If you're a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin
Come in...come in...
~Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thursdays Children...Inspiration...

When thinking of what inspires me as a writer, I have to say…you guys.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really amazing people in the writing community.  

I haven’t really had a lot of friends over the years. Different things have happened to prevent the normal friendships people tend to develop. I moved a ton during my childhood, so I never really made any lasting friends as a kid. I quit high-school, so that kind of knocked out the whole “college” friends thing. Haha. I  was married at eighteen. Having kids by my early twenties. My husband and I had a few friends from our teen years but since we had a few screws loose during those years, once we tightened our bolts back up ,all those "friendships" fell by the wayside. 
Speaking of loose screws,  I LOVE this pendant. haha

 When my kids started school, I was one of the youngest moms. On top of that, I seemed to wear a blinking neon sign that read, “DO NOT BEFRIEND.” I never fit in with the other mom’s.  It’s like they took one look at me and decided I didn’t belong.

And then I pulled my kids out of school and ended up home-schooling them, which was an awesome life experience, but did nothing for the “making friends” quest. Turns out most people (especially ten/twelve years ago) home-school for religious reasons. The first thing they asked when we walked in the home-school co-op was what church we attended. I said we didn’t, and spent most of my time after that sitting in the corner with a book in my lap. I understand why though. Their friendships were easy. Most of them had known each other for years. It’s hard enough to let in someone new, without trying to befriend someone with radically different beliefs.

A metaphor for my life. haha

Luckily, I’m super close to my husband and kids. Mostly, they’re enough, but I have to admit things got really lonely at times.  Then, about five years ago, I started writing and met some other writers.  I’ve noticed that, as a whole, writers tend to be non-conformists. For the first time in my life, I found a group of people I fit in perfectly with. Hurray!! J

For reasons I’ve gone into in the past, I don’t have an in person critique group anymore. I do, however, have an amazing critique partner, Karen Denise—our entire friendship has developed online. As much as I’d love to meet her in person, it’s cool that we’ve gotten as close as we have just through emailing.  I’ve also had some really awesome beta readers that I met through GUTGAA, different contests and Write On.  

And I have all the awesome people who stop by and read my blog/offer words of encouragement and advice. I feel so much less alone now. I’m so glad I got on the contest circuit and started a blog.  I don’t know a lot of you that well, but I love reading your blogs. I get happy when I see someone I’ve been following achieve success, and sad when they hit a roadblock. You guys inspire me to know that I can do this, because I see all of you doing it. And, what I really want is to know more about you guys. I want to connect with the world out there—this huge world that I’m lucky enough to be able to reach through a screen and touch.

Thought this was way too perfect to not include. haha

So, I hope you don’t mind if I ask you some questions. Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to answer all of them, I just thought it might be easier to ask some questions than to say “Hey, tell me about yourself.” haha. So, just choose whatever you want to answer. Or don’t answer any. It’s up to you. J

What made you decide to write a book? If you had realized, way back when you started, how hard this would be, do you think you’d have done it anyway? Does your biggest dream involve writing or something else?  Do you find writing to be a lonely endeavor? Do you have a critique group you meet with in person and, if so, how did you guys all meet?

Like I said, feel free to answer whatever you want or just tell me something random about yourselves!!And, hey—if anyone out there is within an hour of Savannah GA, let me know. I’m down in SE Coastal GA and I would LOVE to meet some people in person.  

And that’s it for today. Oh, and btw, my post was on inspiration because I like to post on the Thursday’s Children bloghop—which is all about sharing the different things that inspire us. It’s hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet at NEST OF WORDS and KRISTINA PEREZ. Make sure to stop by their sites and we’d love it if more people joined in on the bloghop!!

 Sorry for rambling on!! Thanks for listening and being my inspiration! 


  1. It's strange how you can feel so connected to people you have never met in person isn't it? I don't know any 'writing folks' in real life so the only place I get to chat about writing is online!

    I'd always wanted to write, even as a kid I remember thinking, "One day I'll write a book." I didn't actually start writing properly till about 4 years ago when I was going through a low point and I used writing to help channel by thoughts. Now I can't stop!

    1. I started about five years ago, so I only have about a year on you. I always liked to write, but I never thought I could write an actual book. Funny. Now I've written five (counting rewrites) I only have two to show for it--and I'm working on a new one! :)

  2. I know exactly what you mean in this post, I didn't really feel like I belonged anywhere until I started my blog and met the amazing blogging community! It's nice feeling like I belong, I've never really had that before.
    It's the blogging community that got me into writing in the first place; if I'd never started my blog, I wouldn't have participated in the A to Z challenge, or done Camp Nano in August. I probably wouldn't have applied for the Creative Writing Masters I'm currently doing. I couldn't imagine my life without writing or blogging now, even though this time last year I did neither!
    Thanks for sharing, that really was a great post.
    There's an award for you on my blog :)

    1. Loved your post you did over on your blog!! I already have that award though, sorry!!

      And it is really nice to have a sense of belonging SOMEWHERE, isn't it?

  3. Great post. Writing is definitely my biggest dream, I didn't have any idea how hard it is to get published (excluding self-pubbing) when I started. Figured the plethora of crappy books out there meant it was fairly easy. Still haven't really figured that out, lol. I have LOTS of email friends and several cyber- CPs/betas, but I don't meet any writer friends in real life. At least I haven't so far-hope to some day though. We'll be moving to No. Carolina in the summer, which is still far from you, but not as far as Maine where we are now.

    1. South Carolina is only three hours away, maybe someday we'll meet halfway. haha.

      I haven't figured out the reason for the copious amounts of crappy books either. As hard as it is to get published, you'd think every book out there would be a genius work of art. NOT. haha. I guess that's why they say it's all subjective.

      I had SO little of an idea about this industry that I was just blithely like, "Oh! I'm pretty good at writing and I have no other talent at all, so I think I'll write a book. It will be awesome." haha. Almost SIX years later...here I still am.

      Oh well, it's been one hell of a ride. It's all about the journey, right?

  4. Well, I'm not a writer, just a book blogger, so the questions don't really apply to me. :p. My life couldn't be more different from yours, however, I love meeting new people and learning about their experiences. I don't have a big dream - that's always been my downfall. Everyone else I know had an idea or a dream to aspire to and I never did. I had my life mapped out (vaguely) up to college and then...nothing. So I've worked at the same place for 13 years because it pays the bills and has good benefits, but it's not my passion. I am passionless, I suppose. I am very envious of writers - I wish I had stories inside my head just screaming to get out, but alas, I can only read other people's.

    Anyway, that's it for me - as sad as that sounds, my life is pretty great. Really. :)

    1. I spent my whole life "passionless." I never had stories floating around my head. I had to work to make that happen and I will never be one of those writers with a million different projects/ideas. Ten years ago, I couldn't have done this because it just wasn't the right time. I spent a lot of time bouncing from one thing to another, but never really finding that thing I was meant to do.

      Then one day, something in my head just clicked, and I started writing. that was about five or six years ago. I'm SO much happier now than I was before, although--honestly--I was always a very happy person. I think I'm happier now because I finally found what i'm meant to be doing. And I don't know WHY it took me so long, maybe just because I was so busy raising my kids and stuff. But you aren't necessarily "passionless." You probably just didn't find what you're meant to be doing yet! :)

  5. Haha — wow, aren't you glad you started this blog and joined GUTGAA, huh?

    I think writing can definitely be a lonely and isolating journey, especially because we spend most of our time looking at a page (and not a client requests, meetings, etc). It can definitely feel lonely. As writers, we almost have to push ourselves to be extra social!!

    I used to mainly write short stories, but started writing novels when I found that I had a story that was too big to be small. Or characters that were too interesting for you to meet in such I short time. Also, getting to create an experience for someone over the course of 70k + words is awesome, isn't it??? You're no different than a big budget film director...

    I don't think any of us thought it would be easy. It's one of the most challenging things you can do. Remember, most people struggle to write a memo. Film scripts are only 100 pages. It's a huge accomplishment to create a novel-length story, but a huge challenge as well.

    For in-person critique groups, you can try browsing Meetup.com to see if there are any writer's meetups in your area. All of the groups that I know of in my city coordinate their meet-ups through that site!

    Glad to have you on Thursday's Children and can't wait to see what inspires you next.

    1. I actually met my first critique group through Meet-up. It was an awesome experience while it lasted. I've looked on Meet-Up quite a few times since, but there isn't anything going on in my area right now. I did find one group, about an hour away. I got really excited because one of the members put in his biography that he's a "best-selling author." Apparently, he doesn't know what that means, cause when I checked his amazon page--which also listed him as a "Best-seller" I saw that he's self-published. He's written two books, both of which had less than five reviews on them. haha.

      And then, the other lady in the group self-published TEN books this year. When I tried to read the blurb to one of them, it was so poorly written I couldn't even get through the description. I really wish there was SOME kind of way to police self-published stuff, so people couldn't just publish whatever crap they want. I think self-publishing is a viable option nowadays, but people that bang out a book a month and throw it into the world with no editing or anything really ruin the credibility of the whole field. It's a shame that there's no way to impose some kind of standard on what can be printed, but that would open a whole new can of worms.

      So, yeah-I think I'd rather stick with my online friends than venture an hour away to join that particular group.

    2. I experienced the same thing with in-person Critique Groups and Writer's Groups. Most of the people weren't really serious (very casual writers) or weren't even close to having the expertise to critique something. I think they just wanted to feel like they were writers by going to these groups, LOL.

      Have you tried taking a creative writing class? I was actually inspired to start writing from a Creative Writing class I took, like a night school thing (it was maybe $150 for 7 weeks...). It wasn't a bad venue, but again, most people weren't serious, just wanted something interesting to do.

      They say in sports (or in anything, really), you'll only really learn from those who are better than you or smarter than you... so why not find people who are like that, wherever they are. HEY... you may just be the best writer in your area!

      A digression: Have you ever considered hosting your own Meet-up workshops in your area? To help people who are at an earlier level than you?

    3. I have tried attending a few other Meet-Up groups after that first one. In my first crit group EVERYONE who joined was a serious writer who was really serious about honing their craft. It was amazing.

      But, the groups since have been very lackluster. People journaling or kind of half-assing assignments for school. Nobody serious.

      I have thought about starting a group but, as sad as it is, I don't have the twenty bucks to throw away on Meet-Up if it doesn't work out. My husband is out of work and twenty-bucks matters right now. Maybe someday though!

  6. Other than happy, healthy kids, writing is my biggest dream. And to be honest, I don't really find it lonely at all. I'm incredibly lucky - I have a local writing group where some of the members are among my best friends. In fact, the majority of my closet friends are writers, and I think it's because we truly "get" each other. We're all sort of the misfits in other areas of our lives, but together, we're our own tribe. That's true of my online writing friends as well. I'm so glad you've found the support and friendship of other writers. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. :)

    1. Same here. You're lucky that you met some people in person, that's a really cool thing to have. And yeah, writers (as a whole) tend to be "weird." haha. But in the best, most awesome way!!

  7. I can rather relate. I don't really have friends aside from those I've met on my blog. I'm too odd in the real world, to put it basically.

    And in answer to your question... I would have written my book even if I had known it would be this hard - or so I like to tell myself. I'm rather glad I didn't know before hand.
    And aye, my biggest dream is to write.

    1. Well, at least you found a place where you can be odd with other odd people, right? haha

      And yeah, I'm actually very glad I didn't know beforehand. The idea that I might've never started is scary, cause I wouldn't give this up for anything!

  8. I know what you mean. I look at the world differently, so most "normal" people see me as weird. Also went to many schools in my childhood, so I don't really have lasting friends either.

    What made you decide to write a book?
    I've always been writing, but it took the right character to walk into my head before I took novel writing seriously.

    If you had realized, way back when you started, how hard this would be, do you think you’d have done it anyway?
    Without a doubt. Although writing is hard, it's also a wonderful, satisfying experience that keeps me intensely happy. :-)

    Does your biggest dream involve writing or something else? Writing and singing, yes.

    Do you find writing to be a lonely endeavor? Not with forty characters talking at the same time. In fact it's really noisy.

    Do you have a critique group you meet with in person and, if so, how did you guys all meet? Nope. All my crit partners are people I know through blogging. It's a lot easier to be honest when you don't have to see someone's face, which means I can trust the crits I receive more as well.

    1. Nice point about being honest...although sometimes that hasn't been my experience even online. But that' s a whole other blogpost. haha. Thanks for answering all my questions! That was awesome. :)

      I've always wanted to be able to sing. Sadly, I sound like Minnie Mouse on helium, so....yeah....

      Forty characters, huh? that's more than in all my books combined!

  9. Hi Tamara,
    It's funny but I also found some of my best friends through writing stories and internet. I started writing as a form of therapy, to keep my mind busy from an incapacitating illness. I do think writing is sometimes a lonely work. None of my family write. My writing partners are the people in internet but I think they're awesome. We've come to be very close. I like to think since we can't see each other physically, we come to meet each other's souls sometimes clearer. It's nice to meet you. :)

    1. I agree that sometimes we can get closer to people we haven't physically met. It's fairly easy to bare your soul to a stranger, because there is no risk in that. In that way, I've gotten really close to a couple people online. The one girl, Karen, that I've been working with for months, is so awesome. When I first met her it didn't seem like we had much in common beyond a love of writing. But, as the months have gone on, I've come to realize that we're a LOT a like. So that's been a really cool thing. It's nice to meet you too!! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  10. Aw- Tamara, this post made me want to cry. I love that you connected to other writers online. And I have to admit, even though I have a crap ton of friends, a lot of them don't understand me, the way my writerly friends online do! (If that makes any sense)

    And, most of my dreams, (other than living a happy, healthy life with The Husband and my three kids) revolve around writing. My wildest dream would be to get published- and I want one, just one person, to one day tell me that my book was their favorite. That would be EPIC!

  11. Hi Tamara .. I'm not an author .. but the funny thing is I found out I can write - well on in life!

    I started the blog as an opportunity arose and I thought well I'm around people I know why not .. I'd be writing out re my mother's terminal illness (how long we didn't know - as it happened 5 3/4 years) .. but some relatives and friends said they enjoyed my positive take on my how my mother and I were coping in the circumstances ... but it became more about historical things - across history - as my mother was able to talk and her brain was still in tact despite being severely stroked ... and we explored many areas of life ... hence the blog and its eclecticness ...

    It's made the transition from her death to now relatively easy - as I had a future and had been thinking of it with various project connected with writing et al ...

    That's me .. and good to know why you're blogging too - cheers Hilary

  12. I decided to write a book when I was 8 and realized how hard it was to tell a story through animation (after a very valiant effort, resulting in a foot-tall stack of papers, all fully drawn on, creating a few minutes of story. Poor little me).

    I would still have decided to do it, yes. It's still way easier than animation. Lol. And the other jobs that now that I think about it I would have enjoyed enough to have gotten through (ie baker, florist, editor) don't let me stay at home like writing eventually will.

    My biggest dream for this life is to get as recognized writing as Rachel Aaron is now. I think that's an attainable goal, and something that will (combined with my husband's income) make my family comfortable.

    Writing doesn't feel lonely to me, for several reasons. I'm an introvert anyway, so I love my "me" time, so long as it's balanced with friend time. I'm imagining other lives while I write, and my characters almost feel like friends. And what I write is something to talk about with other people, and something that links me to other writing friends.

    I've been in and out of a lot of critique groups (mostly from moving, but also because I was displeased with a few of them, and how not-serious they were), but I'm not currently part of one. I'm somewhat new in town, and just heard of a group that sounds like a great fit, but I'm thinking I'll edit my book some before I head over there to see what they're like.

    I'm glad the community helps you so much! That's what we're here for (and also to network. :D).

  13. I loved this post! I guess writers tend to be a little different - even introverted, which doesn't help the "making friends" situation. The blogging community is so supportive and it's easy to make friends here.

    I belong to a critique group, and I met them by attending an SCBWI meeting in my area.

  14. What an honest post! As a jr. high teacher, I'm confronted with SO many people on a daily basis that all I want to do when I get home is read and write and spend quality time with my wife. I just don't have the time or energy for cultivating friendships. Besides, most of my friends have kids now, and they don't seem to know what to do with me or my passion: writing!

  15. Sometimes I feel like all my friends live in the computer, too. I'm originally from New York but have lived in 8 countries since I left high school and it's hard to keep track of everyone. Thank god for Facebook, despite its flaws. I also love being able to meet new writers online. Sometimes it feels like I'm having an affair from my "flesh and blood" friends because I love my virtual friends so much ;-)


I love to hear from everyone! Thanks for the comment. :)