Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Author, Keri Wyatt Kent
I recently received a copy of Simple Compassion by Keri Wyatt Kent to review. Simple Compassion is a devotional written with the idea of changing your neighborhood and the world, starting with oneself. I love the practical ideas as well as the encouragement Kent shares with her readers. I will be posting a review of the book, but first I wanted you to meet the author! I'm sure you will enjoy reading her interview as much as I have.
How did you get involved in writing?
I’ve always loved books. My fifth grade teacher affirmed my skills in writing—I knew then that I was going to be some sort of writer someday. I was a lit major in college, but when I worked on the student newspaper, I fell in love with journalism. I was a newspaper reporter right out of college and continued that until I started freelancing full time, when I had kids. There has never been a time in my life when I wasn’t writing. It’s really the only career I’ve ever had. Even if it were not my job, I would write and journal. Writing helps me understand the world and try to make a little sense of my life.
How do you find time to write?
If you wait until you “find time” to write, you will never write. You have to MAKE time. I write every day—some days for two hours, others for eight or more. If I have a meeting or a tennis game early in the morning, I schedule my writing for the afternoon. I try to write five days a week. When I’m on a deadline I write at least 1000 words a day. My goal is to write at least that all five days, but I don’t always meet that goal. Other days, I exceed it.
What did you enjoy most about the writing process?
I just love it when the ideas begin to flow as I’m writing, and I just get out of the way. I discover things (or more accurately, God gives them to me) as I write, in the moment. It doesn’t happen every time but it’s very cool when it does. I also love it when I write a really good sentence—it just sings. Again, a rare occurrence—and these serendipitous moments can only happen when you engage in the discipline of sitting down every day to write.
What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
Just making the time to do it. I have a lot of interests, I like spending time with friends, I want to be a good mom, I try to serve at my church. Carving out the time is a discipline.
What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?
I would ask them: what are you working on? Because a lot of people want to be an author but they don’t actually write. They just want to write, but they don’t do it. You have to start writing. Then, hone your craft. Take classes to get better at writing. Hire an editor and actually heed their advice. Join a critique group. Even best-selling authors can improve their craft and learn more.
Also, build your platform. Unfortunately, even if you are an excellent writer you need to have a way to publicize your writing. Learn about marketing, publicity, speaking. Publishers today aren’t interested in authors who don’t have some sort of platform. I think a lot of people don’t realize that authors are the ones responsible for marketing their own books. Accept and embrace that reality, and you’re ahead of the game.
* * * * * * * * *
On another note....
I love to read! I cannot remember not loving to read and that is why I am involved in the "blog tours". If you also enjoy reading and would like to receive the latest releases, you might consider joining the "blog tours." Just let me know in the comment section and I will be happy to put you in contact with the right person! ~ Cheryl