18 August

BLINK BLOG: End Of Summer

The end of summer is here… and we have one final installment in our Summer BLINK Blog series! Keep reading below…

What advice do you have for young authors trying to stay focused on writing over the summer?

Alison Gervais: Don’t force the story! If you have to take a break, take a break! Go easy on yourself. Sometimes the words flow easiest when you’re least expecting it.

Christina June: Sign up for Camp NaNo, designate time everyday for writing or something writing-related, and READ!

Jonathan Friesen: Focused?

Lorie Langdon: This is the first summer in four years I haven’t had a publisher deadline, so I’m struggling with this myself. My best advice is to write in the morning. Have a word count goal each day and don’t do anything else until you’ve hit that goal. If you have to be at work in the a.m., get up an hour early and knock out your word count. You’ll feel accomplished and keep your head in your story. Then you can have the rest of the day for fun!

McCall Hoyle: Put your behind in the chair at a set time every day. Commit to sitting there for a set period of time. Stare at that blank screen long enough and something will happen. I promise.
And, of course, write what you love. Write from your heart, and write what you’d like to see on bookshelves and in libraries.  

Stefne Miller:  The best way to stay focused on your writing is to write something that’s exciting to you. Fall in love with your characters to the point that you can’t wait to see what happens to them. Consider it like you’re hanging out with friends and you’re simply spending time writing so you can get to know them better – and because you love their company. If I write to write, I procrastinate. If I write to discover or to spend time with “friends”, I can’t wait to start.

Stephanie Morrill: For many, summer brings about a change of routine. Those who are normally in school might have a wide open schedule, while others may find their schedule overrun with visitors and vacations. What’s worked well for me to build consistent times that I can write. Even if it’s just thirty minutes or an hour each day (or most days), being faithful to getting words on the page during that dedicated time can really add up.

If you could travel anywhere in the world this summer, where would you go?

Alison Gervais: I would definitely travel to Hungary if I could. My grandpa’s family comes from Hungary, and I would be honored if I could be the first in my family to visit the country since my great-grandparents emigrated in the early 1900’s.


Christina June: I’m doing it – Disney World!  We’ve also been dreaming about Costa Rica lately.

Lorie Langdon: I would go to Hawaii. I’ve never been, but I’m pretty sure when I go I’ll never want to leave!  


McCall Hoyle: Okay, this may sound strange, but I’m obsessed with bears—black bears, grizzly bears, you name it. They’re fascinatingly powerful animals. I’ve seen my fair share of black bears in the Eastern United States but have always dreamed of seeing a grizzly bear in the wild. Since I’m also fascinated by wild places, I would pack up the mosquito spray and hiking boots and head to Alaska to see a grizzly in the wild. The moose would be pretty cool too.

Stefne Miller:  I would love to visit Alaska (while it isn’t freezing cold). It would be wonderful to have the opportunity to explore with my family for a week… and then send them back home and stay behind so I can hide away in a beautiful place and write. Any time my mind daydreams about taking a trip, it always involves beautiful, inspiring views and a quiet place to write. That’s heaven to me.

Stephanie Morrill: Italy. My husband and I have been planning a trip to Italy for three years, but it keeps getting pushed off because of our kids. Hopefully in the next year or two we’ll get to dust off our plans and see Venice!

What has been inspiring you lately?

Alison Gervais: Ever since I started my new job last October, I’ve been able to look at things with an entirely different lense than before, and I’m very thankful for the new experiences.

Christina June: Everything?  I know, cop out answer, but I tend to steal from everywhere, so it’s actually true.

Jonathan Friesen: Raspberries. We have about thirty raspberry bushes growing near our curb, and they are producing like gangbusters. The entire neighborhood takes, oh, fifty walks per day and everyone just wanders onto my lawn and starts eating my raspberries. No “May I have some raspberries?” or “Do you mind if I take a handful?” I come home each day to strangers talking to each other, standing on my lawn and eating raspberries. They smile and wave crimson-stained hands and keep eating. I guess I’d like to be a little more like one of those raspberry plants and less like the thorny rosebush I tend to be. You know, approachable.

Lorie Langdon: I was hugely inspired by the Wonder Woman film! Watching her come into her power while staying grounded in grace and love made me want to not only write a heroine like her, but emulate her in my own life. If we can embrace our own strengths and gifts while loving and inspiring others, I can’t think of a better definition of success.

McCall Hoyle: I’m always inspired by the vast awesomeness of the natural world, but I’m also really inspired by human beings. There is a lot of ugliness in the world if you watch too much news. But if you spend time getting to know people one-on-one, you realize there are a lot of good people doing good work but flying under the radar. I believe Anne Frank’s words are as true today as when she wrote them in her diary in 1944, “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Stefne Miller:  I had the honor of traveling to Chicago for the ALA Conference. Prior to the trip, I’d been struggling with finding inspiration to write, but being around so many amazing writers that seem to have no fear and continually write and reach for their dreams was a true inspiration for me. I came home ready to jump back onto the computer and start creating again. I learned a great lesson through that trip: when you’re struggling to be inspired, surround yourself with inspiring people. They’ll help relight the creative fire within.

Stephanie Morrill: The podcast Stuff You Missed In History Class. Every show teaches me about people and perspectives that I was unaware of, which is so valuable as a writer.