Author’s Journey

It’s always inspiring to hear authors talk about their writing life—its ups and downs, its rewards and joys. That’s why I was excited to hear my dear friend and gifted writer Nancy Burke ( share her story in an event hosted by the Montclair Write Group, a community of writers spanning all genres, ages, and experience. A few highlights:

Be flexible: Nancy’s three books all took different paths to publication. “From the Abuelas’ Window,” her first novel, was self-published. Her second book, “If I Could Paint the Moon Black,” recounting the World War II story of Imbi Peebos, reached readers through a small indie publisher. Her latest novel, “Only the Women are Burning,” found a hybrid publisher, Apprentice House at Loyola University.

Be ready: New ideas come from everywhere. “I have a journal I carry around in my purse,” Nancy noted. One book idea was sparked by the gift of a bicycle to her young daughter, another by a feisty speaker at a conference, and the third when the line, “the women began to spontaneously ignite…” floated into her mind. When wisps of ideas come, catch them.

Be persistent: With a full time job and a family, Nancy had to find ways to keep her writing a priority. One book took her seven years, on and off, to write. “Only the Women Are Burning” went through five drafts.. Keep moving forward, revising and sharpening.

Be coachable: “I learned to write a novel by writing one,” Nancy commented. At one point, “Only the Women” mushroomed into a 1,000 page manuscript which she had to cut and hone. By working with a critique group, taking classes, and experimenting on her own, Nancy’s craft developed and deepened.

Be adventurous: Now that “Only the Women” is in novel form, Nancy’s working on adapting it as a screenplay—a very different form of writing. “What is the audience seeing? What is the audience hearing?” A new set of challenges has emerged. After taking a screenwriting course to reorient herself, Nancy is diving into a new genre.

Be ready for inspiration. Be flexible and adventurous. Be coachable. Inspired advice from a talented author. Bravo, Nancy! Write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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