But you can also cook or do a puzzle. If you’ve been following this blog you deserve to give yourself a break. Besides taking time for the things you love (even though I know you also love your writing) will help you recharge, refocus and re-energize. Plus, you never know just what will inspire you to knit a new tale together.
Grab a pen or pencil and a notebook and start jotting down some potential story ideas. Then start mapping out some questions about your topic for a nonfiction story or brainstorming scenes for a fiction novel. Some of the best ideas come when you least expect it so make sure to keep your notebook close and take a few minutes a day to just jot some thoughts on paper. You never know which idea will be the right one.
Call it serendipity. After not getting Jewish Action for a while, I recently resubscribed and was surprised to find that my first issue included a feaure on the state of Jewish kid lit -- just in time for the release of my first children's book. (Though it wasn't in the story ... maybe next time!)
Written by Yael Zoldan, "The State of Orthodox Kid Lit" looks at the limited quality of books that were available only a decade or two ago and then
What is impressive, in my opinion, is the acknowledgement that Jewish fiction is starting to deal with formally "taboo" subjects -- things like divorce, special needs and child abuse -- things that effect all people.
As she writes, "While it’s painful to think that some of these issues exist in our community, it’s a healthy sign that that they are being addressed."
The author also notes that while there has been growth in the number and quality of books being offered, there are still gaps in the marketplace.
This is something that I've heard echoed everywhere I've gone recently to talk about "The New Girl" --- from Jewish bookstores to schools and parents -- the middle-grade books are still desperately needed.
If you are at all interested on what Orthodox Jewish publishers are offering today's young readers, check out Zoldan's story. And if you are a writer of Jewish children's literature, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the article and what you think are the missing links for today's readers.
Sure writers spend plenty of time staring at their computers, but at the end of the day all writers have one thing in common, they are curious. Be it learning about what makes people or government tick or why one pie tastes better than another, writers are always on a quest to learn.
H Is for Help
It’s important that you find a writing buddy or mentor who can give you advice and feedback, and be a source of strength when you need a little help. Having someone you can talk through your writing issues with, will also make you feel more connected to others in a field that’s quite solitary.
For those of you who are following the A to Zs of Writing, I’ll have a new column for you momentarily. But I just wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that The New Girl is out and in stores in Lakewood, Monsey, Brooklyn and Cedarhurst. If your Jewish store doesn’t carry it, you can order it here. (If you are in Passaic, please ask for the book at your local store, which does have it, but hasn’t shelved it yet)
And I just thought I’d share the first official press coverage of the book. Thank you to Jill Kirsch for this great piece in The Jewish Link of New Jersey.
Writer, Editor and Author of the Achdus Club novels for girls.