LS: How do you reach new readers?
MW: The best way in today’s world is through the marvelous connections available on the internet: forums, blogs, networking sites (facebook, twitter, etc.). Of course, word of mouth is always very effective.
LS: What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
MW: Well, the thought has crossed my mind that if I had started writing earlier in life, say, my early 20’s, I would have more credentials to show– but then I wouldn’t know what I know now and I don’t think I would have been happy with my writing, if that makes sense. Beyond that, I’m actually very happy with how things have progressed. I’m just where I want to be in space and time right now.
LS: What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?
MW: I love helping emerging authors! My advice would be: master the English language (assuming you’re writing in English), don’t just trifle with it; live life fully, but be disciplined at the same time; hew out a solid foundation of faith and continue to build on it/Him throughout your life.
LS: Which books on writing have been the most helpful to you and why?
MW: I learn best by example, so I’ve adopted a “read good literature” attitude. Good literature rubs off! The author who has probably influenced me most is Annie Dillard. For sheer writing prowess and brilliance, she is incomparable.
LS: What is a typical writing day like for you?
MW: I generally file through my Post-It-Notes from the day before, then hit “THE Notebook” – you know, the one that holds most of a writer’s grey matter; the thing that once lost would send their spirits to the Land of Despondency and Despair. 🙂 I network throughout the day with family and friends via email, facebook, and twitter. And in between all that I live life! I do farm chores and house chores and shopping, cleaning, and cooking. The realities of life keep my writing in balance.
LS: What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel, article or book?
MW: I usually don’t spend hours in research, but I do tend to think things through a lot before putting down seed thoughts on paper. When I feel the seeds are plentiful enough, I begin to hoe, plant, and water. Hopefully the emerging vegetation is both fodder for the soul and beauty for the eyes. If not, I plow it under and start again.
LS: Do you edit as you go or wait until completing the first draft?
MW: Editing is the life blood of every worthy piece of writing. I do it continually and with abandon.
LS: What do you have within reach as you write?
MW: Always – a cup of water or tea. A notebook and pen.
LS: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
MW: I never try to sell anyone on writing — BUT — if I can get them to enjoy some genre of reading, then I’ve won, and more likely than not he or she will begin at some point to think about writing.
LS: Can you give us one “do” and one “don’t” for those aspiring to be a writer?
MW: DO begin. DON’T wait. Also, if you can find a writing mentor, DO it.
If you’d like to enter to win a signed copy of Maggie’s book, please leave a comment or become a follower of this blog between now and Sunday, November 1 at 6 PM Central Time. A winner will be announced on Monday, November 2nd! Thanks, and good luck!
Maggie has over 70 published articles and poems in magazines including War Cry, Wesleyan Life, Christian Home and School, Woman’s Touch (Leadership Edition), Young Salvationist, Purpose, Christian Women Today e-zine, Seek, Women Alive!, Evangel, Cross & Quill, and others.
She has been a staff writer for GotQuestions.org, one of the most visited Christian sites on the internet with well over a million hits a month; has written dozens of teen and adult Bible studies; led a Christian writers group; and won a Roaring Lambs Award from the Amy Foundation.
Her first book, “I Run to the Hills: Reflections on the Christian Journey”, was released Fall, 2009.
Again, thanks for sharing with us, Maggie!
Until next time,