Career Fair: Why Write?

In presenting to a group of Utah high school students this week, I’m letting them know what it takes to be a writer and why its a great thing to go into. I could probably talk all day on the subject, but sadly, I was only given 30 minutes.  As for the why, I narrowed it down to six. 

  • You are limited only by your imagination. 
  • It can be done almost anywhere and worked into a busy life. 
  • It can bless the lives of others. 
  • It can be a good source of income. 
  • It’s fun to do and to share. 
  • You don’t need a specific degree or license to do it. (Though it does require a lot of effort) 
There are many other reasons.  What are some of your reasons? What motivated you to start writing and what motivates you to keep writing? 
For me, it all started with an overactive imagination. It was as if I just got to a point where it couldn’t all stay in my head anymore.  I read so much growing up that I really wanted to try to make my own contribution.  It has been disheartening at times, but for me all it takes is just one person telling me that they loved something that I have written to overcome all the rejections and critics that are part of writing life. 
I’d love to hear all of your stories!  Please comment below. 
Writing Update: After knocking out that huge German translation project, I got back to the projects that are dearer to my heart.  I’m up to 28,071 in Simon Says, my contemporary family drama, and up to 16,513 in my sequel to The Last Archangel.  Xandir finds himself in Rome facing a demon who wants to be the second person to fiddle while the city burns.  

Roy Elementary Author Visit

This week, I had one of the best experiences of my writing career.  I had privilege of visiting Roy Elementary in Roy, UT to get the students excited about writing.  They are putting on a “Young Authors Fair” later this school year, and my visit was to help them prepare for that.

I gave two different assemblies to the school to talk about how I became and author (and how they can too) and then I was off to the classrooms.  Over the course of two days, I visited 21 different classrooms, ranging from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade.  Each teacher had been stressing some part of writing in their classrooms and they had me give one of four presentations about an aspect of writing that they wanted their students to work on.  I was so impressed how well-behaved the students were and how many of them were excited about learning how to write and telling their own stories.

It was a bit of a challenge tailoring my presentations to match the needs and learning levels of such a wide variety of age groups (for example, in Kindergarten, we just talked about ways to use your imagination, while in sixth grade, I could hold a lengthy discussion about the elements of a story), but in the end, I feel that I got the hang of it.

From an author’s point of view, it was a very worthwhile exercise. The principal suggested that I have books on hand for the students to purchase, and through this, I sold 33 books, which is far greater than most events that I hold in bookstores.

As a teacher, the experience was incredibly satisfying, as I saw those young minds light up and ask very intelligent questions about writing and I could tell they were getting excited about it.

I want to make the presentations I used available for use by other writers and by other teachers.  There are four in all, including:

How to Organize Your Writing
Sentence Fluency
Brainstorming
Hooking Your Reader

I am going to use this opportunity to explore each of these topics on my blog; once a week for four weeks.  I will prepare a post on this topic and then the PowerPoint presentation file available for free download.

I would love to hear about other opportunities to visit schools.  If you know of any such opportunities, please contact me at thecanticlekingdom@gmail.com.