We are a bunch of writers scattered across different time zones, in and out of each others lives, who spend ridiculous amounts of time on Facebook and other social media. Each of us takes turns talking about how we really want to have time to write and so now we’re holding ourselves accountable to that burny, itchy, crazy feeling you get when you know you should be doing something but you keep putting it off for more “important” things. It’s time for this crazy cast of characters to give in to theWRITEaddiction.
The Main Cast
Interest: Helping people tap into their creative brains and keep them in tip top shape regardless of our “life commitments”. We can’t get so busy with the activities of working and paying bills that we forget to dream and act on those ideas!
Location: Lubbock, TX (Recently relocated from Little Rock, Arkansas [A.K.A. Rock Town, Baby! A.K.A. La Petite Roche])
Favorite Author/Book: (Fiction) Beverly Jenkins, she is my Writing SHero! (Non-Fiction) Beverly Daniel Tatum, because her book “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” quite literally altered the path of my life.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: Just after my eight birthday my family moved from Savannah, GA to Coralville, IA (Iowa City) and my world changed drastically. Left to cope with a very different world of strange and curious people and things, I turned to reading and writing about far off places with exciting characters, many of which dealt with feelings of isolation or who felt misunderstood by those around them. I tackled Jane Eyre by the age of 9, Margaret Walker’s Jubilee by 10 and I became the “scribe” for the letters we used to write to our grandparents back in Savannah for my brother and two cousins who joined us in Iowa back in 1990.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Writing is how I make sense of my world. It’s how I communicate these glorious ideas to other human brains that are frankly wired differently than mine. Writing also has the great potential to last beyond my days giving me a rare shot at immortality and I like that.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: Wahoo! What’s next!?!
Online Residences: https://about.me/mcyoungblood | http://www.askyoungblood.com | http://arstempowered.wordpress.com/ (STEM Blog) | @martagwyn (Twitter) | https://www.linkedin.com/in/martagwyncollier (LinkedIn) | http://instagram.com/martagwyn | http://paper.li/martagwyn/1375399426 (Paper.Li)
Interest: Accepting this writing challenge from my friend Marta. Interested in seeing where this will go.
Location: Fayetteville, AR by way of the Mississippi Delta.
Favorite Author/Book: My favorite non-fiction book is The Color of Water by James McBride. My favorite fictions writers are Terry McMillian and Beverly Jenkins
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: Truly never had the “writing” bug but I know I can do this because my two degrees say so.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Writing helps you streamline your thoughts.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is?: Is not hitting the snooze button 10 times…….mornings can be rough for the kid.
Interest: Writing is what I love to do!
Location: Webb City, Missouri
Favorite Author/Book: Tedd Dekker & C.S. Lewis
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: In high school I wrote because I had so many emotions that I thought I would explode. Writing helped me cope with some very difficult days.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: It is therapeutic!
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: How will I get three kids ready AND get to work on time!?!
Interest: I need inspiration and criticism to make me a better writer.
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Favorite Author/Book: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enough
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I learned the power of words early. I started writing poetry at age 9 and I never stopped.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Like everything else, if you don’t make time for it, it will get pushed to the back burner.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: Being grateful.
Online Residences: MamaRad.wordpress.com (blog)
Interest: Motivating people to move forward in their thinking so they can achieve their dreams. I love helping people see past what they think are limitations and creating life-changing results.
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Favorite Author/Book: Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I never thought of myself as a “writer” but it seemed to come naturally to me when I wrote essays and papers in English classes in junior high. After receiving so many good grades on my papers which I thought were average, I continued to pursue writing as I got older.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Because of my busy life as a wife, mother, business owner, etc. finding time to write is not easy. One thing I have learned is that we make time for what is important. I am making time in this season of my life to become a better writer and use this gift to empower and encourage others.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: How much can I get done today and who can I help?
Interest: I love 18th century literature, mysteries, BBC basically all things British.
Location: Savannah, Georgia (born and raised)
Favorite Author/Book: The Bronte Sisters and Jane Austen (again with the British)
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: It was in high school, I had a teacher who had a love of literature. She introduced me to 18th century literature and I was hooked. I told myself, I can write something like this. I feel like I’ve lived that life before. I discovered a connection to that time period and it never left me. The main reason the females in those stories wrote as an outlet because they weren’t encouraged to pursue their writing in that time. I really relate to that. I didn’t act on the desire to write; however, until much later in my life.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Because of the lack of male oriented writing. I raised a man child at a time when everything on the school reading list for him was very geared towards females or developmentally high level. My son took the challenge of the more difficult literature and I’m proud of him for that. However, the young male population needs to have options that are developmentally appropriate for them to read so that they can be well-rounded men.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: It’s not writing, unfortunately. I care for my mother and my first thought is what does mama need for me to do for her.
Online Residences: firstname.lastname@example.org (Email)
Interests: Photography, Sophisticated Rachetry, Side Eyeing, and Shenanigans
Location: Atlanta, Ga….don’t do it, do NOT say Hotlanta
Favorite Author/Book: Historical black romance novels by the great Beverly Jenkins. My favorite series at the moment is The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I fell into it back in college *cough* years ago via blogs. I was reading Damon Young and Panama Jackson separately. Then one day they joined forces and I watched VerySmartBrothas be born. I was hooked. I started my blog to share the shenanigans rolling around in my brain. Now, I’m trying to get that flow back because these here 30s are no joke.
Why Is Making Time to Write Important: SANITY! I really must stop talking to myself…
The first thing I think about when I wake up is: Need more sleep. What’s for breakfast? Can I make it to the bathroom without opening my eyes? Yessss, I made it. Why am I not a millionaire yet? Girl, get dressed. Etc etc etc etc
Clinnesha Sibley “Serenity Sundays”
Interest: I’ve always believed that our lives are giant canvases and that we are, largely, works-of-art. This belief is what brings me to the world of blogging. It is here, in this space, that I will find the art in absolutely everything. If you can find the art, you will find love, followed by purpose, followed by freedom, followed by peace…
Location: McComb, MS (I’ve lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Charleston, South Carolina, and on the campus of a boarding school in Piney Woods, Mississippi)
Favorite Author/Book: Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Other favorite authors: Maya Angelou, August Wilson, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison and Priscilla Shirer.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I sat down to write a play. I was six years old. I do not recall where I got the playwriting model/format from, but my sister and I put together this script called “The Littering Bunny Rabbits” and produced it in our living room. I enjoyed the writing process so much. I remember having the time of my life being imaginative and creative. By the age of seven, I was on the typewriter.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: If our metaphysical equivalent is the atomic bomb, the three things that keep us from detonating are our spiritual beliefs and practices, our ability to love, and our social responsibility to write.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: It’s a simultaneous thought: Did we make it through the night without the kids getting into the bed? And…COFFEE!
Aixaster “Scholastic Sarcasm Saturday”
Interest: (In no particular order) I am interested in world domination, reading, relaxing, eating, and living life.
Favorite book/author: The Giver was my first favorite book. It changed my worldview and caused me to want to read sci-fi and fantasy books. More importantly it made me evolve from reading Babysitters club and Boxcar children books (which I think one way the “man” tries to genderize reading habits) to more gender neutral books.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: Middle school? Scratch that. Third grade. I entered a poetry contest at school and made it to the state’s finals. My poem, which was written in Spanish and English, was published in a book and I got to meet the governor. Thankfully this was before the Internets and there shouldn’t be a picture floating about of my fabulous outfit. *crosses fingers*
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: The ability to transform thoughts into written words has a way to make thoughts real and at times permanent. Although the notion that my written thoughts will come back to haunt me someday (perhaps when job hunting in the next 9 months) the need to release them out into the world and not just by speaking them gives me the ability to create, destroy, and it adds to my god complex. “I created you thoughts! I am your maker! Bow down to me!!!”. In a nutshell: making time to write is important as it fills my need to express myself = god complex.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: “What shall we do today pinky?” (see interest section). In reality the first thing(s) I think about when I wake are: feed baby, change diaper, coffee….world domination (?).
My Motivation: As a veteran PreK-12 teacher and teacher educator I am committed to establishing vehicles for reaching teachers and parents with information that furthers the growth and development of our children, with a special emphasis on early learners (0-8). I believe that materials and strategies that stimulate the intellect and build confidence for life long learning are always in demand. I desire to support this important medium of information with products and expertise that reflect my experience in hopes that they may be useful to teachers, parents and others charged with educating our children and youth. If there is one thing I learned in 15 years as a PreK-12 teacher and 20 years as a teacher educator in higher education, it’s that teachers matter in the intellectual development of young minds. I’m stepping out into this blog world to share some of what I’ve learned over the years with you, so follow AskDrMarta and I’ll do my best to help.
Online Residences: http://askDrMarta.com
Emily Devereux ”Mocha Wednesdays”
Interest: Discovering what is most important in life and learning how to enjoy and cultivate the moments and blessings while passing it on to tomorrow’s future.
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Favorite Author/Book: James Patterson (cannot choose one of his mysteries over another, as they all have a marvelous flavor!)
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: 6th Grade, I was given a blank white book with a hard cover to write and illustrate from my heart. Of course, I wrote a mystery! The depths of life, and everyday, is such a mystery!
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Writing is how I can leave an inheritance to my children and their children that gives them the depths of my heart. Something that cannot be taken away.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: Prayer and Coffee
Inilya Spencer “Sock it to Me Saturday”
Interest: I love making people smile, laugh, remember, and think with my writing.
Location: Olive Branch, Mississippi
Favorite book/author: Sula by Toni Morrison
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I remember creating back stories for my dolls as I child and I knew I wanted to be an artist. But I was in junior high when I realized I could make pictures with words.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Because practice makes perfect. It’s. Cliiche’ but very true.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: Going back to sleep.
LaTisha G. Carbonell “Havana Sundaes”
Interest: Healing people in mind, body, and spirit. I am of the belief that all our dreams and desires are within our grasp if only we are willing to work for it. Some of us take longer than others but I don’t believe in categorizing and/or limits.
Location: Jacksonville, FL and sometimes Cuba
Favorite Author/Book: John Irving “A Prayer for Owen Meany”. I pretty much read teen series over the summer and historical romance novels. This book spoke to me on so many levels though on being different than everyone around you. That even the bad things that happen to us have a purpose into shaping our individual journeys.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: We grew up poor and were not afforded trips or pursuits. My mother though always shared her passion for reading and had a knack for sending us to far off places with a certain inflection in her voice or the rub of her fingers across a page. I learned to read at four and had the first inklings of my literary passions in the Garden City library in West Side Savannah. When my father was murdered this was my solace and I began to weave stories of my own. It got me into the S.E.A.R.C.H program and I continued Honors writing courses through High School. It truly was my intention to keep it going into journalism but life seemed to get in the way.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Because it is a pursuit that I once felt so passionately about. I have set it aside for nearly 8 years in pursuit of nursing but I feel that I don’t have to and never should have set aside one for the other. My gift for writing has helped me tremendously in my nursing career. Now I would like my life experiences to help me delve deeper into writing.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up: Is today the day?
Jared Ritter “Two Perspectives Tuesday”
Interest: Showing people that they have the ability to overcome, to endure, to persevere. Life is full of obstacles, barriers, and struggles. How we handle those things is what defines this unique experience. We are a family who believes in the power of change, and that going back to more primitive and simple ways of living can be extremely medicinal for the broken soul.
Location: Fayetteville, AR (currently) – Halle, Sweden (just on the border of Norway and Sweden by the fjords) will be our address again in two weeks.
Favorite Author/Book: (Fiction) Chuck Palahniuk and Nicholas Sparks (Non-Fiction) Malcolm Gladwell (Blink was the first non-fiction book that grabbed me. This led me to reading mostly non-fiction for a decade.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I can’t really recall the first conscious memory of wanting to be a writer. But looking back, my first diary in 1985 started a trend of “journal” writing that would keep going through life. I was an only child, in a tough new home environment the year I remember getting that book and it became my “safe place” to share my thoughts.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important? It’s my therapy. I write about my personal development when I’ve gone through something. It’s healing to me. It’s like air and water, and as necessary for me to be “whole.” My wife says that I’m not in balance when I’m not writing, and ya know, I think she’s right. It’s a way to express all of those ideas stewing in my mind and let the release valve keep me sane, and what at times, feels like a very insane world.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: Coffee. I don’t move without a good cup or two. Then I’m thinking of what needs to be done. Honestly, as a new father of two my first thoughts are just making sure our pack is fed, and ready to tackle the day. On a day when our tribe rises in balance, I think about how to change the world, by being a better shade of me. On a bad wake up, I forget that golden rule.
Online Residences:htttp://www.solgave.com (Family Blog Site) | http://www.solgaveanimalsolutions.com (US Animal Care Business) | @solgavepack (Twitter) | www.linkedin.com/in/solgaveanimalsolutions/ (LinkedIN) | www.instagram.com/solgavepack (Instagram)
Interest: To escape reality…or more like to better understand my emotional response to reality.
Location: Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands
Favorite book/author: I’m not sure. My immediate thought is Maya Angelou but I like variety and so I have different books that I like.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I think it was writing love notes in high school…I first realized that I communicate better through writing.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Writing is how I make sense of and release the emotional tug of war that happens in my brain, so it is important because it keeps my sanity in check.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: Is there anything that needs my immediate attention?
Online Residences: http://stassinicole.wordpress.com/
Interest: I think this is a great platform to share my stories and ideas and keeps me accountable about my writing!
Location: Orlando, FL
Favorite Author/Book: I have a million, but the “Divergent” series by Veronica Roth, and the “Unwind” series by Neal Shusterman are my favorite at the moment. But I read everything, I usually know by the 3rd chapter if the story is worth my time.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: I’ve always been a writer! At the age of 10, I won my first writing contest; it was an essay about the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr. in today’s time. If I could find that essay, I would post it. I find it very timely in today’s times. I remember my classmates saying to me, “So you gon make money telling stories?” I think that’s funny now because although I don’t make a lot of money, but to me I don’t care. It’s not about how much money I make; it’s about the stories I share.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: To me, it allows me to get frustrations down on paper. I really enjoy writing, it, at times, allows me to be able to share my thoughts because I’m not always clear in my speech; especially, when it comes to just speaking my thoughts I find it easier to write it down. I’m old fashioned, I still write handwritten letters, and mail them, and I think I may be keeping the post office in business.
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: Writing & sharing my ideas. Right now, I’m working on my 5th novel! I’m so excited by this because it is a story about a woman who finds herself in and out of love, but it’s about healing. Love heals, it hurts, but it is endearing. I hope to be able to teach writing techniques and skills to young writers because it’s a tough, but a lost art….
Sunniva Ritter “Two Perspectives Tuesday”
Interest: You know how surfers are always looking for that perfect wave? I’m like that, except I’m looking for that perfect wave of … flow. Harmony, balance – that moment where everything is just “right,” not too much nor too little. Where I am one with the universe, all plants, all animals, all people. Where nothing fazes me and I. Am. Love.
I’m a dreamer, a searcher, a believer, a gypsy of consciousness. A surfer, of life.
Location: Soon to be Sweden, although I’d like to say location: Earth.
Favorite book/author: I’ve got so many. But I’d lie if I’d say anything but the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. And yeah, I’ve read the classics. Jane Eyre, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Kundera, Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marques etc. Harry Potter saved my life, and I love him, Hogwarts, ms Rowling and all that goes with it!
My earliest memory of wanting to write: I’m Norwegian. That’s not important, but I’d like to say it, so you understand why my English isn’t perfect. I never wanted to write, really, but I wanted to read. I started writing because I like to read. I was about seven years old when I started writing “books.”
Why is making time to write important?: Because time is what I have the least of, or so it feels, as a mother of young children. If I don’t make time, I won’t find it! And writing is therapy for me.
The first thing I think about when I wake up: If I’m the first to wake up, I think “Yes!” and hurry up and get some yoga in. If I’m not the first up, I think “what’s the weather like?”
You know what? There’s no such thing as bad weather.
Chris Snider “Comics on Tuesdays”
Interest: Ninjitsu, popcorn movie heroism, testing my limits.
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Favorite Author/Book: Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: Comic books and screenplays from the start were my gateway drugs. Does that qualify me as a writer or a hack? Hmmmm.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: If you don’t write, you get creative constipation, and it snowballs downhill like this:
1. No write, no happy.
2. No happy, all angry.
3. All angry and me become a giant green rage monster and people get hurt!
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is: COFFEEEEEEE!!!!!
Motto: “I don’t know, I’ll find out when I get there…”Arianna Sikorski is a globetrotting “experience hunter” who generously allows us a front row peak into her myriad of adventures.
Interest: Cultural immersion. A fancy way to explain why I am known to wander off and brave the awkward.
Location: Currently in transit around the world, but Los Angeles is home base.
Favorite Author/Book: “The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles” by Julie Andrews
My Earliest Memory of Wanting to Write: Is very early, as in recent in my life. I didn’t start writing poetry until after university and travel writing started when I left for New Zealand in 2014 with an undetermined return date. Honestly, I started writing when I had something to write about.
Why Is Making Time To Write Important?: Not only do I get to share some fun stories and observations with the world (hopefully, that inspire others), I get to spend time with one of my favorite friends that has developed over this period of traveling on my own. My thoughts. Lol! Narcissistic much?
The First Thing I Think About When I Wake Up Is?: Where am I?