Summer Writing -finding the book within

Finding a story and writing a book:

Each summer I have joined Kate Messener and friends for the summer Teachers Writing Camp

( I begin the summer following along and writing but in reality I don’t really get to the deep writing of a manuscript. I write blog posts and short starts to stories. It feels good to write but I am playing around the edges and not pushing myself deep into the work.

Is it fear? Is it the critic sitting on my shoulder that stops me? I have ideas, lots of stories started and unfinished. The question surfaces time and again – Do I have a story in me that is worth sharing? I really don’t know and won’t know unless I push beyond these first 2,000 or so words.

This summer I am taking a new approach. I have not signed up for the summer writing workshop. (ok, I signed up but am not planning to write with them – I am a blog reading junkie and want to know what they are saying this summer about historical fiction.)  I will check in from time to time because I love what authors have to say to help keep us (old in age but newbies to writing books) going. I have not been tracking the Tara Lazar’s – PiBoldMo blog ( either. It is time to walk away from the lights and glitter of Facebook, Twitter and blogs and really write.

I have pulled out the two intermediate picture book MS that I have written and am re-reading them. I wonder if they should move to a full middle grade chapter book. Is there a larger story there? It seems a bit much for a picture book – to many words, to many leaps in thinking and a story made for older readers.

I don’t know how to decide whether to cut words and simplify or increase words and plot to develop this into a chapter book. How does one make those kind of decisions?

So here I sit at the intersection of chapter books and picture books with a story of time travel into the past, the bits and pieces of an artists life and a young boy finding his way.

Now I need to sort out where I go from here? I am stepping into the challenge, frustration and joy of writing.

Welcome to summer 2015.




About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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1 Response to Summer Writing -finding the book within

  1. deborahwiles says:

    Write a little every day, if you can. Or dream a little and write a little. Write about what’s most important to you. That’s where to begin. Like stream of consciousness, or memoir, which will turn into story. Good luck!

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