. She has a different cultural background than I do. The story itself doesn’t revolve around her culture, but the culture did help shape who she is. I decided, therefore, to hire a sensitivity reader.

When I mentioned to other writers that I’d taken that path, I got a few common questions about it. So, I thought I’d answer some of them here.

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Author of influence: J.K. Rowling

It’s been a while since I shared an Author of Influence post. I hadn’t meant for so much time to pass, but there you go.

Over the past few months, I told you how each Meg Cabot, Christopher Moore, and Stephen King influenced my writing style. Today, I want to finish off this series by sharing how J.K. Rowling influenced me–and how she did it differently than the others.

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