Sunday, 3 March 2019

Write It and They Will Come by Donna L Martin #ChaBooCha

Image by rawpixel on Pixabay


In 1989, actor Kevin Costner starred in a movie about an Iowa corn farmer who heard voices. They whispered, “build it and they will come.” He thought they were telling him to build a baseball diamond in his fields. When he finally did, magic happened, and the 1919 Chicago White Sox came out to play.  

FIELD OF DREAMS fueled my imagination when it was released. I loved that movie. Not only does it portray America’s favorite summertime sport from a bygone era, it can give writers the incentive to create their own dream of becoming a published author.

WRITE IT AND THEY WILL COME

At first, Kevin Costner’s character ignored that inner voice. At times, he even doubted what he was doing. It seemed a little crazy. But every good idea starts with a spark…a dream…a nugget of something nibbling at the back of your mind. Back in 2014 I was a READ TO ME volunteer at a local elementary school. That year I tutored a second-grade girl who struggled with reading comprehension. Working with her, I got a spark. An idea for a story about a young girl who came from a long line of “story catchers”, but who had trouble “catching” her own stories. Later that year I participated in Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month…later renamed Story Storm) where I developed that nugget of an idea into a picture book. Fast forward through a year of working on that manuscript, receiving critiques, and editing until I entered THE STORY CATCHER into a contest where it was seen by the editor of a small publishing house. In January of 2015, my debut picture book was born. Writers need to listen to that inner voice whispering to them, the one that says to take a chance with their publishing dreams.

WRITE IT AND THEY WILL COME

While working to convert his corn fields into a baseball diamond, Kevin Costner’s character ran into many obstacles. Having to deal with people who thought he was crazy. Trying to track down others to convince them his dream could become their dream too. Later in 2015, I came across a Google image that stopped me in my tracks. One look at a ship sailing toward a moonlit horizon and the idea of LUNADAR: Homeward Bound was born. I couldn’t get the picture…or Ariana’s story…out of my mind. I played around with the prospect of writing a young adult fantasy novel for at least six months until NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) in November of that year challenged me to get serious about my story. I completed the first draft that month but set it aside for almost another two years while LIFE got in the way. But good stories have a way of whispering in a writer’s ear to come back to them, so in 2017 I got serious about that manuscript. After polishing it, I sent out queries to dozens of agents and received dozens of well-meaning, mostly encouraging, rejections in return. Does that mean LUNADAR wasn’t worthy of being published? Not necessarily, so after much research into the publishing side of writing, I decided to pursue an indie route. My company, STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING was born and LUNADAR was released in October of 2018. Writers need to be fearless about believing their stories are worth fighting for, especially when you want to give in to self-doubt.

WRITE IT AND THEY WILL COME

In the end, Kevin Costner’s character built the field of his dreams and in the process, he planted the seed for an even bigger dream. As writers, we never truly know when good things will come our way. Like the fact Becky had enough faith in me as a writer to ask me to participate as a guest blogger in this year’s ChaBooCha event.

But I DO know one thing.

NOTHING will come our way if we don’t try. Sometimes we get knocked down by rejection letters, writer’s block, or even our own self-doubt, but serious writers get back up, and brush themselves…and their bruised egos…off. They get back to the writing. I firmly believe in the “write it and they will come” philosophy. No harm will come for letting my writerly dreams free rein. But what MIGHT happen is the realization of an even more fantastic dream than I could have possibly imagined. And isn’t that what writing for children is all about? Creating a legacy with our words that will last long after we’re gone?

I’d like to think so…

*****


International best-selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Her latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Linkedin search: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing
Goodreads search: Donna L Martin
Snail Mail: Donna L Martin
                   c/o Story Catcher Publishing
                   P O Box 27788
                   Knoxville, Tn 37927

*****

Give-away


I (Becky) make metal charm bookmarks. The above picture is just one example of one of my bookmarks. Today's give-away is one of these charm bookmarks. It will not necessarily be the same as the one above as I make them from different charms and different bases on a frequent basis. (I also do themed-ones for specific books.)

Comment on this post, and, if you are a signed-up member of the challenge, you will  get one entry into the drawing which will be done using a random number generator to choose one person to win a hand-made charm bookmark by me.

37 comments:

  1. Donna, thanks so much for your inspirational post! Indeed, "write it and they will come" is such a true statement. No one can write your story but you! I'm looking forward to seeing where my first chap book characters take me :)

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    1. I'm honored you were inspired by my post. I'm currently editing book one of my own chapter book series so I'm hoping my own characters will continue to take me on a grand journey...;)

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  2. Donna, thank you for inspiring us motivations and story process, especially incorporating those special challenges that set a process in motion, as well as the reality that time factors into each tale’s equation.

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    1. Every writer infuses a little bit of their spirit into their stories with the hope their words will connect with someone else out there. I'm glad you felt inspired by my post.


      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  3. Thank you for this post and especially that last paragraph, Donna. It is SO easy to ask why we’re putting ourselves through this rejection. But it would be far, far worse to never even try. (Especially when listening to those voices/characters speak to us is so much fun!)

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  4. I'm glad you liked it, Candice! Some of my writerly friends told me early on in my career that writers needed to develop a thick skin so ALL the reasons why they SHOULDN'T pursue a writer's life would be overshadowed by all the reasons why they SHOULD...;)

    Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  5. I love Field of Dreams and quote it often. I enjoyed your connection to writing and how you have to listen to yourself and stay strong.

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    1. Hi Danielle! Isn't Field of Dreams an awesome movie? I'm glad you enjoyed my post...

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  6. "write it and they will come" --absolutely! Thank you for this pep talk, Donna. Field of Dreams is one of my favourite (Canadian spelling) movies and I'm not even a sport fan (maybe that's because I have two left feet, not sure). Wishing you continued success.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed my post, Leanne! I'm not a huge fan for any particular sport, although I've taught martial arts for almost 18 years and hold the rank of 4 star 4th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo...lol...

      Thank you for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  7. So many people give up too soon! Glad to hear you didn’t!

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    1. I’m kinda glad I didn’t give up either...😉

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your writing journey and philosophy. I like the name of your company. Best of luck building your dream.

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    1. I’m glad you like my publishing company’s name, Manju. I named it after my picture book and in honor of that young lady who learned to catch stories all on her own...😉

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the chsllenge!

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  9. Great post, always need to try. You never know where the adventure will take you!

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  10. Thank you for the post. We need to fight for our dreams. Best luck for all of us. And now, off to work (write)! ;)
    Thank you!

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    1. Maria, I’ve written before on the “woman warrior” in all of us who fights for what we believe in. Writers DEFINITELY need to fight for their stories because if they don’t, who will?

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  11. I agree Ashley! Most of my adventures are pretty tame...except when it comes to my writing...😉

    Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  12. you're right, just need to do it!

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  13. Thanks for the nudge to keep moving forward with our writing dreams :) Congratulations on your new publishing company!

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    1. Rene, I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  15. Thank you for starting ChaBooCha off with a bang and sharing your writing journey with us. I totally agree that we need to fight for our dreams. One of my mottos comes from Norman Vaughan who participated in 13 Iditarod’s, running his first one at age 72. He completed 6 with his last finish being in 1990 at the age of 84. Can you imagine traveling by dogsled across interior Alaska at 84? His motto was, “Dream Big and Dare to Fail!!”

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    1. I'm glad you felt inspired by my post. I teach a martial arts student who first came to me after four heart attacks and open heart surgery. At age 61 he had the dream of becoming a black belt. In April of this year, he's going to get that chance...;)

      Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. Good luck with the challenge!

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  16. Your comments have inspired me to make this dream a reality.

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    1. Awww, Bettie, I'm touched you felt inspired by my words.

      Thank you for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  17. What an inspiring post. I truly believe we have to be "open" to creativity and ideas in our life, and to get busy pursuing it/them. You are a great example of that at work. Congrats on your successes!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I'm a small fish in a big pond but at least I'm still swimming...lol...

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  18. Thank you for this most inspiring post! I will save this so I can read it again and again!

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    1. I'm glad you were inspired by my post, Kelly, and honored you are going to save it for reading again later.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  19. If Kevin Costner can turn a corn field into a baseball diamond when nobody believed in him, I can finish my book, especially since I have supporters. Thanks for a great comparison.

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    1. I believe writers should gather their ideas from the world around them, so why not from the movies as well? ;)

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  20. Great post! The whispering stories remind me a lot of the living ideas in Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic. The more I read guidance from successful writers like Donna Martin, the more I feel we've returned to acknowledging the muses of long ago (whether we call them stories or ideas...). Thank-you for writing this post for us!

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    1. Thank you, Liz, for your kind words. Whatever successes I've enjoyed so far...or may have in the future...it is ALL because of someone who traveled this publishing path before me. We as writers can't ever forget the writing opportunities we receive in this life is all because someone else dug out the path we now walk on...


      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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  21. Thanks for the reminder to keep going even when it seems hopeless.

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    1. Nancy, I run a martial arts school as well where we teach our students perseverance. How can I successfully TEACH it if I don't PRACTICE it myself? ;-)

      Thanks for stopping by to comment and good luck with the challenge!

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